It has been a turbulent period for businesses across the board as a result of COVID-19 and the huge changes that this has brought to life.
While the pandemic is not yet over, businesses are now preparing for life post-pandemic, and it is clear that it will not simply be a case of back to normal.
Many aspects of life and business have been changed forever, and it is vital that you factor these in as a business owner.
While this can be daunting, it also provides a fresh slate for businesses, and those that know how to prepare for post-pandemic success may be able to reach new levels.
So, how can you prepare your business for post-pandemic success?
Decide on the Best Work Model
One of the biggest decisions that has to be made is what work model to adopt moving forward.
Some of the biggest companies in the world are deciding to continue with remote work on a full-time basis, which can certainly bring benefits to both the company and staff.
This does not work for all, though, so others are adopting a hybrid model where people split time between working remotely and in the office.
It seems that employees now expect remote work to be available in some capacity, so going back to the office full time could have a negative impact, particularly while the pandemic continues.
If you do have staff working remotely, you will want to make sure that everyone has the necessary tools and equipment so that they can work to the best of their ability.
It is also helpful to research the best way to manage remote teams and to take advantage of what this can bring, such as the chance to make remote hires allowing you to find the best talent.
Prioritize Employee Wellbeing
Following on from this, it is important that you make employee wellbeing a priority moving forward. It won’t be a case of back to normal even once the pandemic has ended, and the mental health repercussions will be felt for a long time.
Everyone has been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another, and, as an employer, you need to provide support for your employees.
Checking in on a regular basis, providing support for those that need it, improving the work environment, and keeping stress to a minimum will be key moving forward.
Conduct Fresh Market Research
As mentioned in the intro, it won’t be business as usual once the pandemic has ended. A huge amount has changed as a result of COVID-19, which means that the business landscape is different and what worked before may no longer be effective.
This is why you must conduct fresh market research to determine the lay of the land and what has changed.
You should research to see the state of your competitors and if you have any new brands to compete with, along with customer research to see how their attitudes, habits, and wants/needs have changed.
With this information, you can adjust your operation accordingly, and you might even find that there are new gaps in the market and ways to thrive.
Use Staff Training and Development
Staff training and development is always worthwhile as a way to improve your workforce, take the company forward and keep your staff happy and motivated.
In a time where many businesses are struggling and the world is changing, it is vital that you have a team of employees that can thrive in their roles and be able to keep them motivated.
It is worthwhile discussing with individual team members what they would like to achieve and then finding ways to help them do this, such as training, courses, and role variation.
Many people have been reflecting on their careers during the pandemic, with many deciding to make a change. You might find that offering training and development will help them stay loyal while also improving the business.
Earn an MBA
Following on front his, you should also look to your own abilities as a business leader. In times like this, companies need someone at the helm that is able to devise and execute effective strategies, lead the team during challenging periods and take decisive action to help the company to find success.
This is where the value of an MBA online program is clear as this is a qualification that will teach you everything that you need to know to develop corporate strategy and lead during challenging periods.
An MBA can also give confidence in your own abilities, and this will be key heading into a period of change and uncertainty.
Embrace Contactless Solutions
One of the most notable changes as a result of COVID-19 has been the complete switch to contactless solutions, including no cash and card payments only, videoconferencing, and ordering via apps.
This is here to stay as it is a way to protect health (not just from COVID-19), and it is also much more convenient. This means that you need to embrace these contactless solutions for your organization and ensure that this is still an option for your consumers moving out of the pandemic.
Update the Company Website
These days, if you visit a company website and there is no reference to the pandemic, it feels outdated, which could deter potential customers.
This is why now is a good time to update the company website incorporating the latest web design trends and refreshing the content.
You can reference COVID-19 by providing information on what steps your business is taking to protect the consumer and public health and any information that people need to know before connecting with your business.
Add a Chatbot
Following on from this, adding a chatbot is also a smart step to make that could make a big difference moving forward.
Chatbots are always helpful for providing 24/7 customer support, and this will be a time where consumers are likely to have questions because so much has changed.
Adding a chatbot will ensure that your customers get answers to their questions instantly, which could stop you from losing out to the competition.
Utilize Social Media
Similarly, businesses need to be active on social media moving forward. Social media is a highly effective way to promote your business and engage with your target customer, particularly in a time where so much communication is carried out online.
You should use social media to respond to comments and questions, keep people updated on the latest from your business and share relevant content.
The clue is in the name when it comes to social media, so you want to make your channels as social as possible by encouraging and participating in discussions to create a community for your target customer.
Create High-Quality Content
Businesses should also be creating high-quality content that will be valuable for their target customer in a time of COVID-19 and then sharing this on the company blog and on social media.
With so much of life now changed as a result of the pandemic, you can provide additional value to the lives of your customers by providing expert advice and guidance through your content.
You will want to make this content stand out from the crowd, so in addition, to create topics, you should also make the content engaging by using a variety of media (video is particularly effective right now).
Keep Costs Low
Many businesses are feeling the squeeze right now as a direct result of COVID-19. Businesses need to be smart with their finances during this difficult period so that they can avoid falling into bigger problems and begin their recovery.
It might be a long road for some, but it will be much quicker if you are able to keep your costs low without negatively affecting the business.
There are many ways that you could do this, such as embracing remote work, downsizing, switching utility suppliers, outsourcing instead of hiring new staff, switching to green technologies, and eliminating unnecessary expenses.
Set New Goals and Targets
Any goals and targets that were set prior to the pandemic will now look completely unrealistic for most businesses. Goals and targets are essential for maintaining positive momentum, motivation, and progression.
With the picture becoming clearer, it is important to set new goals and targets for individuals, teams, and the company as a whole. Of course, the situation seems to change often and can be hard to predict, so there may need to be some flexibility with these goals and targets.
Now is the time for preparing your business for life post-COVID, and these are a few of the best ways that you can do this.
While the pandemic is not over, and it remains hard to know what the next few months will look like, it is also true that the situation has improved. Life is beginning to return to some kind of normality, although a lot has changed, and businesses need to be ready for this new beginning.