The coronavirus impact on business has been massive. Many small businesses in the travel industry have suffered significant losses. On the other hand, online enterprises like e-commerce sites have received a considerable boost in sales. The challenge many entrepreneurs are facing is how well they need to prepare for post-COVID business changes.
Many sectors have experienced an unprecedented drop in the demand for commodities. Therefore, startups need to keenly evaluate the post-COVID business opportunities to account for future gaps. To remain relevant, company owners must take into account the following tips.
Have a Plan
Business owners need to restructure their business plans to include crisis management. Perhaps you require a new set of goals and a different budget centered on survival and sustainability.
You will need to scrutinize post-COVID business trends to ensure that your organization matches the new business environment. It is essential to engage with lawyers to work out a plan to minimize litigation issues.
Some changes may not resonate well with your employees, suppliers, or government agencies. It is thus critical to get directors’ and officers’ insurance coverage in addition to hiring good lawyers. A good plan should define your goals in a simple, flexible, clear, and comprehensive manner. Show how you will execute the program in an economical but efficient way.
It is now clear that overreliance on brick-and-mortar business will be a thing of the past. Organizations must now fully embrace digital marketing and e-commerce to make sales continually.
More than ever before, consumers are now adopting online shopping methods to mitigate the spread of the virus. The fear of compromised personal data online is quickly fading away. Consumers have enhanced trust and confidence in data privacy measures in online shopping.
According to Digital Commerce, the U.S. had a 44% surge in e-commerce in 2020 compared to the previous year. Americans spent $861.12 billion in 2020 compared to $586.92 billion in 2019.
Online shopping is among the latest post-COVID business trends that are here to stay. Digitization of your business is, therefore, a smart move for scaling up your sales. As an extra measure, ensure protection for your business through cyber liability insurance coverage.
Some of the best post-COVID businesses are in the digital arena. You could open a consulting firm, a drop shipping business, or a fitness and wellness site. If you are good with computing, app development and graphic design are lucrative ventures to get into.
The coronavirus has adversely affected various industries globally. The effect of the pandemic in business has been catastrophic and an eye-opener to the need for quality health insurance. Even with the mass distribution of vaccines worldwide, people fear mutation of the virus or a second wave.
To show concern and value for your employees, invest in health programs. Health programs gear toward sensitizing your workers about the pandemic and available treatments and increase health care support.
Protect Your Employees
It is your sole responsibility to ensure protection for your workers from the effect of the pandemic. The spread of the virus is due to touching infected people and places. Inhalations of air with tiny droplets of the virus also result in infections.
In the bid to safeguard your employees, adopt work-from-home routines. Telecommuting allows your employees to work from anywhere. This approach will help reduce turnover associated with fear of infections during transit to and from work.
It may be necessary for your employees to be at the physical workplace. It would be best if you took a few measures if this is the case. Ensure that your employees wear face masks at all times.
Provide disinfectants and sanitizers at common areas within the workspaces. Ensure that all working areas are adequately ventilated and provide fans and air conditioning units for better air circulation.
Enforce protective measures within the organization. Execute mandatory health screenings for all persons accessing your business premises. Use temperature checks and self-certifications to approve entry of personnel and visitors. Maintain social distancing within the working areas. As much as possible, minimize time spent in the common areas such as break rooms, conference rooms, lobbies, or fitness areas.
Ensure that your employees have a workers' compensation insurance plan. Paying premiums for your employees will help in covering medical expenses in the event of an ailment. The policy also ensures that you recover the lost services and wages for the duration of the treatment.
Partner with health care providers for antibody and antigen tests. As much as possible, encourage your employees to seek treatment first if they are unwell before showing up at the workplace. Be frank about affected bonuses and seek all possible ways to cushion your employees against unemployment. Search for an insurance plan for unemployment.
It is also prudent that you get an employment practices liability insurance plan. This coverage will protect your business from employee complaints about wrongful termination, delayed promotions, or deprivation of career opportunities due to a similar occurrence to coronavirus.
Adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide services within your company will reduce contact with products as much as possible through available technologies. Computers help in detecting products through scans. Such technology ensures less human contact within the organization. Intelligent cameras report any violations of health and safety protocols.
Use chatbots in your website and mobile apps to help answer frequently asked questions to assist in customer support. Since you'll have an expected influx of online shoppers, chatbots allow your customers to get immediate responses to queries online.
Create Relevant Content
Your Google My Business (GMB) listing and social media accounts, coupled with your website, are your best marketing platforms. With increased digital sales, you must take advantage of these platforms.
Your business listing on the internet is a definite action plan for brand awareness and marketing. Ensure that your GMB account is up to date with the most recent information. Double-check your contact information, location, and landing pages.
Make sure your social media platform accounts provide more information about your products. Be more informative on the use of your products and services than just promoting them. You may decide to use paid advertisements such as Facebook Ads or Google Ads to bring more traffic to your content. Continuously engage with visitors to your social media pages. Be sincere about your products to gain more confidence and trust in your business.
Also, ensure that you optimize your website with quality content. Ensure that users get an excellent experience when navigating through the pages of your website. Update and keep your site current with information about promotions, products, and contact details. Also, ensure that all advertisements on your social media accounts are in sync with your website's data.
Many businesses after COVID-19 will be tech-driven, and it is essential to ensure that your business is visible on the internet. Search engine optimization tools may come in handy in ranking your website high on Google search results. However, regardless of which means you settle for, relevance is what will earn you conversions. Ensure that all your content adds value to visitors to your site and social media handles.
Reconfigure the Supply Chain
Among the post-COVID business changes, the supply chain tops the list. Coronavirus was a clear demonstration of how reliance on the global supply chain is susceptible to disruptions. Consistent delivery of products and services despite unforeseen global events is what will keep your business afloat.
The traditional system of supply-only focuses on optimizing the cost but lacks plans in addressing unprecedented disruptions. Therefore, it is vital for your business to partner with local suppliers of products or raw materials to ensure continuity. The use of innovative supply chains is also beneficial. Such models use artificial intelligence to forecast and make decisions based on cost, flexibility, and resiliency.
Improve on Communication
How you transmit information to your employees, suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders matters a lot. Fine-tune your communication channels for better efficiency. Adopting virtual reality and augmented reality is not just for science fiction. As a company, you need to use such channels in business webinars, conferences, and seminars.
Ensure that your communication channels are verified to avoid falsified information spreading about your brand or company. Hire a social media manager to oversee and respond to queries on your social networks. Conduct research and post relevant content on your platforms regularly.
Seek to find out the current trends and technologies so as to remain relevant. Find out how local and global politics are influencing businesses. Be keen on new laws and regulations for business operations within your county and state.
Don't Underestimate the Effect of the Pandemic in Business
Operating a business after COVID-19 will require a lot of diligence and a shift from the traditional way of doing things. As a business owner, you must conduct thorough research to identify post-COVID business opportunities and devise ways of filling those gaps. You also must ensure you have proper insurance coverage should your workers get sick or should you have to curtail operations during another shutdown. To learn more about our insurance offerings, contact us today.