COVID-19 And Business: Have You Adapted Your Strategy?
In these uncertain times, big and small businesses alike are being forced to re-think the way they do things. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck earlier this year, many companies have been faced with a harsh reality. And, under a strict lockdown, some closed altogether.
The good news is that with more industries being allowed to operate normally again, things are looking up. But you may have realised that the business world isn't the same as it was six months ago. Have you adapted your business strategy to suit this new reality? If not, here's how you can.
How to adapt your business during a pandemic like COVID-19
Embrace the new way of working
The world might never go back to the way it was before, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In the last few months, many employees have learnt to work from home. They're using innovative tech to help them work efficiently and effectively, and employers are still pleased with productivity. If this is the case, why do we need to revert to regular nine-to-five micro management?
There are dozens of benefits to working from home, so allow your employees to experiment with the idea. Even as the world moves forward.
Don't be afraid to get online
For many, this is already the norm so if you don't have a strong online presence, now's the time to develop one. Due to COVID-19, people have become used to conducting business online - whether it's doing the weekly grocery shop or connecting with colleagues. For years, large and established companies never saw a need to increase online activity because they never needed to. But this is no longer the case. Times are changing, and everyone needs to keep up.
A growing concern on everyone's minds is 'What if something like this happens again?' Before the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses were content to go from month to month, covering expenses and bringing in revenue. Now, however, we're being encouraged to have at least a 6 month savings cushion in case businesses are forced to close again. Business continuity and planning for the future has become essential.
A growing - and economically crucial - trend right now is to show your support for smaller, local businesses. Rather than importing goods, see what South Africa's shores have to offer. Doing your winter wardrobe shopping online? Try to stick to local brands. Our country's entrepreneurs and proudly South African businesses have had a hard time recently and it'll mean a lot to help them get back on their feet.
And, because of the generous South African spirit, they'll probably return the favour. What's good for one local business is good for us all.
You'll do this by supporting local businesses in whatever way you can. From posting on Facebook to checking in with community groups and forums. And it's always beneficial to have a network of fellow business owners you can lean on. But, you also need to create a sense of community within your business. This means motivating employees when things get tough and communicating with them meaningfully.
These are just a few ways you can adapt your business during the COVID-19 crisis and, as the months pass by, we'll likely discover many more.