This is the second in a series of email messages on managing your small business in the time of the pandemic. Today, we’re focusing on tips that can help you position your business to be successful despite the uncertainty of future conditions.
Tip 4: Get Ahead of the Change
Now and in the days and months to come everything will be changing: products, services, pricing, delivery, staffing — your whole business could change. The question is: are you prepared to stay ahead of the changes to come during the pandemic?
Change is always uncomfortable. Change is hard because we naturally resist it. Here are two actions you can take to overcome resistance to change and position your business to lead and succeed:
- Act now – Don’t wait for things to stabilize in the business environment. Stay on the leading edge, ahead of changes. This means making plans in unstable conditions. You’ll need to base your decisions on current facts, with the understanding that two days later you may need to pivot again.
- Break it – There are no rules, whatever you’ve been doing to be successful in the past has to be open for discussion. If what you did is not what people need now, how will change that model to deliver what people need now.
Tip 5: Make Operational Changes
As small businesses, we have an advantage in responding to change: less people and fewer moving parts allows us to pivot faster when it comes to operational changes. These are items you will have to do differently:
- Meetings and reporting – how often will you meet with staff, how will your staff report to you, how are you tracking workflow
- Customer service – how will you and your staff engage with customers
- Banking and mail – if you are transitioning to remote workplaces, who is responsible for processing mail deliveries
- Communications – do you need new tools to facilitate communication between remote workers, do you need to explore new marketing communications platforms like email marketing and text messaging
Tip 6: Leverage Technology
Are you currently using technology to pivot your business to succeed in the changing environment? It’s critically important to have these tools in place and everyone trained to use them to avoid business interruption:
- Electronic customer and order tracking
- VOIP or other software tools to facilitate incoming and outgoing calls
- Shared document storage platforms that enable you to exchange digital files and work collaboratively on documents with vendors and team members working remotely
- Electronic signature software for agreements and contracts
YOUR CHALLENGE: Accept and adjust to the new normal to be successful. Things are changing daily. We don’t have to like it, but we do have to be quick, be nimble, and be decisive in charting a new course.
If you would like a complimentary coaching session during this pandemic or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-739-3079. Let’s work together to help your business grow.