Even if the past two years challenged tried-and-tested business practices, industries found ways to adapt to the new normal. Last September 18’s Globe Business conference, G Summit: Opportunities Unlocked, intended to uncover these key learnings so micro, small, and medium enterprises can discover and take opportunities to grow their businesses. Opportunities relevant to the business topics Leadership, Productivity & Remote Work, Practical Marketing, Human Resources & People Engagement, and Technology & Digitalization were the highlight of the conference.

Inviting over 20 industry experts and acclaimed entrepreneurs, the G Summit aimed to empower and inspire event attendees to take charge of their growth through in-depth talks vital in today’s business climate. Here are insights from the event every MSME should be aware of.

#1 We succeed as one

A critical highlight of this year’s G Summit is recognizing that businesses succeed better when they work as one. Surviving challenges wouldn’t have been possible if not for local businesses helping, sharing, and collaborating with each other. This was at the core of the plenary speakers’ messages, hosted by Sonjia Calit. Issa Cabreira, KD Dizon, USec. Bles Lantayona, and Fernando Zobel de Ayala share G Summit’s goals of reclaiming success and sparking social good to uplift communities, unveiling ongoing programs that highlight the same objectives.

Renowned analyst and international speaker Brian Solis drove this point further, sharing, “As a community of entrepreneurs, we can move; we can do things that others can’t. This is your time to unlock opportunities and explore new ways to grow your business. Your customers were disrupted in this time too. They were also digitally-transformed. Let’s look at it from their perspective. That’s a growth mindset. We have to be human-centered, digital-first, and technology-enabled. As an entrepreneur, this is your time. You are the architects of the future that didn’t exist before the pandemic.”

Famous actor and entrepreneur Marvin Agustin reminded participants that resilience is inherent in our culture, inspiring them to embrace the Filipino characteristics: sipag, tyaga, diskarte, kapal ng mukha. “Either we grab the moment and put all of ourselves into it, or else we cannot turn a crisis into an opportunity. New models for businesses will emerge very quickly. How best we adapt to these emerging trends will determine our success,” he said.

#2 Leadership is about mapping out a path through uncertainties

True leadership is tested when business owners and managers must navigate unfamiliar situations with limited resources, and a team needing their guidance. Spring Valley CEO Jonathan De Luzuriaga covered the ways to do so in his talk Engage for Impact: Leadership in Times of Crisis. He left attendees with this important thought: “Anyone can lead when the plan is working. The best leader is when the plan falls apart.”

Head of Business Banking for Bank of the Philippine Islands Eric Luchangco followed this up in his talk, Leading in a Transitional Period. Luchangco mentioned, “Don’t rely purely on past experiences to solve current problems or identify new opportunities created by the change in the environment.” This encapsulated his talk on helping transform key personnel into decision-makers who can steer their businesses towards further growth.

In Role of Digitalization on MSME Growth, Mynt Head of Product Ferdie Perez discussed how technologies like GCash have helped communities bounce back from the pandemic’s economical hit. Introducing GCash Pro for businesses, which features easier access to merchant loans, attendees learned how to use tech like this for productivity, profitability, efficiency, and competition. “Regardless of your size, your skill, whether you’re formal or informally doing it, we want to offer the solutions. We want to offer the answers to the pain points that businesses are experiencing today,” Perez mentioned.

#3 See productivity in a new light as you embrace changes in work setups

In times of a shifting workforce setup and economy, maintaining the same level of productivity is the priority. This is tackled in Employee Experience and Hybrid Work headed by Vett Watson, Modern Work & Security Business Lead at Microsoft Philippines. He gave tips on efficiently maintaining workforce performance and keeping team morale up, saying, “When we invest in people and we invest in the employee experience, we can directly impact engagement, retention, employee satisfaction, and profitability.”

Stephen Liu, Carrier Channel Sales Leader APAC at Zoom, touched on these themes as well in his session Remote Work and Changing the Game for Business in the New Normal. He shared, “Providing the workforce the autonomy over where, when, and the amount of work can actually increase the number of high performers.”

