Something that I have seen among many businesses during this period is innovation, forced by necessity but now continued post Covid19. It’s exciting to see how businesses and customers are benefiting from these changes, says business coach Ben Fewtrell from MaxMyProfit.
Everything from diversifying and creating new sources of revenue to more efficient ways of doing business. There has also been a steep learning curve for some as to the importance of planning and preparation.
It is important not to go back to the way you were pre COVID19, that would be easy, but instead to build and create a vision for the future of a stronger, more efficient, more profitable and effective business.
Here’s 6 tips to make sure that your business gets off to a flying start post COVID-19.
1 Refocus on your plans
Prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns you were hopefully already focused on achieving your goals and targets. It is important to make sure that you resume business as usual, get re-focused on achieving your goals and motivate your team to do the same.
Now is the perfect time to spend a day or two away from your business reviewing your plans and setting goals for the remainder of 2020. Taking the time out to work on your business now will ensure you set yourself up for the remainder of the year.
Once you have set a new plan meet with key team members and get everybody on the same page. Set or reset KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) for each key role and division of your business.
2 Continue the innovation
One of the greatest benefits for business during the pandemic was the necessity to innovate. With extra time on your hands it was a great opportunity to create new ways of doing business. Continuing to develop and innovate your systems and processes will only enhance and strengthen your business. Hopefully the COVID-19 lockdown gave you an opportunity to reassess some of your workflow, shop layout and general ways of doing business.
Create a group of ‘think tank’ leaders within your business and get together on a monthly basis to discuss innovation and review workflow systems and process. With diversification high on the list of priorities prior to the pandemic, it should now be a top priority to remove any future threat should something like the coronavirus return.
3 Reinstate confidence
Uncertainty is likely to affect the performance of your team and the behaviour of your customers. Reinstate confidence within the team by sharing your recovery plans, and precautions put in place to ensure health, safety and job security.
Customers will also need to know that you have systems and processes in place to ensure their safety. Systems to reduce the likelihood of transmitting a virus has never been more important. You will need to document your process and conduct training making sure you have a clear process for sanitisation and handling any infection if it was to occur.
4 Turn up your marketing
Now is the perfect time to launch a local marketing campaign promoting your business. Consumer confidence is returning, and people are looking for ways to break the boredom of isolation. It is your perfect opportunity to create an enticing offer to bring in new business, and to communicate with past and existing customers.
Taking the time to create a marketing plan will ensure that your message is on point and that you achieve a return on investment. Put some thought into communicating with existing or past customers, attracting new customers and promoting new services that you may have created through the pandemic .
5 Use technology
A huge benefit of the forced isolation was the increase in the number of people utilising online tools to communicate. This is your chance to tap into an extremely efficient and leveraged way of communicating with your customers, your suppliers and your team.
Using online meeting tools, you're able to effectively communicate and educate. Right now, there may still be limitations in how you can communicate. Plus there will still be customer and/or supplier hesitation with personal contact, meaning that people are still very open to alternative methods of communication like online meetings.
Using tools like Zoom you're able to create online training for potential customers, you can get suppliers involved no matter where in the country or world they are situated , these sessions can be recorded , transcribed and used in many different ways in your business.
6 Act as if
2020 may have been a difficult time for you or others around you and no doubt there has been a lot of uncertainty for you, your customers, your suppliers and your team. As the leader of your business you will need to act as if these risks have all gone and get the momentum happening again.
Regardless of how you're feeling or the impact that the pandemic had on your business it's important that you continue with a positive vision and make sure that the people around you feel confident in the future.
It has understandably been difficult for many business owners and a good opportunity for a check-up from the neck up. If you're feeling overwhelmed or helpless make sure you talk to somebody and ask for some help.
This article first appeared in May/June 2020 edition of Paint & Panel magazine.