How to Prepare Your Business for Post COVID 19 Life
As the world prepares to gradually transition back to life as normal, many find themselves wondering if the pre-COVID 19 ‘normal’ is even possible. After months of uncertainty, fear, and staying home to safe lives, we are now preparing to go back to work, the shops are set to open, and children are likely to return to school. Whether you feel unready, or you are happy to get back to it, the lockdown is lifting.
As a business owner, I have been fortunate to remain relatively unaffected by this worrying time for human health and the global economy thus far. However, I know plenty of businesses that have been hanging on for dear life during the last few months. For many of them, business, as usual, is understandably a welcome move.
One thing is for sure, everyone is wondering what a post-COVID world will look like, and we are slowly finding out. Today I share some ways that you can prepare your business for life post-COVID 19.
Don’t Expect to Revert Back to ‘Normal.’
You cannot expect to revert back to business as usual. Life will not be the same as you knew it before COVID 19. However, there will be a point at which life will begin to adjust to a new normal, whatever that may be. Things are going to change, and that is something we can be sure of. You might not like it at first, and that’s understandable. So long as you don’t expect everything to go back to the way it was, you will limit your disappointment. Collectively, we must embrace the lessons learned during what was the strangest of times in recent human history.
During transitional times in both business and life remember:
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
-John C. Maxwell
Appreciate Your Team
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how important people are to us. The power of human connection to shape our everyday life has been startlingly obvious in its absence. These connections extend to both our personal and professional lives.
When looking at your business, it is your employees who need to come first. Consider their worries and reservations about coming back to work and make sure that you address them. I have said it once, and I’ll say it again, workplace well-being is always important, and even more so now.
Understand that people will still be dealing with childcare issues, they may be worrying about sick relatives, or they may be struggling financially. Be aware of what issues your team is facing, and don’t expect the productivity and commitment you are used to just yet. Allow people the time to adjust and to adapt. Consider creating a resource to help your employees transition back to work, and always keep the channels of communication open.
While the competition will also be looking to make an impact and be noticed, you need to do the same and do it better. Even though it might not be a reality now, it’s okay to plan for your eventual return to the networking scene. Planning a fantastic modular exhibition stand for when you attend your first post-COVID-19 trade show, is a great place to start. Just like the “before times”, they can be used to create offers and introduce new products or services.
It’s still important to be sensitive to the situation, though, and not to look like you are capitalizing on it. For example, make sure you consider any marketing materials carefully, don’t use images of crowds, and while you can certainly offer services to help people with the ‘new normal,’ make sure you market it in that way. Think about your customers rather than yourself.
You might also consider keeping hand sanitizer on your stand, and wearing a mask if you have access to one. It might feel off-putting, but by wearing a mask, you are protecting others. If you are nervous, consider making a sign to explain why you are wearing a mask in the first place.
Make the Most of Technology
There is so much data available to you, so use it to find out what the new trends are, practice social listening to find out what people are talking about on social media and find out what people are searching for in search engines. After such a unique time in our collective history, trends will be transforming more than ever. There will likely be some surprises for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Take the time to look back at what you were doing before this all started. What was working and what wasn’t? Are you just going to continue as you were, or is it time for a change in your business?
As many others will be changing and the world has changed, then perhaps you need to also. Reverting back to the first point in this post, our old perception of normal is completely out of the window. With the right mindset, this could represent a new and exciting time for your business.
Whatever the future holds, things are going to continue changing. So if you do have plans in place, try to stay flexible during this transition. You should be able to move or change them as and when required.
Finally, I would like to take this time to remind you to reflect on your health and well-being. Both trauma and stress fall on a continuum, and COVID 19 has been a collective trauma/stressor on multiple levels. As you provide time for your employees to transition back to work, please also be compassionate with yourself in this regard.
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
― Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
Thank you for spending some of your precious time in my online abode today 🙂
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