The case is an outstanding illustration of how a business focused on education suffered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is evident that the post-COVID-19 period will no longer resemble the pre-COVID-19 era due to the overall magnitude of the virus’s impact. The “New Normal” will most likely be manifested in the fact that education, in general, will be reshaped from traditional in-class format towards more online-based ones. It is stated that the pandemic and coronavirus “is going to lead to a decade-long technology-led remaking of” education (Krishnamurthy, 2020, p. 1).
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In other words, the market of online education will expand and grow in the following years or even decades, where technology will act as the main enabler of the described trend. Therefore, the “new normal” will no longer favor businesses in the education field, which require the physical presence of students in one environment. Candy Ma’s business is a type of education, which mandates face-to-face contact since the equipment and workshop is required to practice the seal engraving skills. Thus, there are two main business strategies for Candy Ma to adopt in order to be successful and prosperous during the post-COVID-19 era.
The first strategy revolves around the fact that the wedding business was the only source of income, which helped it survive. In other words, despite the lockdown and mass gathering restrictions, wedding events were persistent enough to create a demand for seal engraving services. Therefore, with a lifting of lockdowns and social distancing mandates, one can expect that wedding rates will increase, which means that there will be more demand for seal engraving services. In accordance with the first strategy, the center should abandon teaching services and refocus its attention on serving ceremonies and any form of events, which might require seal engraving as a key part of it.
Wedding is an excellent example for such a target because wedding ceremonies will not only grow in its rate but also in their scope and size, which means that more demand for the seal engraving services. Candy Ma’s major strategy should be based on service rather than on education because the latter will no longer be reliable and profitable during the “new normal” era. Unreliability is rooted in the fact that such mass pandemics might take place once again, which means that only weddings can ensure the survivability of a business. In other words, the business needs to adhere to a differentiation strategy and only focus on the customers who need seal engraving services.
The second strategy is based on remain within the education business but making it more technologically advanced. Since the general trend of education is shifting towards an online format, Candy Ma should revise the business plan by developing the business’s educational online resources, such as online or web-based workshops with the use of 3D technology. The real workshop should be something that students come in after reaching certain proficiency and knowledge about seal engraving.
With such a strategy, Candy Ma will be able to stop renting an expensive workshop place and allocate the rent money towards hiring competent visual programmers in order to build an online educational platform with interactive workshop features. Therefore, the business will be mostly online-based, with hands-on practice available for advanced students. In addition, the classes can become pre-recorded videos, which means that Candy Ma will no longer need to restrict herself with a specific number of students and thus, expand the customer base.
Krishnamurthy, S. (2020). The future of business education: A commentary in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Business Research, 117, 1-5. Web.
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