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A new normal in COVID and in Business

There have been some really hard lessons in COVID for business.  But challenges have brought opportunity and a forced adaptation to a new way of life especially with technology.  There is no going back now that a new normal exists so what should businesses do to be successful in the new normal:

·  Communication– the value of communication was really reinforced in COVID.  Good teams communicate well internally.  Good businesses communicate well external to their business too.  This is particularly important with customers but also prospects, suppliers, banks, and advisors.  Opening those lines of communication have such a massive impact on your business.

·  Video meetings – the Zoom meeting was all the rage during the pandemic but there is no reason for it to stop there.  Video communication has been a great tool to use instead of the faceless phone conversation or the expensive and time costly personal visit.  There is still a time and place for those but video should equally be a key communication tool now too.

· Technology– video was just one technology that was forced on many businesses.  There is plenty of other technology to better connect your team and resources and even your customers without being reliant on the physical location.  Don’t drop this technology to go back to the way things were.  Keep at it and keep challenging how to make it work better for your business to further increase your ability to be remote and be connected.

· Delivery options – many businesses had to offer take-away and/or delivery just to survive.  What many have seen is that it is extremely lucrative as an option and that doesn’t need to change as restrictions ease and the pandemic passes. Keep these income streams open and promote them well so you capture more casual business.

· Look for opportunity – takeaway was just one example of opportunity that presented itself.  There are countless other tales of opportunities that came up such as making masks or protective screening.  While these may be shorter term solutions specific to the pandemic it shows the power of staying attune to opportunity.

·  Location doesn’t matter – with the added connectedness in the above location is less and less important.  It is all about delivery and service.  That doesn’t mean you can’t get an advantage locally through connection but it does mean you can look further afield for work and find success.

·  Agility– isn’t it amazing how quickly decisions can be made and changes happen when we are boxed into a corner?  Don’t get complacent with this as being able to move quickly is paramount to grabbing opportunity.  There is plenty of change and opportunity to come so don’t be stuck on the sidelines while it passes you by.

·  Buy local – it was a real eye opener how many supply issues were caused by a lack of local manufacturers.  This has created a real focus by consumers to want to buy local and governments to try and ensure we are producing local again. Without us putting our money where our mouth is though these opportunities will pass us by.

·   Work from home capability – why does this need to end when the pandemic does?  This challenges the reliance on physical location which could save significant costs. But most importantly it allows flexibility, work-life balance, benefits you can provide to your staff, ability to not be limited to local area for staffing or work.

·  Grants and funding – these were already becoming a real opportunity as government has been steadily improving its offerings to assist businesses in growing in target markets.  COVID only furthered this with the support on offer and we think this is a key area to keep an eye on and use to further your business without it hitting your hip pocket so hard.

·        Culture– teamwork is so important to your delivery and your brand.  With the pace of change and the adaption required in some businesses culture plays a huge difference in your ability to trust the team and harness new ways of doing business as well as leveraging them for all of the above.

·  Apprentices– low-cost help has proven very helpful through the pandemic and the incentives on offer for employing apprentices take most of the financial risk out of the decision.  We see this as key in building for the future in your business as it is so much more useful having someone who has come through your system and does things the way you like.

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