“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” —Peter Drucker
There’s no question that the world of business has experienced a fundamental shift. Over the past few months, COVID-19 has decimated small businesses, stranded employees, and changed the way companies market and sell their products and services.
As we finally emerge from the worst of it and reenter the workplace, the question remains: how can we adjust business processes to meet today’s needs and expectations?
Preparation is Everything
The businesses that will thrive in this post-COVID world have planned ahead and are prepared to meet the challenges head-on.
Here are some tips to help you through the transition:
Post-Lockdown Reopening Tip #1: Stay Open
Keep your business in action throughout the pandemic. The ability to track your business’s management through the crisis is a good indicator of your ability to adapt to hardship and can be appealing to future investors.
Post-Lockdown Reopening Tip #2: Assess the Damage
Do a complete assessment of your business value and the year’s earnings. Consider such factors as lost sales, interrupted suppliers, loans, layoffs, insurance claims, and one-time expenses associated with COVID-related business closures.
Take another look at your upcoming year’s forecasts. Based on your assessment, they have likely changed and should be updated.
Post-Lockdown Reopening Tip #3: Anticipate Change
Awareness is key. There’s no point pretending that things will go back to the way they were. Recognize that consumer spending habits have changed and will continue to do so.
Learn to move forward, not back. Don’t rely solely on strategies that were successful in the past, as they may not serve you as well in the future. Debrief your team, so everyone is on the same page. You’ll need to work together to create effective, lasting change.
Post-Lockdown Reopening Tip #4: Gain Customer Insight
Your ideal buyer personas will have changed. Adapting your approach with those changes in mind will be the difference between success and failure. To learn more, solicit customer feedback via surveys, interviews, and market analysis.
Don’t rely on your customers to approach you with insights. They’ll share their wants and needs when you ask, but you need to actively seek them out.
Post-Lockdown Reopening Tip #5: Take Action
Armed with insights from your consumer base, you can adjust and plan accordingly. Reprioritize your strategies based on the updated information and tailor your business offerings to the reformed landscape.
The market will bounce back, but we can all agree, nothing will be exactly the same again. The key to new growth is how well your business adapts. Don’t expect immediate recovery. Despite how eager you are to get things back on track, keep in mind that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
It’s clear that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on markets and business models, similar to the economic downturn of 2008 or 9/11. Although it hasn’t been easy to weather this crisis, there is a silver lining. Shifts like these are opportunities for change and betterment. Keep in mind, success often follows hardship.