COVID-19 changed so many things about the way we do business from how we serve customers to where we source our raw materials.
Some of these changes have been accelerated due to the pandemic like working from home and cultivating resilience. Others are making us think more about empathy and how we treat our customers and employees.
The important topics of diversity and inclusion gained additional exposure because of last year, and because of this, some of these changes will become permanent in how we do business.
It has been over a year since health officials started tracking COVID-19. It is time to ask questions about how the pandemic has permanently changed business. Let’s explore these four business questions during COVID to see if your business is on the right track.
Business questions during COVID
What are the opportunities for my business?
This is the time your team should be looking for the opportunities your business can embrace as we move forward in this pandemic. There will always be opportunities if you take the time to brainstorm and explore the possibilities. It is always best to be proactive instead of reactive.
Even if you own a travel related business, there are opportunities. Promote trips to new areas and destinations that are less traveled. Without large crowds, you can provide a once in a lifetime experience that your customer will remember forever. They will then share this experience with their friends and family. When more people return to travel, your company will come to the forefront of places that offer amazing experiences.
Some ideas that started as reactionary may become the norm. Maybe your restaurant didn’t do a large takeout business before the pandemic or you didn’t offer outdoor seating.
These options may become a larger percentage of your business once things return to normal. Your customers may have changed how they prefer to interact with your business which has created this new opportunity for a different or additional income source.
Have I laid the groundwork for recovery?
Because most of us had no idea COVID-19 was around the corner, we became reactionary. Now that we’ve been working in pandemic mode for the past year, it’s time to start thinking about how things will permanently change and what business as normal will look like.
Begin by mapping out the next year. Review or build a new strategic plan. Look at your marketing and advertising budgets and messages. What do your employees and customers need? How do you bring new customers into your business? Is demand different for your products and how does this affect your revenue strings.
How will my business operate in the future?
Business is going to change because of the pandemic. It is our responsibility as leaders to help our businesses become more agile and resilient. We can do this by:
Focusing on small wins and incremental change
Identifying new and emerging needs
Reviewing business processes to see what worked and what improvements can be made
Some businesses will come out of the pandemic even stronger. Your job as a business leader is to build your company into one which is flexible and agile. One that will adapt and change business strategies to meet the ever-changing world in which we live.
What will my competition look like?
Businesses that are able to adapt quickly to the changing world will outperform their competitors. Bain & Company call this Change Power. Change Power can be measured across industries and regions. Those with more of it report higher levels of growth, profitability and employee satisfaction in comparison with their competitors.
The pandemic has made us all look at our businesses more closely over the past year. Many of us were just trying to survive, but now it is time to move forward and thrive. By asking these four business questions during COVID, you can help your business move past the pandemic and be more agile for the future.
We know you wear a lot of different hats as a small business owner. We can help you review your current business practices and plan for the future. Outlook Business Solutions offers an array of marketing and sales services from strategy planning to copywriting and public relations. We’re here to help you grow your business and inspire your customers.