If you’re trying to figure out how to remain viable in the face of a new reality, you’re not alone. Our professional and personal lives have been upended. Some feel this change is permanent, while others are still hopeful that it’s a temporary situation that will right itself eventually.
Regardless of timelines and external circumstances over which we have little control, companies need to remain agile in order to survive the chaos.
This would be true to some extent for all of us even if the pandemic hadn’t hit. Many prognosticators believe that up to 80 percent of jobs will cease to exist, at least in their current form, within the next ten years.
In some ways, the COVID crisis is forcing this inevitable change upon us sooner.
As a leader, your goal is to create a business model that’s lean and flexible enough to withstand an evolving corporate and service culture, whether it’s temporary or a part of the “new norm”.
Ask yourself these questions, and use your answers to tailor how you implement new technologies and reposition yourself in the market moving forward.
- What is my position in the market, and what parts of my operation can I let go in order to stay viable in the current reality?
- Do we have a plan for remaining viable or are we just winging it?
- How will our corporate culture and identity look post-COVID?
- How can we re-calibrate in order to reach new audiences or address new pain points?
- How long will it take us to prepare for an evolving reality? Can we hit the ground running now, or will it take a phased approach?
With these questions in mind, consider the following solutions:
Transition to a Virtual Office Space
These days, businesses seem to be divided between those that can pivot to a virtual model in some way and those that can’t. It isn’t just office workers and freelancers who can keep their operations rolling with remote teams.
Technologies like video conferencing and virtual office apps have made it possible for core teams from most industries to deliver services, network, plan, and conduct business in a virtual environment that keeps teams feeling connected to customers and to each other.
Optimize Your Online Presence
The best way to minimize business disruption is to offer as many of your services online as possible. We’re seeing sectors ranging from education to healthcare swerving to an online business model with varying degrees of success.
If you’re unable to open an online store or provide services in a virtual environment, you can still beef up your online presence to keep in touch with your audience and let them know you’re still in business.
Some good examples of this are restaurants and grocery chains expanding home delivery and curbside assistance via online ordering.
Those businesses that are unable to offer digital services can use their web presence to keep customers up to date on where they stand regarding reopening or re-calibrating their business model.
Reduce the Clutter
One good thing about switching to remote offices or an eCommerce hybrid is cost savings. At a time when business is down and supply chains disrupted, anything you can do to reduce costs and eliminate redundancies will benefit your bottom line.
This is a good time to eliminate unnecessary storage or office space, bundle services and tasks, and cut unprofitable or costly projects and processes. For example, get rid of office furniture and decor, investing instead in tablets and connectivity and organization apps.
Automate Whenever Possible
Speaking of technology, you can further streamline your business and reduce costs by automating core functions whenever possible.
Invest in an intuitive accounting program or an inventory management software, which will also reduce the need for storage. Reduce or retrain staff whenever possible.
Search for New Niches
The current reality has not only changed how we do business. It has also changed consumer priorities and buying habits. Social distancing means greater reliance on home delivery, for example. Surging remote work forces means a greater demand for home office equipment and electronics.
Surviving such a sea change means redefining who your audience is and how their needs are evolving.
One of the most effective ways to meet new demands or fill an emerging niche is to stay in touch with your customers and investigate ways to attract a new audience. This can be achieved by keeping your customer profiles up to date and repositioning your product line or services.
Re-evaluate your market position to identify where you currently stand, who your competitors are, and how you can fill in gaps for services or meet new consumer demands.
Maintain Open Communication
None of these suggestions are possible to implement unless you keep the lines of communication open between yourself, your staff, and your customers.
Fear and uncertainty require reassurance, which means regular contact via platforms like weekly video conferences, social media posts, and email.
People need to know what’s going on and how you plan to address matters.
If retraining or remote work are required, how will that look and function within your corporate ecosystem? If business will be disrupted, to what extent and for how long?
Having the answers to these questions and communicating them clearly to all involved will go a long way toward instilling peace of mind and confidence.
The keyword for getting through the current crisis is resilience. Our goal is to provide you with workable solutions that will help you minimize losses and continue to serve your market whatever the future holds.
Implementing the above tips will allow you to operate a leaner, more efficient company that can thrive in good economic times and weather uncertainties like we’re seeing now.