Should I reopen my business? How can I reopen my business? What’s the best way to keep operations going? How can I keep my employees and customers safe? These are questions that have been constantly clouding business owners’ minds for the past few months. For some, the first step was simple, just adopt remote work for everyone. For others however, on-site interactions or face-to-face contact is an important part of their operations. Regardless of which group you fall into, there are many important factors to keep in mind as you figure out your next play to keep your business running through this pandemic. Now is the perfect time for businesses to get ahead!
Understand Your Businesses
As you put together a plan to ramp up operations and business flow back up, you need to ask yourself what is most important to your business. Do employees work best when they are together? Do you need to bring back furloughed staff? Do customers need to come in for service or can they be serviced remotely? Can your hours remain the same or should they be adjusted? Maybe you need to implement some cost-cutting strategies. With so much uncertainty about another lock-down, you need to plan and be ready to repeat and adjust all this again.
Understand Your Customers
What your customers need now is likely very different from what they needed before the pandemic. It’s essential for you to understand how those needs and desires have changed, and the role your business can play in all that. Some common ways of discovering these needs are surveys, reviews, or questionnaires. Once you have a better understanding, try to streamline your solutions as much as possible for customers.
Adapt Your Products and Services
As your day-to-day operations and business policies change, so should your solutions to customers. Look for ways to make your products and services more accessible, easier to manage, easier to implement, etc. Now is your chance to further differentiate yourself from the competition, by tackling those gaps in your offering that weren’t present before the pandemic changed everything.
Prioritize Your Team
Without employees, there is no business. Do your best to help employees transition to the new way of operations. Assure them that their health and safety is of great importance and follow through with actions to show it: Hire a regular cleaning service, implement social distancing methods in the office, limit the number of employees present at once, to name a few ideas.
Most importantly, be transparent with and listen to your team. Many people are still not comfortable with returning to the office, and they should not be punished for this. Do your best to accommodate their situation and reassure them that they are an important part of your business.
Use This Time to Upgrade
Having to move teams and operations to digital has brought to light many different needs and technology gaps for businesses. Now is a perfect time to assess your current technology stack and see if any updates or upgrades are needed for your business to continue to move forward. Research software that aids in team collaboration, technology that clients can interact with to avoid in person contact, as well as upgrading any old equipment around the office like printers, phones, and computers.
Stay Up to Date and Stay Flexible
Whether the pandemic subsides in the next year or the next month, make it a priority to stay informed on the latest information from governments and your industry. This year has opened the eyes of many business owners to the degree of adaptability they need to adjust to rapid changes. Willingness to adapt and adjust is the best strategy to face whatever lies ahead in the future.