The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world totally. New ways of working are suddenly emerging. Giving up old ways of working in favor of new, more streamlined alternatives. Change has happened and how!
At a stroke, we have got fast-tracked to a ’new normal’! Of course, we still hope for everything to get back to normal as soon as possible. But the reality is – it’s a ’new normal’ now. The world will not be the same as before. In ’new normal’ we are learning new habits and skills.
The shock of COVID-19 ushers in a next wave. Suddenly, everything has changed. The time to make the switch is now. There are no two ways about it. Now is the time for all small businesses to go online.
And, as the pandemic sweeps in new ways of digitally-connected working, here are some of the big changes that have swept into business. We now have no choice but to adopt!
• Remote digital teamwork becomes the norm
Suddenly, companies have taken up working remotely, or working from home (WFH). True, we had been following this earlier too, along with video conferencing (which got started before the turn of the century); and email dates back even further.
Suddenly, working from home is the mainstream choice and we are all learning the etiquette of video team calls and how to balance work-domestic deadlines and demands. Professionals are joining Microsoft Teams or joining web conference calls on Zoom or Google Hangouts – these are forming habits that will last.
• Stay engaged with customers digitally
You could stay engaged with customers, monitor how they were using the products or services, and then make improvements. This goes beyond customer satisfaction or experience at the time of purchase. Through digital connection, real-time analysis and dynamic teamwork, the focus is on understanding what the customer wants to achieve. By engaging — know what success means for your customers, monitoring — measure whether they’re experiencing success and improving — finding ways your business, product or service can help them be even more successful.
• Everything has gone ‘Virtual’
Conferences go virtual, meetings go virtual and there are virtual lunches, parties; we have webinars, e-conclaves and so on. Suddenly virtual events are the rage because travel and large gatherings have been abruptly stopped. Events planned since early March have either been put off or switched to online — with varying degrees of success.
Everyone is now trying to make a success of virtual events — because there’s no alternative. People will learn from each other’s experiences.
• Time to review your business model
Again, with more time on our hands, it’s a great opportunity to stop, reflect and reinvent. COVID19 may present companies with an opportunity to be truly objective about their business model, and review it to suit the ’new normal’. This will ensure we maintain a culture of experimentation and move forward. Your business might emerge out of this with a stronger business model, or a clearer vision.
the time has arrived for small businesses to take a call. The world has changed in a few short weeks. And, however much we may want to return to the ‘normal’ we knew, it’s a ’new normal’ now.