How Will You Do Business in a Post-Pandemic World?
Today we’re going to talk about, well, tomorrow. Namely, a time when the coronavirus recedes into our rearview mirror and we can all take a deep, confident mask-free breath.
It may be hard to think about what the world might look like when COVID-19 and its impact isn’t the dominant topic of every newsfeed, and personal and professional consideration, but that day will come. And when it does, we’ll all be asking ourselves how we’ll do business in a post-pandemic world.
The good news is that even if the end of the pandemic feels like a long ways away, there is much you can do now to prepare for success in an environment that will most definitely be different—but certainly not without potential. To harness it, you’ll need to be prepared—and all preparation begins with… you guessed it: a plan.
How can you plan for the unknown? There are plenty of hints out there about how the world will operate when everything is completely open for business. You just have to know where to look.
To start, consider how your customers or clients are currently operating. Are they accessing your product or service in the same way they always have, or has your delivery method shifted? For example, if your business is technology-based, you may find that not much has changed. But if it typically relies on human interaction, you may find yourself implementing a very different model than you did a handful of months ago.
At Advantage|Forbes, we’ve talked to physicians and dentists who have gone virtual, trading in routine office visits for tele-health exams, executive coaches who have moved all meetings online, and countless other business owners that have opted to provide their product via delivery or contactless pickup. They have moved office-based teams into their respective homes in droves, and kept them there even in states where things have begun to open back up. Why? Many of them are finding that what they believed to be temporary solutions have actually been a boon in terms of efficiency, productivity and cost savings. And, even better, customers and clients prefer them. Moreover, even when they can return to “normal,” chances are they won’t want to.
Of course, though, there are things about pre-pandemic life that we all miss—with face-to-face interactions topping the list for many of us. With that in mind, it’s important to think about what to hold on to and what to strip from your strategy. To do that, you’ll have to do a little market research, starting with your best buyers.
To begin, ask them what they want and need. How do they anticipate their lives—or businesses—looking after this is all over, and how will your product or service fit into the flow? Do they want you to continue delivering your product line in a frictionless fashion, or is it more important for them to be able to come into your facility for a real sit-down to discuss what they need and view the options in person? Does your solution lie in providing the best of both worlds, offering virtual visits alongside opportunities for physical interaction? Or is the right option something you haven’t yet explored?
For further insight, look to what your competitors are doing. How are they reaching customers and clients today—and can you glean any insights about what they may do tomorrow as well? In addition, make sure to scan the horizon for new operations that see potential in the current climate and beyond.
Keep in mind too that it’s not just about providing customers and clients with what they want—this is an also an opportunity to capitalize on all you’ve learned as you’ve navigated the undoubtedly rough seas this pandemic has provided. While we are certainly hopeful that we won’t face the same kind of monumental challenges in the near future, this is a great time to ensure your business is shored up as best as possible—and thus able to weather other storms that may come its way.
Use what you’ve learned to get your ducks in order to manage your business in a manner that meets both your and your customers’ needs. Then, ask yourself what the future may hold and how you would handle whatever comes up.
Do you have a concrete game plan, built with those potential circumstances in mind? Are you adaptable to change, as evidenced by the pandemic and the shifts you’ve enacted to address its myriad obstacles? Can your business handle the unexpected if something you couldn’t possibly anticipate were to arise? If the answer is yes, chances are you’re ready to play in a post-pandemic world. And if not, you may just have some more thinking to do. Need a little support? Our free COVID-19 resources are only a click away…