The COVID-19 pandemic has been a life-changing event for all our businesses and agencies. It has left businesses and agencies scrambling to pivot, while others have been forced to shut down entirely. If businesses have learned anything throughout 2020, it is that major changes could happen anytime and being well prepared is a crucial aspect for survival.
The question that remains at the forefront of every business leaders’ mind is: How do I keep my business on track or even afloat in 2021?
Now that 2020 has come to a close, here are five ways for businesses to prepare for what lies ahead in 2021:
Embracing Flexible Work
Remote working is here to stay
Level Up Communication
Everyone can agree that communication is the key to success. Whether you’re having a meeting or pitching an idea, communication is at the forefront of the workplace. However, the pandemic has effectively made large face-to-face meetings unfeasible. Working from home—at least on some days—is here to stay, and businesses need to be able to find a way to effectively engage with their employees remotely.
This could mean improving internal communications strategies to prioritize employee relations, or encouraging continuous engagement. Employers should also frequently communicate with their staff virtually through video-conferencing and online messaging. Employers could also consider investing in online tools and technologies to boost staff productivity and efficiency.
Strengthen Customer Partnerships
All businesses have clients that they need to serve, and the pandemic has forced a re-thinking of what client care means. COVID-19 has overwhelmed lives and livelihoods around the globe, bringing about pervasive uncertainty, and a sustained attention to health. This has also led to a different way in which clients interact with businesses and vice-versa. Thus, companies have to understand consumer trends and patterns that will endure in the long term. To begin with, health and wellbeing is an immediate concern, and it is important for businesses, especially ones requiring face to face interaction, to build that into their customer experience.
For example, many businesses have implemented contactless commerce solutions to promote safety throughout their physical locations—a move critical for putting their customers at ease.
Digital Transformation Is Already Here
Although “digital transformation” has been a buzzword for the past few years, COVID-19 has sped up the process significantly. To survive and thrive in the post-pandemic world, businesses have to constantly stay atop technological trends, or at least, move online.
This is evident from the wave of home-based online businesses that have boomed during the pandemic. From home bakers to collagen soup, enterprising individuals have capitalized on the digital shift to market their products, and have been extremely successful in doing so.
The pandemic has also accelerated the growth of online-based services, such as telemedicine, which saw a spike in demand since COVID-19 hit. On the flip side, businesses that have failed to move online quickly have struggled, and will continue to struggle, to maintain their client base.
Researching the Future
If there’s one thing businesses and individuals have learned from the events of 2020, it is that a detailed plan to mitigate crises is critical to their success. In the event of a crisis, immediate action is what’s required to protect mid- and long-term results. To be able to do so, organizations require a plan that addresses: employee well-being, brand reputation, financial management, supply chain availability and customer satisfaction. As a start, businesses can begin to review what they have had to do to survive in 2020— what worked and what did not, and what business leaders can do differently. Looking at how competitors are reacting and pivoting can also be a good way to glean insights on how the industry might change, and how to adapt the business to take advantage of the changes.
Another strategy can be to relook at professional training, ensuring that employees are better positioned to take on new roles and responsibilities as the business adapts to change.
The Road to Recovery
It has been a challenging year for businesses, but the only way to move forward is to transform your business practices to be ready for any future challenges that might occur.