Covid-19 caught us by surprise with its level of uncertainty and it is a situation well beyond what most businesses can handle. According to the Global Crisis Survey, 69% of leaders have experienced at least 1 corporate crisis in the last 5 years, with the average number of crises experienced in these firms being more than 3. The pandemic is definitely one of the drivers that will test the company’s preparedness. While it might be too late for some businesses to protect themselves from the impact of the crisis, this gap is the perfect opportunity to get your business ready for the changes after Covid-19.
Here are 3 steps you can consider to reshape your business for post circuit breaker:
1. Maintain flexibility
Due to the pandemic, it is known that non essential businesses that are still running are made to convert to working from home. We are fortunate to be surrounded with advanced and latest technology that ensures meetings still can go on and programmes still can continue. Such flexibility should not be overlooked even after the circuit breaker period has ended. The option of working from home should not be dismissed if employees remain productive and efficient when working at home. Research has found that working from home improves work/life balance, foster better mental health and increase productivity levels among employees.
Working from home has been now deemed as a viable option and it may even be counted as the future of work. Many large tech companies like Google are also starting to let employees work from home until the end of 2020. Even after the circuit breaker, by allowing that flexibility to your employees, it can potentially reduce the stress and monetary expenses some of your employees face, especially for single parents or adults living with seniors.
2. Review your marketing efforts
As most non essential businesses went into hibernation due to the circuit breaker, it is the best time to thoroughly review your business website. What are some content and pictures that need to be renewed and updated, how can you improve your website’s user experience so that it is optimised for the surge in customers after circuit breaker has ended, what are some elements that can be improved. For businesses who do not have a website, it is time to consider investing in a website and adopting alternative online sales channels as it has become a norm to shop online ever since the Covid outbreak. There are many Content Management Systems available online for you to try out such as Wix and Wordpress. However, if you are not confident in your designing skills, you can always engage a creative agency to build your website. According to studies, it has shown that 70-80% of consumers research businesses online before making a decision to purchase their goods or services. Therefore, having a well developed website is key to maintaining and attracting customers after circuit breaker as they will be restarting their purchasing habits and may end up on your website.
Not only that, you should also step up your game and become active on social media. While your business remains stagnant during the circuit breaker, it does not mean you stop attracting potential leads. You should be focused in getting your brand known on social media so that it can entice customers to visit your website. Studies have shown that 60% of Instagram users mentioned that they have come across new products on the platform and could possibly become customers. So, take this time to improve your digital marketing strategy by generating better content for your social media platforms; explore new and upcoming trends, build your following and engage existing customers. Not sure how to grow your social media platforms? Engage a professional to help you! 71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand when they have a positive encounter with it on social media. Having a trained and professional team to manage your business social media platforms ensures that contents are well made and customers are satisfied.
3. Stay future orientated
The Covid-19 situation has definitely caught many businesses off guard, especially those who are not prepared for such scenarios. Scenario planning is critical to ensure that businesses continue to run smoothly, even in times of adversity. Ask yourself what are some of the best and/or worst scenarios you should be ready for. What are some short and long term impacts? Is your business equipped to cope with such situations? Do you have a contingency plan in case manpower or stocks run low? Businesses that are not prepared are most vulnerable when dealing with a crisis as most of their attention will be spent resolving it.
With the pandemic comes recession; stocks prices fall, sales drop and we enter an economic slump. Is your business ready for it? Do you have enough cash flow to tide through this financial crisis? Are your sales channels diversified? You should always be future orientated and plan your business for unforeseen circumstances. According to Rosen, a writer on Entrepreneur, she mentioned that by “developing a future oriented mindset, (it) can transcend traditional entrepreneurship and business creation.”. Future oriented people become innovators and achievers and it positively impacts decision making. Keep yourself informed, consult experts, manage your finances and people well so that your business can be quick to respond when the next storm comes.
The crisis came so suddenly that no one could predict it. However, it also served as a very important lesson for businesses where they can learn and analyse their response towards the situation. It is also the time for companies to start planning for their recovery, especially when things are slowly starting to get better. Businesses fail because of poor management and there have been many cases to prove you likewise. Use this crisis to re-look into your business strategy, organisations that are forward looking and flexible will still be able to push on under unexpected circumstances.