Are you thinking that life and business will go back to what is was a few months ago once this pandemic passes? Are you just waiting for the ‘all clear’? Or are you preparing for a ‘new normal? Are you ready for life after COVID-19?
Some short and sharp lessons that we, as small business owners,in the service sector are realising as a result of this horrific pandemic are:
Leadership and delegation has been key
In the past you could muddle along with vague and evolving plans because you saw your employees and work colleagues every day and you were able to adapt and tweak what they were doing as they were doing it. With all employees now working from home, a clear and precise definition and plan of key tasks and activities is vital. Clearly defined and well communicated work packages will ensure you maximise output to ensure you get the best from your workforce.
You can trust your employees
Some business owners were dubious about letting employees and work colleagues work from home as they did not trust them to work efficiently and effectively. It was often seen as a perk rather than an efficiency, probably because, as above, they did not clearly and precisely define their work packages. With good management and through efficient use of conference calls, [for individual 1-2-1 meetings; daily scrum meetings (project) and regular town hall meetings (all staff)], working from home [or anywhere] is easy, inclusive and financially efficient for both parties.
There are some overheads that you thought were needed but now realise that actually they’re not. As we come out of this situation, cash will be vital in keeping the business nimble and flexible [especially if we have to go back into another lockdown should we get a resurgence of the pandemic]. Do you now really need all of the office space? How often do all of the workforce need to be together? Do employees all need their own desk? Meeting rooms can be hired by the hour, so why pay for all that space if it is not needed. Do you need your full quota of employees? Can you look to outsource a lot of your work as a direct cost as opposed to utilising your staffing overhead?
The current state of affairs and financial support from the government cannot go on for ever. It is now a good time to look at your business in the light of the situation. Time to review and adapt your USP [Unique Selling Proposition] to ensure that it is still relevant. Time to get and to keep your company profile out there in the market place. It is a good time to get your marketing and social media collateral up to date and appropriate so that the business is still relevant and ready to go as we climb out of this situation.
Recovery will happen and there will be new opportunities out there. It is those businesses and business owners that are able to adapt and change to meet the demands of the ‘new normal’. Those that and are ready with more nimble and agile businesses to address the challenges of post pandemic life.
This is not the time to sit and wait for the pandemic to be over and hoping that things will get back to normal. It won’t for some time, if ever. There is plenty to do and already so many lessons to learn from this relatively short crisis. It is time to adapt your thinking and question those things previously taken for granted. Time to change the parameters so that you come out it with all guns blazing. Are you getting ready for life after COVID-19?