This year has been incredibly difficult for businesses across all different industries. The businesses that have been able to rise to the challenge are the ones who are surviving best. As the pandemic goes on, businesses have had to learn some tough lessons in order to survive. Some of these lessons can be carried forward after COVID-19 to help your business to be efficient, productive, and successful when you can operate as normal again. What can businesses learn from the pandemic?
Make Use Of Virtual Tools
As offices around the country have had to close, businesses have had to find new ways to communicate with employees, customers, and clients, and to keep work happening, without being physically in the same space.
Most businesses have turned to virtual services to help them. Whether you’re having meetings over Zoom, have sent your team to work from home, or are making use of a virtual HQ, there are some services that could help you when the office reopens.
For example, if you’ve found that having people work from home hasn’t dented productivity, then you might be able to allow your staff more flexibility to remote work in the future. With VPNs, online conferencing tools or meeting rooms, and the ability to share documents with the Cloud, you can let your team work from home when they need to, but still stay in touch.
Could you save money by swapping parts of your office to an online version? For example, if you don’t have clients or customers in the office, then you do need a physical reception? A virtual reception can manage the phones for a lot less than having someone in the building.
Make Digital A Priority
Businesses who already had a robust digital presence have found it much easier to continue to work as normal than businesses who have had to scramble to improve their digital offering.
All businesses need a website. Your website should clearly express who you are, what you do, and how to contact you. Make sure basic information like opening hours and contact details are prominent and easy to find.
If appropriate for your business, an eCommerce platform is incredibly useful. During the pandemic, being able to sell online has allowed some businesses to stay afloat. After the pandemic, selling online adds another way to sell your products and earn a profit.
If you don’t sell online, you should still make sure that your clients and customers can easily contact you online. Some people prefer to use digital tools to reach out, rather than to pick up the phone or attend an in-person meeting. Some people don’t even care for email.
Make sure you are present on social media and have someone on hand to deal with comments, questions, or complaints that arrive on your social channels. A chatbot for common queries, such as delivery tracking, can be handy on your website too.
The businesses who have coped best with the pandemic are the ones who have been able to pivot and change their business quickly. For example, beer companies who used what would have been wasted alcohol to make hand sanitiser, or restaurants who turned to making ‘finish at home’ meal kits have been able to keep money coming in.
While another pandemic may not happen, other changes can happen in an industry at any time, suddenly changing the demand for what you offer. Businesses who fail to respond quickly enough to changes in their industry are unlikely to survive. This is how companies like Blockbuster have failed, whereas more reactive ones, like Netflix, have survived.
You should be ready to react and adapt, whether you make a change to your offering, or make a smaller change to the way you operate. For example, if your marketing budget has taken a hit during the pandemic, change the way you allocate it, and don’t struggle on trying to achieve the same as you did before.
While the global pandemic has undoubtedly made things more difficult for all businesses, but there are some lessons to be learned that could be incredibly useful moving forwards. By being ready to adapt, your business will be more likely to be successful in the future.
The world of business moves fast, and businesses that carry on as they have always gone are the ones who will be left behind. If you have adapted to keep working during COVID-19, try to see what measures you can make use of when the world is normal again.