With minimal experience in distance management and remote work, finding the right way to handle people is often confusing and stressful. Squadzip VP for Business Development Raymond Villanueva helped participants identify what their businesses need to focus on in Making Remote Work Productive. “It’s not that we do not communicate [well] digitally, it’s just that we need to adapt to work digitally — and to do this we need the right equipment for our teams and giving them the proper tools,” he said.

#4 Embrace news ways to connect with your market

Among the most fundamental tools and strategies for any business is marketing. But has marketing evolved differently in the pandemic? And how can business owners adapt to this change strategically? Gino Pineda, Vertical Lead at Facebook, answered these concerns in Facebook Advertising 101. “It’s really critical that small business owners meet their customers where they are. As a business owner, you want to be able to connect with your customers wherever they are.”

“Any of our platforms [can] be made more useful this year when it comes to sharing optimism,” said Wunderman Thompson Executive Strategic Planning Director Pam Garcia, in Game-changing Business Trends in the New Normal. In this talk, participants were informed of top trends that can inspire business owners to create or reinvent their products and services.

When it comes to influencer marketing, Cathy Pumarega and Jhenice Alana, VP for Business Development and Account Director of GetCraft Inc., respectively, gave the rundown on choosing the right partners for your business, including a free Influencer Brief Template, in Influencer Marketing: Why Does it Matter to your Brand? “Creating a personification of influencers is important as they would have to match your brand’s values and ultimately represent your brand amongst their target audience or followers,” stressed Pumarega.

In order to help attendees understand how to go about establishing their brand and choosing influencers, Alana walked them through the Influencer Brief Template, which ensures teams are aligned with goals and executions to achieve successful campaigns. “As to anything, and much like how you do it with your businesses, you always need a proper foundation for everything,” she said.

Canva Philippines Community Manager Chris De Vera challenged businesses to think about their purpose and values and how best to communicate these to their markets through design in Branding for your Business. “Don’t risk watering down your brand’s personality. Sino ba ang brand ninyo? Think of your brand as a person. What connects you to it?” he asked. De Vera established this foundation before delving into design elements that will resonate with customers.

#5 Prioritize human resources and people engagement

The Employee Experience During the Pandemic session with Globe Telecom Inc. Employee Engagement Manager Mark Dimaisip helped business leaders learn the ideal ways to care for their people. Understanding what employees — any company’s greatest asset — are going through in these challenging times benefits businesses as a whole. “There is not one program that will work for everyone. That’s why empathy and employee listening are very important. The more you listen to them, the more answers you get,” suggested Dimaisip.

In Leadership and Employee Engagement for the Future Normal, attendees learned that effective human resource management begins with an internal change in company culture. Mark So, CEO at Business Maker Academy, talked about keeping an open mind to help identify pain points within businesses’ workforces and ways to help. “Be inclusive. You cannot have fans as leaders. But friends — true friends can really be your fellow leaders.”

Atty. Kesterson Kua, Partner at SKY Law, pointed out the five emerging business shifts in Philippines HR Trends in the New Normal, which arevirtual work, digitization & technology, social media regulation, mental health, and compliance. He stressed that “digitization and technology will be [the] key. Data will be driving the new world. Your competitors will be data-driven. Their employees will be technology-savvy. What about you? Are your employees and systems ready to take on this challenge?”

#6 Don’t get left behind: grow your business with technology & digitalization

First, businesses must cover their bases. Protecting virtual storefronts is paramount as competitions moves to the digital realm. The talk Jumpstart your Security Journey provided a roadmap for MSMEs to get started.Speaker Albert Dela Cruz, Founder & Director at Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PHCERT), emphasized how all businesses should take cybersecurity seriously. “There is a paradigm shift in terms of information security. Before we had a saying ‘trust but verify.’ Now, we say ‘never trust, always verify.’ Because of today’s cybersecurity threats, it’s not if you’ll get attacked, it’s when and how severe.”

