5 Tips to Strengthen Your Business After the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a strange and challenging time. Many businesses have struggled for well over a year, but things are starting to turn around and slowly are returning to normal. The increase of vaccinations gives us a glimmer of security and hope. Small businesses are finally seeing an uptick in business and can hopefully make up for some lost time with the upcoming holidays. Consumers are ready to get back out and spend money, and hopefully will do so at local small businesses this year. 

But small businesses were also directly impacted by the pandemic. Some didn’t survive; others are returning but far from their potential. The good news is that there are ways to strengthen your business—either to recover from the difficult past year or to adapt it to the so-called “new normal.”

A post-pandemic economy is starting to take shape, and you have an opportunity to rethink your business and your strategies. Here are some steps to strengthen your business throughout 2021.

Be Health Conscious

COVID-19 proved to us that many of our hygiene habits weren’t as effective as we thought. Now, whether you have customers coming in and out every day or running a private office, you need to be aware of these health concerns to ensure safety. After all, showing that you are conscious of everyone’s wellbeing will help your business’s morale rise and make everyone at ease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prepared a manual of rules on how to proceed in the “new normal.” Briefly, it will be mandatory to promote the following practices:

  • Wash your hands frequently or disinfect them with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Provide training and education on health rules for employees.
  • Maintain physical distance from other people, even at work meetings.
  • Wear a mask in unventilated environments or where social distance isn’t possible. Or at least adopt strict respiratory hygiene, such as covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Assign all employees cleaning tasks for their work areas at the beginning and end of shifts.
  • Hire a specialized company to perform a thorough cleaning periodically.
  • Require employees who are sick or with symptoms to remain at home and self-isolate.

Use Your Network

If you are experiencing difficulties reopening or staying open, be aware that you’re not alone. Many businesses are experiencing similar struggles. It can be the perfect time to forget about things like competition and strengthen contact with your network, asking advice, and sharing resources with other businesses.

There are cases of entrepreneurs who chose to remain closed but gave away their trained employees to work temporarily in companies in the same field. You can also take advantage of the reopening to join forces with other businesses and create something like a special deal offering to give customers more bang for their buck and entice them to spend. Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce as they may have other ideas.

There’s a Need to Connect

Customers and many employees have been stuck inside this past year and are dying to socialize. Take advantage of this opportunity to forge stronger business relationships with clients by offering genuine conversation. Keep your digital channels, but know that many customers will be desperate to hit the streets and be served in person.

Train employees to accommodate this need and pay more attention to customers, whether in person or over the phone. This may be even more necessary with elderly clients, who were forced to learn to deal with digital practices during the lockdown and are now eager to return to human contact.

Take the time to talk with customers and listen to their stories of resilience. You can even promote social events (respecting your state’s social distancing guidelines) to attract old customers back and maybe win some new ones.

Have a Strong Online Presence

Despite the item above, remember that many people still don’t intend to immediately resume social contact either because they were not vaccinated or simply aren’t prepared for it. The pandemic has promoted an exponential increase in client’s dependence on technologies, so you must continue to offer your services in a customer-friendly way using the internet.

Having a strong online presence can also help you reach new potential customers. Here are some ways to stay digitally relevant:

  • Create or update your business profiles on all major social networks.
  • Create a new business website or blog.
  • Be sure to answer all user comments, even the negative ones.
  • When you have promotions or offers, promote them through lives or other digital actions.
  • Publish quality content targeted to your audience.
  • Offer e-commerce beyond face-to-face sales.

Fix What Failed

We all hope never to experience a pandemic again, but it’s better to be prepared and to have peace of mind in case. Learn from the mistakes you’ve made and all the unexpected challenges you’ve had along the way so that you can face them more quickly and conveniently if it ever becomes necessary again.

It is a good time to review your need for insurance coverage, looking for policies such as professional liability insurance. Who needs professional liability insurance? If your business provides services or advice to clients, it’s important to have this coverage if a client sues you alleging errors, omissions, or negligence in your services.

Take the opportunity to fix anything that may have been suspended during the lockdown. Strengthen supply chains or personnel structuring that may have been strained. Finally, remember the recession caused by COVID-19 and think of ways to diversify your revenue streams so that you won’t be surprised again in the future.

The New Normal Brings Opportunities

COVID-19 is on its way to being just a bad memory, and it’s time to rebuild. Who knows, you might even use the opportunity to change some of your processes and services, investing more in online sales or social media presence than you did before.

As is well known, one of the great qualities of successful entrepreneurs is adaptability. They can see opportunities to diversify their business and remain relevant even in times of great difficulty. So if you manage to adapt to the new normal, there will certainly be no lack of opportunities for your business to grow.

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Big Easy Magazine

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