COVID-19 has caused undeniable hardships for small businesses, but the pandemic has also brought significant learning experiences. The past few months have brought to light what is and will be most important to businesses in the future.
Here are some of the most significant lessons businesses have learned from COVID-19.
1. The Importance of Online Presence
An online presence has been important to businesses for years. However, the lockdown measures and safety precautions of COVID-19 have played a massive role in emphasizing the importance of companies staying remotely connected to their customers.
Digital marketing and social media are helping companies keep receiving business during COVID, and digital channels will continue to play that role in the future. Proactively sharing valuable information with your customers, as well as being active online, has been essential.
2. Remote Work and the New Normal
Some jobs will always require an in-person presence. However, COVID-19 has proved that many businesses can still be just as productive when functioning remotely. And many of those businesses are seeing the benefits remote work brings by reducing overhead costs and offering a better work/life balance for employees.
Due to the massive shift in how companies conduct business, many workers will continue to value remote options when they are looking for work in the future. Companies who wish to recruit talented people will likely need to continue offering remote work as an option.
3. The Role of IT
Unsurprisingly, many companies were not prepared for a disaster like COVID-19, which meant that many small businesses struggled and folded. But those with the right IT solutions in place found themselves in a much better position. And the right technology tools implemented at the right time can last you long into the future of remote work.
Providing your employees and business with a range of solutions like remote desktop services, constant security monitoring, VPN, cloud options, and other valuable technology can give your business the flexibility to function even during catastrophes, and from any location. This not only bolsters your own business capabilities, but it can provide you with the options to help plan for future growth.
4. You Can Never Be Too Prepared
The pandemic proved to many businesses that they did not have a suitable plan for emergency situations.
It’s impossible to foresee the future, but you can prepare your business for a range of potential disasters with careful business continuity planning. Your business continuity plan can help you prepare by outlining essential processes and departments, who will take what actions, and how your company will continue to operate generally during specific types of emergencies.
Backing up devices and all critical data is one essential, ongoing part of any business continuity plan that an IT company in Kansas City can help you implement.
5. The Ability to Adapt
Even the most agile business has struggled with switching from entirely in-person to entirely remote work. If COVID-19 proved anything, it’s that even with the best planning, unexpected situations will arise. Thorough planning can enable you to work more flexibly in the face of uncertain circumstances, but you must be willing to innovate and adapt.
Many businesses adapted to COVID-19 by using technology tools to their advantage and to help those struggling with staying home, gaining significant positive press as they did. The Cincinnati Zoo, for example, created live online events to bring the safari experience to kids at home on a daily basis, while many museums created similar events.
6. Customer Service Always Prevails
When times are uncertain, it is important to make sure your customer service is on-point. Addressing special needs and concerns has been paramount in the Covid era. Whether your company is completely remote, has a storefront or does actual field appointments in people’s homes – how the job affects everyone involved should always be a matter of concern. Some of the companies with the biggest challenges have been those that require a customer to go into a facility for a long period of time in close contact with people. A reliable policy must be in place and people must be guided accordingly. Likewise, for in-home consultations or work, such as with construction remodeling in homes, or for services such as remediation, tutoring, or cleaning service it’s important to know how to facilitate the appointment in a way that is safe for everyone. Increasing customer service when any extraneous circumstance arises is often the difference between a customer that lasts, or one that looks elsewhere
The coronavirus pandemic has given us both struggles and the chance to lift each other and become better. By learning from the struggles we’ve faced in the past months, businesses can make sure they come out stronger and more able to face future challenges.