In Business Continuity and Solutions to Boost Operational Efficiency, Globe Business Solutions Architect Timothy Genato discussed how technology and digitalization powers business continuity plans to mitigate crises and improve business resilience. He leaves attendees with an important thought: “We cannot afford to think and pretend that [companies] will never ever face a disruptive event or incident.”

For owners who’ve felt overwhelmed by the increasing business demands and changes, and felt frustrated about coping with technological advancements, Yashua Group General Manager Ron Bayron shared ways to aid MSMEs overcome challenges and promptly respond to new opportunities in IT Trends, Digital Transformation, and Critical Tips for Success in the New Normal. “You succeed by knowing, not ignoring,” he mentioned.

CEO of HYBrain John Dueñas talked about technology’s impact on the healthcare industry in Journey of Healthcare Institutions Towards Digitization. “In this kind of digital journey, your traditional digital house model, from being focused on security, will now be moving towards having created a network of trust,” he said.He also touched on how HYBrain’s partnership with Globe Business in forming a Hospital Information System helped facilities improve overall patient care.

Gauging if Your Company can Safely Collect Data led by NADPOP Founding Chairman enlightened attendees on data collection’s do’s and don’ts. The two-time president of the Philippine Computer Society goes through every detail of data privacy, leaving attendees with this instruction: “What gets measured, gets improved. When you don’t measure anything, you don’t get to improve it. So you have to use measurement to be able to make sure that you understand where you are in this current time, and how you progress to the next level.”

Leaving no stone unturned, G Summit participants unlocked vital opportunities to persist, move forward, and uplift each other in the new normal through these vital insights.

You, too, can still learn from these seasoned industry experts! Just visit glbe.co/GSummit to register and get your ticket. Watch the videos on demand until October 18, 2021.

Enjoyed the tracks discussed at G Summit? Get invited to more Globe Business events and masterclasses by signing up to the Globe Business Upstart loyalty program here. The learning never stops, and neither does the success with Globe Business as your trusted partner.

Now that the country’s been easing up on quarantine restrictions and in the process of vaccinating the population, businesses can operate in the new normal with safety protocols in mind.

It’s high time to let your business participate in helping the economy get back on its feet, too. Because yes — there can be a balance between keeping us safe and protecting our livelihoods. That’s what government campaigns like the Reform, Rebound, Recover: One Million Jobs for 2021 aim to emphasize. By practicing (and continuously reminding others to adhere to) health protocols, you, your team, and your customers can be safe as you open up to more business. 

Do you have the right strategies to keep your business moving forward in the new normal? Here are tips to consider after working on your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Diskarte Kit.

Process

Your business’s processes, from production to distribution, should be flexible enough to consider sudden changes. Study your supply chain, the tools and equipment you use, and what you need to make sure they’re ready for the risks you’ve noted in your BCP. Are manpower and materials trained and prepared for the flexibilities you put in place? What tools or equipment should have back-ups for those situations? What processes can you reassign or remove? These are a few questions you can consider.

Pro-tip: Your connectivity is one tool you can easily augment to make sure you and your team can seamlessly work despite shuttling between remote or on-the-ground working. Internet plans under your business can actually be installed in your employees’ homes aside from your office. Explore Globe Business Ultimate Biz Plan 2499, now with faster speeds of up to 50Mbps and symmetric connectivity from same upload and download speeds. This offer includes a landline with unlimited calls Globe to Globe for 24 months, FREE one Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 license plus domain OR two WiFi Mesh, and FREE P2,000 GCash credits.

People

Keep your team up-to-date with your industry’s latest developments, even related ones, through helpful trainings. This way, your business will always be ready to grab new opportunities to help you grow and pivot. With free courses from EdX, Coursera, Upskill, and Hubspot Academy, there’s no reason not to brush up on new learnings. 

Pro-tip: Provide your team with business plans that include mobile data and unli calls and texts. Globe Business Balance Offer 999 comes with:

Enjoy GCash credits worth P1,000 if you avail now!

