Sunday April 12, 2020 - 19:10:47 GMT
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Preparing Your Business for a Kickstart
Your business might be one of the many around the world which are currently experiencing a very challenging time. You may have been forced to close entirely. Alternatively, you might be trying to find ways to continue working with a remote workforce or serving your customers online.
Most small businesses are focusing on trying to survive this awful situation while protecting their team members and customers, but it's not easy. We want to be able to reassure our employees that they will have a job when it's all over, but for many, it's impossible to know for sure.
If you've had to close your doors or limit the services that you can offer, you might be eager to start preparing for the future. You might want to know that your business is ready to get going the second that all this is over, and when you are allowed to relaunch safely.
The only good news is that you've got time. You may have more time than usual, or at least more time at home, alone with your thoughts. Try to see this downtime as an opportunity. Spend some time planning to get things going again, and looking at ways to give your business a great kickstart, once the time comes.
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Enhance Your Own Skills and Knowledge
If you own your own business, you may have become complacent. Many of us, at some point, start to think that we know it all. That we're at the top of our game. If you've had a period of success, you may have started to believe the hype.
This is a mistake. The best business owners and managers never think that they know everything. They are always looking for ways to learn new skills and enhance their knowledge.
This is a great time to develop your own skills and knowledge for your company's good as it moves forward. Look at project management courses at Norwich University, which could help improve your leadership skills, giving you the tools needed to boost your business in the future.
Commit to Staff Training
You may not be able to see your staff members face to face right now. But that doesn't mean that you can't keep in touch. If they are working remotely, but things are slow, get in touch to discuss training needs. Spend some time on staff appraisals using video chat, and ask them what they need to learn. Talk about ways that they can improve and even run group training sessions online. Enroll your team in courses, send them activities and reading material, and invest some of your time in their development.
Reach Out to Your Customers
This isn't necessarily a great time to be advertising all of your services and inundating your customers with constant email marketing campaigns. It might be annoying and perhaps even insensitive.
But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't get in touch with your customers at all. If you are a small business, you may want to reach out personally, or at least with personal social media messages. You can ask how people are, remind them to stay safe, and let them know about any changes that you might have made to your business. You can also stay active on social media with videos and posts. Keep it friendly and personal and be as empathetic as possible.
Plan Some Changes
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It's a great time to make some changes, or at least to prepare them. We rarely get such a break from real life, and if there are any significant changes to your services or brand that you have been considering, a big relaunch could be a fantastic option.
Think about your business, and where you'd like it to be in five years time. Then, think about what you could do now to help you to get there. You could introduce these changes slowly, or offer sneak peeks behind the scenes on social media while things are locked down. This can help to build a buzz and get people excited about your return, which can be more effective than trying to surprise people later on.
Assess the Past
It's also a great chance to look back. What has gone well for you? Where is your business strong? What are its weaknesses? Look at specific campaigns, spend time accessing analytics and income, and comparing different periods and campaigns. You may not usually have the time to take an in-depth look into how things are going, so use this time well.
Start Planning Big Events
We don't know when things are likely to go back to normal. It might be a few weeks, it could be months. If your business is local, you might only need your area to go back to normal, but if you market to the world, you could be waiting for a lot longer. But, we do know that there will be another Christmas. Thanksgiving will come. You'll hopefully be open for another summer and Easter. So, plan for these events and holidays. Think about possible marketing campaigns, and how you can maximize profits.
Don't Be Scared of Changing Direction
We've talked about making changes. But what about a complete change of direction? Are you happy with your business model? Your target audience? Do you appeal to the right people? Are you happy with your website? Do you want to introduce new products or services, or change direction completely?
Don't be scared to make massive changes when it comes to kickstarting your business.
Spend Some time on Branding
Branding can quickly become tired and dated. Spend some time taking a look at yours. Is it still on brand? Is it fashionable? Does it appeal to your target audience? Is it memorable? Does it convey your brand message? Does it stand out? A few small changes can be exceptionally effective, so spend a little time experimenting.
Get Up to Date with Your Admin
If you've been putting admin off for months, or are in the habit of letting it build-up, this is the best time to build better habits, get on top of everything and put in new systems so that things never get out of hand again.
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