After experiencing the lockdown period, we can see that our personal life and also businesses have come to a standstill. We don’t know whether life will get back to normal, as we knew it. It is now clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will usher in consequences that will have a long-term impact.
So, for entrepreneurs it’s crucial to sit up and tackle the problem at hand and also plan for the future of your business. And, on hind sight, they need to be prepared for what may follow.
Here are some factors to be considered:
· Communicate proactively
During any crisis, communication is key. Right now, the situation is evolving rapidly, and no one is quite sure what the end is going to be. This is the time to empathize and communicate with customers/clients/employees properly. Let them know the current state of affairs and what steps you will be taking on a daily basis.
At this time, we see the shift has happened to digital. You can implement tech upgrades to keep communication flowing. Online platforms are being used on a massive scale. Whether it is communicating with employees on a WFH mode, or planning with clients, it’s important to plan ahead – to ensure communication lines will remain as efficient as possible. It’s not just phone calls that are being used, so entrepreneurs can consider using video messaging platforms for meetings, interaction – as companies doing today.
- Adapt your business to the current crisis
All over the world, it is a lockdown situation and workplace environment has shifted to a work from home (WFH) mode. Whatever your business maybe, if it follows a face-to-face interaction with clients/customers, this presents a serious threat, particularly in the long run.
So, what is the alternative? The best option is – to get creative and brainstorm different ways so that you can still deliver your service or products to satisfy your internal and external customers/stakeholders. You can think of new methods of delivering your product/service and include some incentives too, that may help you to maintain stability and also stay ahead of competition.
· Pinpoint challenges to your business
One thing is clear – you have to keep your business flowing. So, to keep options open to strategize effectively and implement all action. You can list out all possible challenges your business might face, it’s critical to strategize for a variety of different scenarios, considering all possibilities.
Focus on everything and take into account everything – from maintaining current customers, generating new customers, disruption of supply chains to complications in communication, and tackling competition in your market. Keeping aside your thoughts on how the outbreak will pan out and how it might affect your business, you must put in your best efforts (keeping the worst scenario in mind)!
· Plan solutions for different situations
Keep an eye on the worst scenario, and once you have listed out possible challenges, the time has come to think and develop a number of solutions for each challenge. Yes you must have your Plan Bs in place – to salvage your business.
At this time of uncertainty, you may not be sure how you can use your resources effectively or how to keep the cash-flow constant (and funds are always a problem!). And, yes, to add to all this, it’s quite impossible to accurately predict what’s exactly going to happen. So, it would help if you to brainstorm and work out options – so that you can prepare. You can get any strategizing done carefully, for it will help you to handle problems that may crop up, rather than be caught unawares and unprepared. So, plan for the worst, but put in your best efforts!
· Maintain daily operations – innovatively
If it is not already happening, coronavirus would have disrupted your life and posed a host of concerns – like commuting or travel, communication, manpower and perhaps even supply chains. This is the time to re-imagine business plans, events and brainstorm creative alternatives and solutions.
For instance, if you have meetings lined up from prospective customers or clients, within the restricted environment, you can think of alternatives, such as a Zoom or Skype meeting or a video conferencing session. Yes, it’s a virtual world that we face today and virtual meetings, chats and even events are a reality that we will have to live with.
So, if you are looking for some inspiration, and want to take stock of the situation, the time is now!