As the country gets the green light to resume activity, what steps can you take to aid your business recovery and ensure that you are ready to move forwards in the “new norm”?
It’s true that the world we knew pre-COVID is certainly not the same as the one in which we now find ourselves. Many businesses have lost key members of staff, have discovered that their market has changed and evolved and that their services are no longer relevant or their processes outdated.
However, even if your business has survived relatively unscathed, the post-pandemic vista still presents a great opportunity for you to press ctrl, alt, delete and conduct your own business reboot.
Here’s how to build business recovery after COVID:
Revisit Your Vision and Values
The first step and I believe this should come before you even look at your business, is to give yourself a personal audit. We are hearing about how businesses are navigating the post-covid landscape, but, of course, behind each business is an owner who needs to be in flow and alignment with their business. Take time to re-evaluate where you stand. Are you still in love with your business? Is it still something that you feel passionately about and something that you wholeheartedly believe in? Does it still align with your values and does your vision still ring true?,
If not, then it may be worthwhile having a read of my blog here.
Assess Any Changes
What specifically has changed for your business during the past 12-18 months? It’s a good idea to take each product or service in turn and, by applying SMART objectives, identify where each product or service falls. It’s important to look at all other areas of your business also – for example, your customers, suppliers the current skillsets of staff, your capabilities as a whole, and your competitors, for example.
Once you have this information, you will be able to identify those areas which need work and how this affects your overall strategy, organisation, and operations. At this stage, it’s vital you take a holistic, strategic approach to business recovery and to understand how each area of your business may interconnect, rely on and inform other areas.
For many organisations, a shift in their target market has occurred, so in doing this exercise, you’ll be able to see your strongest offerings to hit your market with, as well as those that you can safely get rid of entirely. Whilst cutting out any dead wood can be a scary prospect, it’s a vital step for the forward momentum of your business.
Having said this, it’s also a good idea to try and understand whether any changes are likely to be permanent or temporary and to diarise to review again in six months’ time.
Rebuild Business Awareness
Next comes your marketing. Don’t make the mistake of believing that your previous target market has the same needs and requirements as they once did. As the world has changed, so has your market! Similarly, don’t expect your previous customers to stay loyal to you. As the country reopens, so all businesses will be lining up on the starting line with many vying for YOUR audience. On this “even playing field”, it’s vital for business recovery that you rebuild awareness in your products and services with clear, consistent messaging.
Your marketing needs now, more than ever, to be a two-pronged approach – that of re-attracting your existing customers, whilst, potentially attracting a new audience, too.
At a time when everyone is desperate for a sense of normality, now is your opportunity to communicate what sets you apart from your competitors and why your audience should buy from you.
But how about your existing audience? How can you re-engage them and persuade them to remain with you? Certainly, don’t wait for them to make another purchase but instead be proactive by offering, perhaps a loyalty scheme, offering a discount code upon repeat purchase, or by sending an email detailing exclusive offers. Remember also that it costs something like five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to sell to an existing one.
When we consider a new audience, it’s all about providing value and being relatable, displaying your authenticity, and demonstrating compassion in all your communications. Remember the world is just a little bit sore at present, so demonstrate these qualities to persuade them to do business with you.
It may be that your standard processes will require a tweak, post-pandemic, as part of your business recovery. Particularly if your products or services have had to change or adapt to a different market. Pay particular attention to your digital processes here – is there a quicker, more streamlined approach that you can take that will benefit your customers, but also show that you are keeping ahead of the game? Of course, the benefit of adopting a streamlined process is that you can cut down the time working IN your business and spend more time working ON it, attracting clients and servicing existing ones.
Happy Employees Make the Company
A happy employee is a company’s greatest advocate and, with increasing importance placed on staff wellbeing, make sure you are ever mindful of your employees’ needs. Not only is this imperative for happy staff, but also impacts the long-term success of both your strategy and the ultimate success of the company itself. In a recent survey, 80% of employees felt they were more productive when working from home. Ensure that your processes are updated and include remote and flexible working and that you actively demonstrate that all channels of communication are open between you and your employees.
We have all become a bit more safety-aware in recent times, so ensure you are rebuilding trust by providing customers with safety guarantees and communicating the measures that your business is taking to ensure their safety.
Although your customers will naturally expect full speed ahead as you return to the marketplace, that may not be the best course of action for your business. Instead, be mindful that you cannot and should not try to go faster than the pace of recovery. The most resilient businesses will not only anticipate and meet demands but will think strategically about their procurement process, ensuring as best they can, that supply meets demand.
I doubt there has ever been another time where so many businesses have been lined up, ready to get back to doing what they do best, but the key to success is surely going to depend on how flexible you are in adapting to the changed (and ever-changing) business landscape. Is your business ready?
Did you know we offer a focused Business Reboot Mastermind? 3 months of 1:1 business recovery coaching helping you ensure your business is back and ready to take on the world. Each session is guided by your individual needs and is ideal if you want a fresh pair of eyes to undertake a business review, looking at your systems and processes, your marketing, and redefining your goals. If now is the time to reboot your business, follow the link to find out more and book a call with me today!