To say that it’s been a tough time for many businesses worldwide would be an understatement. For those who had to close their doors permanently due to COVID-19, the future remains bleak. Owners who have managed to stay afloat, however, have their own set of challenges and uncertainties.
Many businesses are now in full gear or building up the momentum to move forward and restart, while others are thinking ahead and rethinking their strategy, one that would keep their business resilient amid any crisis.
Whatever you’re pivoting to for Q2 of 2021, you might consider including these priorities in your recovery plan.
Workplace Health & Safety
Herd immunity against the coronavirus will not happen anytime soon, as mass vaccinations have only just started. This means that businesses will still need to implement strict COVID healthy and safety protocols. Even in the post-COVID era, it will be hard to kick the habit of wearing masks, sanitizing hands and surfaces, keeping a distance from others, and working remotely.
So if you want your customers to feel comfortable in your place of business, consider extending these measures to give them peace of mind. This will be good for your employees, too, as they may still have qualms about exposing themselves to invisible dangers.
If you run an office building or retail space, consider sprucing up your premises using commercial landscaping services or an outdoor area where people can stay comfortably without worrying about airborne pollutants and germs. You might also consider upgrading your health & safety plan with free immunizations, gym memberships, and healthy snack bars, as people will be prioritizing their health more than ever.
Office & Remote Work Integration
People are creatures of habit. After working from home for nearly a year, it would be hard for them to transition back to office life, especially for people who ended up liking remote work better. Before making any rash decisions to bring everyone back to the office, consider running a poll first and get the pulse of your teams. And, if your situation allows it, draw up a plan to integrate remote and office work.
But if your business really needs people working together in the same place, consider a gradual transition. For example, give people the option to work remotely two or three times a week for a quarter and see how it goes.
A drastic change can either be good or bad. For instance, workers who enjoy other people’s company or those who don’t like working from home would not hesitate to report back to work. In contrast, those who prefer working remotely would find it difficult to reintegrate back to office life. This could lead to burnout and general unhappiness, which can affect productivity. Make sure that you ease into it and bring your employees’ sentiments into the fold.
Many businesses that have stayed afloat and found opportunities during the pandemic attribute their success to their digital transformation. Retail stores and restaurants with established e-commerce platforms or some form of online business had found it less hard to do business when the world was at a standstill compared to those that were fully brick and mortar.
If you still haven’t digitized your business yet, now is the time to do so. When economies begin to recover and consumers become more confident to spend money, they will go to brands with a solid online presence. You can start with small steps, such as digital marketing, social media advertising, and optimizing your website for the SERPs. You can also develop an app for your business to allow your customers to buy your products, sign up for your services, or book appointments. This may come at a price, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Moreover, make sure that you also have a solid cybersecurity plan along with your online migration strategy. This will protect your business from ever-increasing threats such as ransomware, hacking, and data breaches.
Finally, your restart strategy should be anchored on regaining your customers’ loyalty. It’s the best time to go back to the whiteboard and brainstorm new ways to bring value to consumers. A lot has changed in the consumer landscape, so you will need to dig deep into people’s current interests, needs, and desires and develop new strategies to address their pain points. From rethinking your product offerings and restructuring your pricing to crafting new personas and marketing messages, your post-COVID strategy should focus on your customers.
After such a challenging year, it’s not easy to restart your business. Recovery is a long process, and you need a strong, motivated team that has enough buy-in to move your goals forward.