Improve resilience to ensure success after lockdown
The vast majority of businesses can’t continue to operate as they did before COVID-19 and expect everything to be OK. You cannot afford to simply ‘batten down the hatches’, cut costs wherever you can and wait for things to pass.
Business has changed forever and for you to survive and prosper you must adapt.
From our expertise as productivity and systems specialists, as well as owners of a small business ourselves, we have pulled together some thoughts on what you can do to improve your business' resilience to ensure success after lockdown.
To make your business more resilient and prosperous it will be important to revisit your business model and implement changes to reflect the new trading environment. Based on the consumer and market trends, forecast to emerge as we exit lockdown, you may wish to consider the following:
Can you provide at least a proportion of your goods / services digitally? This might be through a new ecommerce platform or website. Or alternatively, opening access to your services via a customer portal. In the post-COVID-19 world, customers will be more receptive to digital purchases (both B2C and B2B). Several businesses we work with have already introduced online training and education services as part of their existing offer and are now selling these across the globe.
Less reliance on new business
Acquiring new customers will be harder as we emerge from lockdown. And if you rely on winning new work every month just to cover overheads, then it is time to rethink your model. Developing stronger, more profitable relationships with existing customers might be the answer. If you haven’t already, now is time to look at your CRM strategy and CRM systems to help you nurture relationships and sell more to existing customers.
Another answer is to generate regular, recurring income in addition to your existing activity. This can be through retainers, service / maintenance packages and even product bundles. With the right offer it can be applicable for all types of business sector. You only need to look at the success of Amazon Prime, to see how profitable adding recurring income streams can be (source).
The impact COVID-19 has made on personal and business finances will mean customer motivations, pain points and buying criteria will all have significantly altered. As a result, it may be necessary for you to re-evaluate your value proposition:
Make it relevant
Does your value proposition address the likely new pain points your customers will have? Themes such as reliability, security and efficiency are likely to have a greater resonance with customers than they did in the past. You only need to watch 10 minutes of commercial television to see how major brands across all business sectors are positioning themselves in this way.
Look for new opportunities
As with any major environmental change there will be opportunities for those who can identify and act quickly. Are there elements of your existing service or product offer that can be re-positioned to capture new areas of demand? For example, many business premises as they re-open will be procuring additional services such as office re-fits, health and safety consultancy, training and education, new systems to support remote working etc. Are there opportunities for your business?
Review your marketing channels
During lockdown your marketing spend may have reduced to zero, but as we all emerge you need to think how you will now reach target audiences. Some of your existing marketing channels may no longer be relevant while there will be new ones you should explore. But before making any decisions around channels, focus first on your value proposition and any new opportunities that might exist in the market. These will influence the most appropriate channels to pursue.
Process and operations
Maximising the efficiency of your processes and operations will be critical to making your business more resilient and prosperous after lockdown. The ability to do more with less within your business gives you a solid platform to rebuild demand and grow in a sustainable way. The following are some areas you should consider:
The COVID-19 crisis exposed the volatility and fragility of many supply chains. Businesses who were over-reliant on single suppliers or with limited control of their supply chain put themselves at risk. Now is a good time to look again at your supply chain. Can you bring it closer? Can you spread supply across multiple suppliers? The ability to do these things will mitigate against future risk.
Optimising process will allow you to do more with less and therefore deliver improvement in productivity. Now is an excellent time to map your business processes and identify areas for improvement. If you need help on how to create a process map why not take a look at our short tutorial here.
Do you have the necessary systems to deliver the operational efficiencies you need to achieve? Do you need tools to improve collaboration between colleagues, CRM software to improve the value of existing relationships and better track new business opportunities; or a project management tool to optimise your service / product delivery? Unfortunately, using spreadsheets and email to run your business operations is probably no longer appropriate in the post-COVID-19 world.
Time to do more with less
The COVID-19 crisis has presented you in a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform your business into something more resilient, productive and profitable. You now need to do more with less.We have the expertise and the software platform to help you. So, if you would like to discuss how we can help your business improve productivity, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can do so by calling the office on 01772 823734 or by visiting our online enquiry form.