COVID-19: Adapting Your Business

3 Apr, 2020

In order to overcome the economic challenges ahead, many businesses have been thinking up new ways to adapt in order to survive this period of uncertainty.

Recently we’ve seen pubs and restaurants offering a takeaway and delivery service, osteopaths doing video consultations and gyms offering online classes.  But it’s not just been changes to services.  Others have simply adapted their marketing technique like offering comfortable ‘working from home’ clothes that also look great on a conference call or camping equipment… for the indoors.

It’s no secret that in business, change is unavoidable and it’s those businesses who adapt to change who are more likely to survive.

How can you adapt to change?

1. Become delivery friendly

Like the pub and restaurant trade, can you adapt your business to offer delivery? It doesn’t have to through a courier company.  The Royal Mail is classed as an essential service so are operating as normal or maybe you can do some local drop offs?

2. Embrace technology

Most businesses will already have an online presence and be embracing technology to some extent but could you go further? If you usually rely on customers physically coming to your premises could you video call them or record video content for them to access? If this is the case, your online presence will be important in letting both new and existing customers know you’re still operating so make sure you’re active on social media and sending regular news updates by email.

Whatever you decide, make sure your team have all the necessary equipment in place.

We’ve been embracing technology ourselves to ensure we can operate ‘business as usual’.  Our entire team are able to work remotely and are offering support to our clients by both phone and email.  We’ve also set up our assessors to carry out remote auditing and support visits.

3. Work with other businesses

We’ve previously discussed the importance of businesses working together in order to overcome the current economic and health challenges posed by coronavirus.  Could you team up with another company to adapt your business? Or share information to help you better plan for change?

4. Don’t neglect your suppliers

You’re not alone.  We’re all struggling with the effects of COVID-19 which is why it is vital for businesses to work together and adapt to the current climate.  Don’t ruin the relationships you have spent time building by just cancelling payments to your suppliers.  They’re relying on you too. Instead, talk to them and negotiate payment terms.  You will need them just as much as they need you when we’re on the other side of this.

5. Look after your team whether they’re working or not

Working from home can pose many challenges; lack of motivation, working too much, loneliness, communication issues, interruptions from the family or pets… the list goes on.

We’ve been providing our team with tips for working from home and looking after their wellbeing and thinking up new ways to keep morale up like a Friday quiz and fancy dress for our morning video chats.

If you’re unable to continue to offer work to your employees, furlough them.  The Government actively wants businesses to support employees in order to keep the economy going.  Not only does this avoid making redundancies, you can be confident that you’ll have experienced workers ready to return as son as possible and allows you to better plan ahead.

6. Adapt your marketing

If you have a product or service that could be of use during the outbreak or if you’ve adapted your services, make sure your marketing reflects this.  This lets both new and existing customers know you’re still there.

With more people spending time online, it’s really important that you increase your online presence.  Spend more time on your social media channels and make sure you have the correct call to actions that signpost customers to the relevant pages of your website.  Take this time to improve your website performance and fully analyse and monitor your market; what are your customers looking at? Can you analyse trends for the future? Are there any barriers on your website?

7. Plan ahead

Make sure you have a strategy in place to not only survive this current period but for what’s going to happen afterward.  Whilst the economic shock should at least be temporary, don’t assume that things will just go back to normal.  Things will change. It’s worth identifying what challenges you could face as and your solutions to each so you’re better prepared for what is to come.

Whilst none of us can predict the future, it is important not to give up but instead remain as adaptable and as flexible as we can in order to survive.

ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.

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