The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world in so many ways, and businesses have needed to adapt in a number of ways to stay operational. Many businesses have had to temporarily close their doors owing to the negative impacts of the pandemic. On the other hand, many businesses have fought tooth and nail to survive amidst this global pandemic.
Now we’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and there is talk of restrictions easing. However, businesses should be careful not to be complacent in seeing this as a return to “normal”. We must remember that many of the changes that occurred during lockdown were not temporary but will have a long-lasting effect on how a business functions.
Now that the restrictions are easing off, businesses need to re-evaluate how they will bring themselves out in the market in this new normal. There will involve not only functional changes but tools and systems and structural changes as well.
Review Work Models
During the pandemic, many businesses have moved to a remote work model. That is why when a business reopens after the pandemic, one of the first thing they need to do is review is whether they will continue with remote work, bring their staff back to the office, or a combination of the two.
Businesses should consider that their employees’ personal situations may very well have changed over the course of the pandemic and they need to provide workable solutions for everyone. They may need to introduce new policies depending on the current situation.
Be Prepared for Crises
Over the past year, businesses had to go through many crises and taking stock is necessary before you move forward with a new plan. It is essential that the new plan sets you up to be prepared for whatever crisis may be just around the corner.
Although restrictions are easing now, the past year has shown us that they may be re-introduced at any time. Therefore, your business must have plans in place to rapidly and effectively respond if this happens without threatening your operations.
Identify Scope of Failure
Businesses need to keep in mind that even though they have had more than a year to understand this situation, they could still fail. You might come up with different contingency plans to make your business survive. However, there can be drastic changes that could lead to the failure of those plans.
That is why you need to have backup plans that will lessen the blow. Develop plans that would help you continue your business as smoothly as possible. You need to take into consideration the past failures and the pain points that you have identified. Above all, make sure you are in a position to be flexible – that way, you’ll be able to deal with anything that life throws at you.
Ensure Proper Communication
Communication with your staff and stakeholders is essential once you decide to reopen your business in the context of the pandemic. Even if restrictions are being eased, your business will go through a lot of changes. Your employees and stakeholders are the two main pillars of your business, and they must be kept in the loop.
These two groups need to be assured that they are protected from ongoing mishaps. You will need to enhance your leadership role and look after your staff, customers, and others associated with your business.
Be sure to keep the communication consistent so that people know everything you plan on doing. Even if your organization has suffered losses during the pandemic, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to let your staff go. You may be able to find solutions your staff can keep their jobs while helping to get your business back on track.
Keep Track of Other Risks
COVID-19 might be the only threat on your mind at the moment, but there are other risks to consider as well. Your business is vulnerable to many threats such as cyber theft, aggressive competition, market changes, and more. Don’t let COVID consume you to the point that you overlook the other threats facing your business.
You need to prepare your business and put yourself in a position to withstand various threats. Prepare your staff in the same way and emphasize different areas that need to be considered. Make sure you have proper contingency plans in place to deal with each threat.
A business needs to protect their greatest assets: their people. During the pandemic, many businesses have suffered huge losses and had to let go of staff members. However, with the ease of restrictions, businesses are slowly building up to return to their former self.
The pandemic has changed the business landscape, perhaps forever. It is important for companies to consider these changes and be adaptable to sustain their business in the long run.
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.