Is Your Business Ready to Return to “Normal”?
The rollout of vaccinations have brought many businesses the hope of returning to normalcy, to a time before COVID-19 was the driving factor in how they ran their business. However, the reality is, most companies will not be returning to pre-coronavirus operations; the “new” normal is just the norm now. Your team and customers have adapted to the way things are done now, not the way they were done before.
COVID-19 Vaccinations are Being Dispensed
As 2021 starts, the new year brings with it promises of a respite from the coronavirus crisis, which has incontrovertibly changed how the majority of us live our lives. While it is still early days, the vaccinations bring with them the hope for a return to normal, not just in our personal lives, but professionally as well.
If you’re a business owner who had to spend nearly a year adapting to (what was for many organizations) a staggering amount of change, you aren’t alone. As vaccinations roll out, it is understandable to hope that things will return to the way they were.
Here’s the thing—it might be better to not return to normal, in a sense.
We’re not talking about social distancing and keeping tables six feet apart at restaurants. We’re talking about the skills and adjustments we had to take on in order to continue to get through this entire ordeal.
Don’t look at it like going back to normal, look at it as another change: an evolution to your business.
Your Business Will Need to Evolve, Again
To thrive throughout COVID-19, many businesses had to completely change how they operated, particularly in response to social distancing requirements. It shouldn't come as a surprise that many companies do not have the resources available to return to business as usual, even if it was possible to do so.
Not to be discounted is that your customers and your team may not want to return to the ways things were, even if they could. Let's be honest; there is something to be said about working from the comfort of one's own home and having purchases delivered to your front door.
The truth is, if your business managed to not only remain open but even thrive during these challenging times, why would you want to break what’s working? There is a wealth of benefits derived from having a remote workforce and continuing to expand upon your investment in your online presence. These benefits won't disappear thanks to the vaccine.
The reality is it will be many months before enough people have been vaccinated to allow for significant changes to social distancing and mask requirements. For the foreseeable future, most businesses will still need to maintain their practices to fight the spread of COVID-19. However, it doesn't mean these businesses shouldn't begin to plan for the future, because ready or not, there are changes on the horizon.
Develop a Post-Vaccination Plan For Your Business
With so many changes coming, it is understandable that your team and customers may be unsure of what your business is planning on doing. One of the biggest pitfalls a company can face is a failure to manage expectations. By allowing your customers and team to assume you’re going to take one course of action, you set your business up for failure if what is expected doesn’t happen. There is a difference between having to modify your plans due to changes in the environment and not having a plan at all.
Let Your Customers Know What Your Plans Are
With face-to-face interactions still limited for the foreseeable future, it will be challenging to share the type of information your customers will need to determine if your business will be a good fit for their needs. Traditional methods such as word of mouth are significantly reduced due to social distancing. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way: social media can fill the gap created by a lack of face-to-face interactions.
When you put the social into social media, you increase opportunities to connect with and communicate with your clients, existing and new. Social media is currently the most effective method to communicate today, and thanks to social distancing, its value has only increased.
Remote Work is Not Going Anywhere
If your business has thrived for these many months with a good portion of your team working remotely, it’s going to be challenging to make the case against continuing it, and why should you? If you managed to support a remote workforce during COVID-19, you know what works; why disrupt what’s working?
If you’re like most businesses, you have found substantial savings by transitioning to a remote workforce. Most likely, you have seen a reduction in office expenses. If you consider the cost of maintaining your office environment, heating and cooling, lights and water, endless pots of coffee; you can see how having a remote workforce made a difference to your bottom line.
For growing businesses, offering remote or semi-remote options might be a good perk that attracts more talented employees. For some businesses that struggle to find local talent, it also widens your range.
Continue to be Flexible
As a small to medium-sized business, you may not have access to the same resources as a larger enterprise organization. However, you can still be competitive, even during trying times. It’s fair to say that if you learned anything running your business during a pandemic, it is how to think on your feet and adapt to a changing landscape. New challenges are coming, and once again, you will need to rise to the occasion.
Let Directive Help You Plan for the Future
When the pandemic first struck, most businesses had no choice but to do whatever they needed to survive. Developing a plan was secondary to keeping your business open; however, as the landscape changes again, now is the time to make a plan.
We can help you adapt to the new, new normal.
Give us a call at 607.433.2200 and ask how we can help your business continue to operate safely, securely, and effectively.