It has been shown that many bigger firms which are not threatened by the virus have decided to invest in small businesses. Not only are financial aid but also free services, products or client-services given to SMEs in need. In this article, I will think about this new way of investment and ask myself if this does not open some new doors of doing business.
Offering products or services to the ones in need is a great way of investing into non-financial aspects. No return of money is expected, or at least not directly. These companies might create a bigger client base and hence sell more of their products in the future leading to more cash flow. This would be interesting to continue in the future because it would benefit the big firm and the smaller one, as well as breaking a little bit the injustice between rich and poor. Collaboration instead of competition and help instead of taking profit of others would make the business world a nicer place, but it all seems like a utopia for the moment: Who will be willing to give up free products and services after the crisis, and for how long? How will they compete in a place reigned by profit, and hence how to survive without having the biggest financial return possible just so others can survive?
If we were to change our way of doing business thanks to the crisis, we could not only improve the society’s wellbeing but also work in a more ethical way. Competition puts the incentive to find the cheapest way of producing and selling it at the highest price, at the cost of creating injustice between people and damaging the environment. If this paradigm was to change from competition to collaboration, many more individuals would have the chance for a better life. Monopolies would be crushed and many more people would have a saying in how to run business.
It is not easy to change a system, especially a well-established in everyone’s mind like the one of competition in business. Financial profit is one of the main goals of each business and changing this for the good of the society would not be easy. Also, if suddenly we did change the way we operate, how will we decide which company should stay on the market and which not? Which incentives will be put in order to produce goods and services and to innovate into new technology? Before, these incentives were mainly money, so if investing in others without any financial return, how is the business world going to survive?
Many questions can be thought about on the way we do business and which I do not have answers to yet, but one thing is sure: I think, personally, that these big firms which have started to invest into others without expecting a direct financial return might be the pioneers of changing the business world.