Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the way a lot of us live and work has drastically changed. Many businesses, big and small, are feeling the effects of the outbreak. By using this global pandemic as an opportunity to reflect on your business, it can help you recognise any inefficiencies to create solutions for improvement. In times like this, we learn what components of our business are successful and where we need to make changes to become more adaptable in the long-term.
Becoming More Efficient
As businesses are changing the way they operate, this is the time to recalibrate and take advantage of the available opportunities that could benefit your business. During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses may realise that they can “do more with less”, such as:
- Reduce Outsourcing: Does your business spend an arm and leg on outsourcing? Maybe you’ve noticed that your business is quite capable completing tasks in-house, rather than spending so much money on outsourcing? By recognising what can be done ‘in-house’ with employees you already have, could benefit your business. It can also give you more control over the quality of work that’s produced and the ability to better define and preserve your company culture.
- Don’t Purchase Unnecessary Items: Before working remotely, did you notice that your store room is filled with so much extra stock and equipment that you never end up using? This is the time to recognise what cuts need to be made to ensure your business is not wasting money.
It’s easy to get swept up in expansion. Many businesses make the mistake of expanding their products or services beyond what is necessary. This is the perfect opportunity to assess your offerings and get back to basics. Providing services and offering products that you only sell every now and then could be costing you more money. If you need help working out what is making you money, download our e-book ‘How to Measure up Your Business for Ultimate Success’.
Importance of Technology
Businesses can no longer devalue the importance of technology, they must embrace the benefits. In times like this, if it wasn’t for technology, we simply wouldn’t be successful in coordinating our employees. When working remotely, it goes without saying that technology becomes the heart of every interaction. It has allowed flexibility among employees to work sufficiently from home and remain connected with colleagues. Also, with the rapidly changing market conditions, technology has enabled us to communicate with our customers like never before.
Have you noticed that you’re using a lot less paper since working from home? Switching to digital is not only better for the environment, it also has many benefits for businesses; such as saving resources, space, time, and boosted security. Paper may be cheap, but once you add the costs of printers, ink, postage and office space, it can get very costly.
Digital documents are easier to store, send and more accessible and versatile than paper. Have you ever tried making the switch to digital and have staff complain they can’t because they need paper for this and that? Well, we get it! However, now that most businesses are being forced to go digital, staff are realising that it can definitely be done.
Importance of Social Media
Technology has allowed businesses to stay connected to employees, as well as their consumers. This pandemic has made many businesses realise the importance of marketing and being active on social media. Business owners are now understanding that if your brand doesn’t have a digital presence, you don’t exist in the modern world. This is especially crucial in times like this, as many people are relying on social media. It allows them to reach out and gain attention from both current and potential consumers. Staying connected is fundamental, as you need to continue to engage with your consumers in one way or another.
By cutting down on unnecessary resources, services and even staff meetings, it is amazing how much time you can save. We’ve all been in some really great meetings; the kind where everyone contributes and leaves feeling energised and excited to tackle their responsibilities. But let’s be serious, how often do you attend meetings like that? The easy answer is not enough. Too often, you leave a meeting thinking “that could have been an email!” – and it probably should have been. While we certainly don’t want to eliminate personal contact altogether, save it for the instances when it’s most beneficial.
During the current pandemic, travel restrictions have been put in place, making businesses rethink the need for business travel. Now that things have slowed down, they have been able to stop and think “do I really need to travel? Can this be done online instead?” There are so many online platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, that businesses can utilise for conferences and meetings. This is a more sustainable approach and will also save time and money for the business.
We Have Never Been More Connected
If there is one thing that we have learned during this pandemic, it’s that communication is fundamental! As the impact of COVID-19 intensifies globally, it has become clear that employees are communicating more efficiently with managers and other colleagues now more than ever. This pandemic has made us realise just how disconnected we were before.
We understand how easy it is to get caught up in other things and forget to check in with one another. However, it’s important for businesses to learn from this experience by communicating wins and losses with each other, now and in the future. This is going to teach us the importance of maintaining a connection and how to care and support each other long-term.
Learn from Your Mistakes and Become Stronger
Warren Buffet stated, “it is only when the tide goes out that you discover all the people who have been swimming naked.” Now is the perfect time to put on the wetsuit and protect your business from the impending economic low-tide. We need to take advantage of this global challenge and invest more time and thought in exploring where the business may face other risks.
Although this is a difficult time for everyone, especially small businesses and sole traders; there have been some positive outcomes for businesses who have implemented change. By shifting our focus to search for opportunities to improve, it will allow for a stronger return following the crisis. While it can be very tough to go through something like this, sometimes it can be a huge benefit and the wakeup call your organisation needs. This is the time to identify mistakes and become a stronger business and more successful in the future. It is amazing to see to many businesses, with their true Australian fighting spirit, adapting for the better during this global pandemic.
As we work through this rocky start to the new decade, it is crucial that we remember the central importance of staying committed to our long-term goals. Adjusting to an altered reality has much to teach us when we inevitably emerge from this crisis.