The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has put life as we know it into a screeching halt. To accommodate this new norm, many businesses have had to pivot towards a digital business model to continue any semblance of normal operations. Others have had to either put a pause on operations, make layoffs, give pay cuts, or Capex rollbacks to prevent further financial losses. With the world waylaid by this virus, it’s definitely not a good time for businesses.
But, however you chose to deal with this pandemic, you will have to find ways for your company to recover. You will have to remember, though, that recovery does not begin on the day the pandemic ends. Instead, the foundation for these recoveries should start as soon as possible.
So, how do you exactly begin preparing your business for life after the pandemic? And more than helping it survive the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, how exactly do you help it thrive despite it?
Here are some methods you may want to take into consideration.
Keep Your Customers In The Loop
A business is nothing without customers. That is why you need to maintain relationships with your customers. You may not be doing business with them at the moment, but it is essential that you keep your business and your brand at the forefront of their minds.
Keep up all communication with them. Send them emails on the status of your operations, and if applicable, let them know how they can get a hold of your products and services. Also, keep your social media accounts and website updated.
Meanwhile, if you are unable to offer your products or services during the pandemic, make it clear to your customer as to why this is the case.
Aside from making sure they hear from you, you may also use this to hear from them. Find out what they want and what they need. You may find valuable information that you could use to improve your business after the pandemic.
Data is crucial in coming up with strategies for sales, marketing, customer support, to finance, manufacturing and the supply chain. Such data is used to align and identify where you should prioritise efforts. You may also use this to plan out properly how you intend on proceeding with your business once the pandemic ends.
For example, if you are a business who has pivoted towards a digital business model amidst the pandemic, then the next step for you is to identify how useful it would be for you to go back to your former business model, or if your business would be better off using your current, digital setup even after the pandemic.
Some data science skills would definitely be handy with this regard, as you would be able to thoroughly and accurately identify what would be best for your business. A data-driven organization gains a huge advantage against their competitors. In the 21st century, data is the new playing field.
Technical skills like data wrangling, data visualisation and model building and deployment, as well as non-technical ones like problem-solving, curiosity and communication are important in determining if the conditions are right. Some sample questions you would want to determine at this point are:
- Is it safe?
- Does it follow government regulations?
- Is it the best option at the moment?
- Will this affect profits and staff morale?
Invest In Your Employees
At a time like this, it is extremely important for you to reiterate the value of your employees to your business. That is why making sure your employees feel appreciated and cared for are crucial in preparing your business for what’s waiting after the pandemic. You don’t have to go above and beyond to do this. Training opportunities, skills development and new projects are always helpful in empowering your team.
Additionally, you may also implement policies or flexible hours that ensure the work-life balance of your employees, even as they work in the comfort of their own homes. It would also be ideal to retain rapport-building team activities like catch-up sessions or team breaks, which you may all do via video call.
Change Up Your Marketing Strategies
The message you convey to your audience always holds influence over how your business is going to succeed. Make sure to evaluate the messaging in your marketing materials and see if they are still relevant to the current social and economic climates we are facing. You wouldn’t want to come off insensitive or unaware of your privilege in any way.
Don’t be afraid to sound a bit sentimental or cheesy, but make sure you’re not bordering on sounding like a phoney. Moreover, know that it’s okay to address the current situation with your customers. Make them feel that you are facing the same reality and that you are there for them. On the contrary, you wouldn’t want to appear opportunistic by using the COVID on your marketing materials, either. So, be sure to find the middle ground.
Now, these tips may seem too late, given how far we are from the beginning of this pandemic, however, it is always important to remember that it is never too late to start preparing for what is about to come post-COVID in the business world.
And while following these tips do not necessarily reflect your company’s resilience nor guarantee the success of your venture following the pandemic, these will certainly bring you a step closer to weathering what has yet to come.