With this, your team can keep learning and stay productive at home, in transit, and at work.

Place

From your BCP and Diskarte Kit, lay out the plans on how work will be moving forward. You can plan for a month or a quarter, depending on how you foresee situations pan out from developing government protocols

Pro-tip: Consider the following:

With these plans in place, you can shift your energy to taking action—no more worrying about what will happen to your livelihood. Through reviewing your current practices and sensibly strategizing and conforming with government policies, you will bounce back! And if you need a trustworthy partner to push your business through innovations and digital solutions, we’re always here to help.

HELPFUL PRODUCT INFORMATION  

Make sure your office and even employee homes have stable internet connectivity for work with Ultimate Biz Plan 2499 at 50Mbps. NEW with the symmetric connectivity — same upload and download speeds. This offer includes a landline with unlimited calls Globe to Globe for 24 months, FREE (1) Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 license plus domain OR (2) WiFi Mesh, and FREE P2,000 GCash credits. Sign up here.

Keep your team productive even remotely with Globe Business Balance Offer 999. The offer comes with 9GB data, Samsung Galaxy A12, FREE 1GB Viber, myBiz Earn 3GB, Duo Number, and Unli all-net calls and texts (even nationwide). Avail now to get P1,000 worth of FREE GCash credits. Sign up here.

Subscribe your manpower to KonsultaMD. The 24/7 health hotline service will provide you and your team access to doctors for medical needs you may have. Here’s how.

Let’s face it — the pandemic has upended the way we do business. With half the globe hiding away at home, many companies are struggling to survive. Even the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry, what most consider as immune to the effects of quarantine, is facing a lot of challenges during this time. On the other hand, this industry is also primed to bounce back stronger than ever. 

With digital transformation on fast-forward across all industries, the IT-BPM sector can take this as an opportunity and leverage its tech know-how. Through assessing the current landscape and creative thinking, your IT-BPM company can come up as a winner in the post-CoVID era. Here are a few tips to get into a state of managed chaos amid a sea of uncertainty.

1. Take stock of your talent. 

Your assets aren’t just the equipment and software you have. Think about your workforce – What are their core competencies? How transferable are their skills? 

“IT-BPM Companies are pressured to speed up the training of the current workforce to elevate their IT skills, and let robots help in the entry-level skills.” 

Source: Whitepaper on Optimizing Technology for a Globally Competitive IT-BPM Sector

Identifying and focusing on your workforce and improving their core strengths will help you evaluate your options and find alternatives with the best chances of success.

2. Tap A New Market. 

Look for industries where demand has grown. That’s where the opportunity is! Check how closely your competencies match the growing needs. Some industries to consider are entertainment, education technology, and healthcare.

Source: Whitepaper on Optimizing Technology for a Globally Competitive IT-BPM Sector

Once you know what industry you can pursue, and what your brand position is, you’ll be able to expand your offerings in a logical manner. Adding products or services is a good way to widen your customer base, increase revenue, and maintain cashflow. In fact, 49% of startups in the country have added a new product or service in the first three months of the pandemic. 

3. Streamline Operations Through Digital Technology

When resources are strained, efficiency is the name of the game. The way to get your efficiency up is to either reduce costs or boost productivity. See where you can trim down on expenses and then look for ways to increase output.

Source: Whitepaper on Optimizing Technology for a Globally Competitive IT-BPM Sector

4. As an added tip, stay up-to-date on what’s happening and learn from best practices. 

Get plugged into professional networks and communities. 

IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) can get you up to speed on the latest trends affecting the IT-BPM sector. Groups like the Globe Partner Network have programs that help System Integrators boost revenue, build brand image, and opportunities for networking. Also look into published success stories for that much-needed inspiration or template on how to make your next move.

If you want to learn how six companies have successfully responded to the pandemic’s challenges plus 10 ways to speed up your company’s digital adoption, download the whitepaper below on Optimizing Technology for a Globally Competitive IT-BPM Sector.

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