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Most of the commentaries around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to talk about adjusting to the ‘new normal.’ In the world’s current situation, businesses have shifted to a new business model. Now, businesses must adhere to public health restrictions and guidelines set out by authorities, which affect how businesses are run.
To adapt to these changes, businesses need to act strategically and decisively. Here are a few tips for your business as it continues to navigate through the pandemic and the new way of doing things.
1. Put Employees First
Your employees have played a critical role in sustaining your business operations throughout the crisis. So, now more than ever you need to reach out and listen to them. Build transparent and clear communication with your employees to maintain their engagement and trust.
Consider creating communication channels for voicing out their feedback and strengthening professional and social bonds between team members. Actively seek opinions from your teams regarding changes in operation. Concerns about their well-being, like their job security, financial status, overall health, and living situation, should be heard.
Also, if you have the budget, consider providing relief and aid to vulnerable and affected employees during the pandemic to help transition into the new normal. Listening to your employees and showing them value go a long way in making operation changes more inclusive while engaging. It can also raise the morale within your organization.
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2. Implement Health Safety Protocols
As more and more people are getting vaccinated and health protocols start to ease a bit, businesses are slowly opening their doors to the public. This means revamping the workplace as businesses prepare to pull their workforce back to the new normal office life.
In the meantime, some businesses are already asking several of their employees to start office work or engage in a flexible hybrid schedule. For example, they are alternating days of remote work and office work in a week. To safely prepare your employees for a new office setup, you may need to consider the following safety protocols:
- Stagger the capacity to your workplace. The first group of returning employees could be those whose physical presence is essential at the office, who no longer want to do remote work, or who don’t have high-risk health conditions.
- Make sure to provide alcohols, hand sanitizers, hand soaps, masks, and other essential health items to prevent the spread of the virus in the workplace.
- Reduce interactions with external parties, customers, and third-party staff. Consider exploring digital platforms to reduce the risk of exposure of your employees.
- Minimize the number of employees on-site and consider spreading out the operational hours if needed.
- Implement measures that can maximize social distancing protocols, install dividers, or temporarily change the layout of workstations.
3. Rethink Your Products, Services, and Marketing
With numerous enterprises eager to welcome customers back into their stores, their return also requires businesses to think of new ways to serve them. Practical ways to do this are to provide delivery and curbside pickups.
For those in the service and consulting business, you may consider building a website and installing a WordPress booking plugin or using a scheduling software for service business. By setting up appointment booking, you can minimize the number of clients coming to your office and ensure you’re adhering to health and safety protocols. Try to find ways to speed up your WordPress site to not only increase conversion rates, but to provide a seamless customer experience. Faster speeds improve SEO and page ranking, too. Nothing impacts customers like a slow page, so doing what you can to speed things up isn’t just smart, it’s necessary.
Consider contactless payments. They are better for the safety and health of both your customers and employees. Offering contactless payment options in-store means your customers can tap and go without making contact with them or touching checkout terminals. Using established leaders in contactless transacting can ensure your employees and customers have a safe and seamless experience.
In terms of marketing, some brands bundle, repack, or remarket existing offerings in ways that can address the new normal. For instance, if your business is a fast-food restaurant, you can make up part of your lost revenue by marketing and selling ready-to-cook items. This would allow your customers to enjoy their favorite fast-food items in the safety of their own homes.
Meanwhile, there has been a decline in the demand for regular chairs and console tables. So if you’re in the furniture business, you can try to market your products as chairs and desks for home offices.
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4. Offer a Digital Version of Your Products and Services
E-commerce has been booming before the pandemic, but has gained more popularity these days. The internet has, in fact, become the savior for numerous businesses in this time of the pandemic. It can be for your business, too.
Selling products on an e-commerce site has, in fact, been apparent not only for retailers but also for service companies. For instance, salons and trainers have received a lot of attention for moving their sessions online. Salons are now offering their products on the internet while providing step-by-step tutorials on how to use them properly as the new normal. Physical trainers, on the other hand, offer their services through paid classes and webinars.
Even wineries are now offering digital versions of their products and services. Some companies host wine tasting events via the web, deliver wines to customer’s homes, and provide online videos of their sommelier to teach them about wine.
5. Invest in Technology and Protection
You’ve seen how technology has played a critical role in ensuring businesses stay afloat in this time of the pandemic. As you prepare to return to the traditional work process, it only makes sense to maximize the use of digital technology.
Implementing digital tools can help your departments have a smooth operation while reducing possible areas of risk. For instance, your sales department can swap the face-to-face client meeting with online video conferencing. This would enable them to still communicate with your clients on a personal level without the risk of exposure. On the other hand, your HR department could utilize talent acquisition software that facilitates online hiring and online interviews.
However, with this leap to digital technology, businesses have been exposed to an increased risk for cyber threats. Surely, the last thing you’d want for your recently opened and thriving business is to suffer a security breach. Something like this could potentially throw your business down the gutter permanently. So, to secure your business against these threats. Consider investing in reliable cybersecurity solutions to help minimize these risks and keep your operations secure down the line.
As enterprises tiptoe toward reopening, business owners take alternative routes and adapt their systems to the new normal. As a business owner, your key to a safe and effective transitioning is to strike a perfect balance between rebuilding and resuming operations and safeguarding your employees.
It’s also necessary to add measures to avoid transmitting the virus and provide more convenient and safe services for your clients. Following the above tips can ensure your business not only survives this pandemic-ridden world but also thrives in the post-COVID-19 era.
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