Ahead of the Pandemic: The Best Strategies to Warm Boot Your Business
The world has been newly divided into BC (Before Coronavirus) and AC (After Coronavirus).
In the past few months around the world, construction has all but ground to a halt, restaurants have shut their doors, and malls have dimmed their lights. It was a scene hitherto seen solely in apocalypse movies.
Only now are we beginning to inch outside our homes to kick our work into gear again.
As we edge into the era of AC (After Coronavirus), businesses will need to figure out how they will chug to a start. How, and when, does one reboot a business in unprecedented circumstances, with an uncertain future?
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This is a mammoth task and cannot be undertaken all at once; businesses would buckle under the strain. Instead, the smart way to reboot is to focus on the areas that can be successful, going through the virtual steps before the physical ones.
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- Business leaders should chart out a strategy to guide procedures, so that employees know exactly what to do, how to do it, and remain safe. Everything from plans to practices to guidelines should be made clear and accessible.
- Build on or create virtual infrastructure for work (both remote and office) to continue smoothly. This includes new or updated software and hardware. It is worth investing in a robust video conferencing tool.
- Complete tasks that can be done remotely.
- Encourage, reassure, and inspire your employees through video calls and emails. Remain composed, polite, and calm.
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It is a wise decision to not call your employees to the office until it is safe to do so. Once you have determined that it is, you can undertake the following:
- Prepare your office with screens, sanitizers at every desk, infrared thermometers, and policies such as sanitizing door handles every hour and sanitizing hands before entering. Provide your employees with masks if they cannot obtain them themselves, and ensure social distancing.
- Start with caution, allowing only a few of your employees in at first. If they feel safe and the work carries on as usual, you can allow more employees to join in.
- Determine whether all employees are required at the office. Allow them to work from home if it is a viable option.
Future-Proofing Your Business
Prepare business continuity plans, taking into account what has already changed and what may happen in the future.
It is no longer viable to be unprepared for another global shakeup like this one. Launch new services or products if you must, and train your workforce to be adaptable and resilient.
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Your business should be resilient and not fuss over yesterday's achievements. Keep looking to the future. Ask yourself these questions:
- How will your business adapt in case of another pandemic or natural disaster?
- How quickly can you shift priorities in case demand surges or changes for a certain service or product?
- What alternate business models suit your business to maintain cash flows, both currently and in the future?
- What are you doing to adjust to the "new normal"?
- Diversify. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Keep innovating, experiment with different business models, and invest in businesses you think are worth it.
- Invest in technology such as cloud services, data analytics, experience design, and product development.
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