15 May The Business Bounce Back Plan You Need Post-Pandemic
It seems nearly every industry took a hit in some way or another during the COVID-19 crisis, especially during April. As the state of Texas begins to reopen in phases, we have been assessing what steps businesses – especially those with unique specialties that either had to close or cut hours due to self-isolation protocols – can do as they prepare to take things back to the new normal.
Communication is Key.
One thing that we learned during this time is that many companies struggled with being able to meet the demand of questions they were getting while trying to crisis manage the actual business operations. We have come up with a few tips for making communication a high priority in your business.
- INVEST in communication. Does your business have someone who regularly updates the Google listing and website, social media accounts, and/or sends out mass emails? If the answer is no, then you may need to think about hiring a person or marketing firm to handle this side of things. Although it may seem like it should be on the bottom of your list of priorities, your clients/customers will look at your social media accounts, website, and Google listing regularly during times of panic. Make sure you are consistently addressing the changes in policy, hours, and national mandates that could affect your business.
- Are you familiar with Chatbots? These easily customizable automations are available 24/7 on your website to field your most commonly asked questions. Not only will this reduce the amount of phone traffic your business has, but it will allow for your website visitors to get their questions answered quickly.
- If you are a medical practice and don’t have telemedicine already, get on board now. Many practices had not started telemedicine until self-isolation protocols made it an essential part of their business. With many people still staying at home, keeping this as a part of your business will only help you.
- Reduce person-to-person contact where (and if) you can. Does your business have online scheduling? Online payments? Two-way texting? These may be some strategies to use moving forward.
- Don’t forget about your employees! We know that as a business owner, you care about your employees and their ability to perform their job, but something you should also consider is how this is going to affect them (and yourself) in the long term. This is the first time in many people’s lifetimes that something like COVID-19 has happened, so it is not surprising that many are experiencing uncommon levels of anxiety, stress, and even PTSD. Now more than ever, it is crucial to check in on yourself and staff to make sure needs – emotional, physical, or otherwise – are being met.
Review What You Have Learned.
The sad truth is, no one knows how long it is going to take to recover from the economic blow that the entire country faced this year. What we do know is that now more than ever, we all need to assess how successful we were in dealing with all the implications that came with it. Did you have an adequate amount of resources and capital to sustain your business if it remained open? Did you have any set disaster plan in place? Were you able to effectively communicate changes in your business to your clients/customers?
These are only some of the questions you should be asking yourself as you prepare to reopen or return to regular hours. While some of these can be easy to answer from a business owner’s perspective, others will inevitably arise along the way that you may require some assistance.
For example, a great way to determine if your client/customer communications strategy was effective is to create or revamp your feedback processes. One great way to do this is either having an in-person or email survey given to customers where they can provide insight into how informed they felt during this time. Assess questions like:
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how well did we communicate with you about changed hours or availability?
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how well did we communicate with you about changes in services offered?
- Are there any things we could have done to help you stay informed?
“We Have Always Done It This Way” No Longer Applies.
The world is not the same as it was six months or even two weeks ago. The only way to ensure the long-term success of your business is to rethink each strategy you already had in place and create a contingency plan for future disasters. Get your finances in order, cut your losses, and essentially start from scratch.
When something like a pandemic hits, you don’t want to get caught on your heels. Use this time to assess your business operations and make appropriate changes and plan ahead. If you need assistance in developing a business plan, the team at Life in Motion offers consulting services to help you create the right strategy for your unique services. Contact a team member today by visiting lifeinmotion.com or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.