The New Normal For Businesses

The New Normal For Businesses

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

Save on Your Business Costs

Save on Your Business Costs

When it comes to running a business, costs can quickly rack up. In a year such as 2020, when many companies are having to reign in their spending, it is more important than ever to take a look at costs and cut back where possible. With lockdowns meaning the future of companies is more uncertain than ever, you want to look at how you can reduce expenditure without having to get rid of any staff members. Here are some top ways that you can save on your business costs…

 

Save on Your Business Costs: Improve your marketing strategy 

 

Your marketing strategy is one of the most important ways to save money for your business. It could be that you are spending money on the wrong strategies and you need to analyze where it should be spent instead. For example, you could be spending a lot on printed advertisements, but find that you are getting most of your traffic or referrals from social media. If this is the case, you should change your tactics around. Reduce your spending on the element that’s not bringing much in (such as printed ads), and then track to see if it makes a difference in your sales. If it doesn’t, then you have saved yourself a good amount of money.

 

Switch to video conferencing

 

If your company requires a lot of traveling abroad or around the country to meet with current clients, or pitch for new business, this can be very expensive. Not only are you covering travel costs such as flights, taxis, and petrol, but also hotels and meals too. To save on all of these costs, it is a good idea to look into video conferencing which will enable you to do the same meeting but without spending anything. This is a particularly good idea in the current climate as Covid means it is unsafe to travel. There are many video conferencing options out there, from Zoom to Microsoft Teams that you can try.

 

Save on Your Business Costs: Negotiate with suppliers

 

If you have been working with certain suppliers for a long time, it is worth asking them if they can offer a loyalty discount for your continued service. You could also do this if you purchase a lot of one product – for example, phones or computers. As you are buying in bulk for your business, that company could give you a discount for this, saving you money. You could also offer an exchange in services, so if you run a marketing agency, for example, you could offer them a discount on your service, in exchange for them doing the same for you.

 

Save on Your Business Costs: Look at the bills you can cut down on

 

The chances are that with the bills you pay, they can be cut down in one way or another. Look at your phone and internet usage and tariffs and see if there is a way these can be cut down. It could be that you pay for a very high number of minutes with your phone, but don’t go anywhere near this each month. If that is the case, try switching to a lower tariff. You could also do the same with your internet provider and find out if there is a package you can get that covers both your phone and the internet. If you make lots of foreign transfers and need to transfer money to China or somewhere else around the world, there is a better way of doing this. Some companies can charge high fees, so it is worth looking at different systems.

 

Consider hiring an intern or apprentice

 

An intern or apprentice is a great way to save some money in your business while also getting work done that needs to be. You can get paid to have an apprentice and you need to pay them a much lower wage than a full-time employee. It helps them as they get qualifications and real-life work experience too. It is a good idea to get a dedicated intern or apprentice with a specific role in mind – you could find they’re such an asset you decide to take them on once their time as a trainee in your company has finished.

These are just a few ways to try and save on your business costs. Try each of the above and you are certain to see a difference in no time. It is important to keep working with trial and error (such as with your marketing budget) and work out what saves you money but also doesn’t adversely impact your business in a negative way.