In 2020, the impact of the Coronavirus on businesses has been massive and widespread. Restaurants, coffee shops, and salons have had to close completely. Stores and manufacturing have had to take extreme measures to minimise the risk of infection, and offices have largely taken to working from home. While new working practices may seem the new normal for businesses moving forward, there is a lot we can take control of in order to thrive.
Of course, what is most important here is to halt the spread of the virus and protect those that are most vulnerable. However, as time goes on, the economic impact of the virus is being felt by businesses across a range of sectors. Indeed, some have already succumbed to the pressure to cease trading, and many more are worried that this may be their fate.
The good news is that there is hope for business in 2021. Indeed, it is possible to thrive despite the challenges the pandemic has imposed. You can even get some advice on how to adjust to this new normal, in the post below.
Make your Premises Pandemic Safe
First of all, if your business is to thrive in 2021, you need to take measures to make sure it is as safe for staff and employees as possible. Yes, this can be both costly and time-consuming. It can also have a significant effect on your productivity, as many companies have discovered this year. However, above all else, if you continue to trade in physical premises, customer and employee safety, and trust reign supreme.
Advisable actions include instituting a one-way system of movement around your business and supplying face masks and shields to employees. Asking customers to wear face masks and use hand sanitizer is vital as well. Sanitizing stations need to be provided by your business for your workers and customers, and facilities for regular and extensive hand washing should also be on hand. Finally, your business must always stick to the rules operating in the tier in which you find yourself, working from home where possible and sending people home as soon as they show symptoms.
The New Normal For Businesses: Think Outside the Store
In addition to making their premises safe, businesses need to consider ways of interacting and reaching their customers that don’t include them visiting their store or premises. The good news is that with a little flexibility it is possible to run your business remotely. After all, this is precisely the model that Amazon uses, and they are one of the most successful businesses of the decade!
One of the most important aspects of running a business remotely is ensuring you have a robust online presence. This means having a website, and a social media account. Of course, it isn’t enough just to have these things, but they also need to be designed and managed effectively.
For example, your business’s website needs to be more than a static catalogue. Instead, it must be a user-friendly, interactive experience that provides visitors with valued content as well as information and a way to buy your products. Indeed, instead of a replacement for your physical store, you need to think about your website as the core of a community, an online location that people want to visit again and again.
Your business’s website should also be inextricably linked to your social media presence. Of course, your social media should point customers back to your site, and vice versa. That is not the only thing that you need to use social media for, however, as it’s also important to consider written, picture, and video content. Especially as more people are stuck at home due to the restrictions placed on them by the pandemic, because many find themselves with more time to interact, share, and comment on such posts.
Of course, there are other options for running a business remotely as well. One great example of this is to use bespoke printing to create products like brochures that you can send to clients in the mail. Yes, it is a little more old school than relying only on your online platforms. However, there are some worthwhile advantages of using this tactic. The first is that you can get your whole range of items in front of the right people, after all, folks will usually only see your stock if they choose to look for it online.
Additionally for some demographics especially ones in the old age bracket a brochure or paper catalogue may help to create more trust, both in your products and your business in general. Something that can help to ensure those sales keep coming in, despite access to your physical store being reduced.
Trim your Budgets
Even in non-pandemic times, business success depends on making your books balance. However, if you want to thrive in 2021, trimming your costs is the way to go. Start by identifying what you are spending now, and searching out areas where spending can be cut. Indeed, it is good to stick by the adage, “what gets measured, gets managed” here, as by keeping track of your spending you are much more likely to also stay on top of it.
Other helpful strategies include offering remote working so you no longer need to pay out for offices, and negotiating better deals per unit with suppliers. Some businesses can even benefit from outsourcing tasks and projects rather than employing new people, as it can often be more economically efficient to do so.
Invest in Staff Training: The New Normal For Businesses
However, success in 2021 isn’t all about cutting your spending. Indeed, there are some crucial benefits you can reap for your company if you invest wisely. In particular, staff training can be a very worthwhile investment. After all, your business is only as strong as its weakest member of staff!
By investing in training now you can benefit from several advantages. The first is that you can upskill your workforce, something that will help them to work more productively, and provide a better standard of service to your customers.
Secondly, by training your staff you increase the likelihood that your company will be seen as a leader in its field, something that can do wonders for your reputation with both customers and suppliers alike. (Many businesses combine this with taking an expert status on social media to further enhance their image).
Finally, by choosing to invest in your staff by 2021 you will help them to feel valued, more secure in the post and will likely help to keep morale and motivation up, despite the challenges of the pandemic as well.
The New Normal For Businesses: Update your Branding
Last of all, to ensure success in 2021, a branding overhaul may be in need. After all, branding is one of the most important ways that you can set your business apart from its competitors. Good branding is also vital if your business is to be successful in appealing to the right demographic.
With that in mind, consider the elements of your business visual branding including the logo, the colours you use, the fonts, and even the images you use on your website and social media. Of course, you can have a go at this task yourself, but most businesses choose professionals for rebranding. Indeed, many professional graphic designers charge a significant fee for a logo redesign and a new branding package.
However, it is helpful to think about the cost in terms of the value it offers to your business. After all, the branding is often the first thing that a customer sees and is the visual hook they associate with their whole experience, something that can make it much smarter to opt for an experienced professional rather than someone you find on Fiverr. If you want to make 2021 a year where your business thrives, despite the challenges of Coronavirus.