The vast majority of businesses can’t continue to operate as they did before COVID-19 and expect everything to be OK. You cannot afford to simply ‘batten down the hatches’, cut costs wherever you can and wait for things to pass.
Business has changed forever and for you to survive and prosper you must adapt. Micheal Lough from Blue Wren has pulled together some thoughts on what you can do to improve business resilience to ensure success after lockdown.
Your business model
To make your business more resilient and prosperous it will be important to revisit your business model and implement changes to reflect the new trading environment.
Manage digital delivery
Can you provide at least a proportion of your goods and services digitally? This might be through a new ecommerce platform or website. Or alternatively, opening access to your services via a customer portal. In the post-COVID-19 world, customers will be more receptive to digital purchases (both B2C and B2B).
Create less reliance on new business
Acquiring new customers will be harder as we emerge from lockdown. And if you rely on winning new work every month just to cover overheads, then it is time to rethink your model. Developing stronger, more profitable relationships with existing customers might be the answer.
If you haven’t already, now is time to look at your CRM strategy and CRM systems to help you nurture relationships and sell more to existing customers.
Your value proposition
The impact COVID-19 has made on personal and business finances will mean customer motivations, pain points and buying criteria will all have significantly altered.
Make it relevant
Does your value proposition address the likely new pain points your customers will have? Themes such as reliability, security and efficiency are likely to have a greater resonance with customers than they did in the past.
Look for new opportunities
As with any major environmental change there will be opportunities for those who can identify and act quickly. Are there elements of your existing service or product offer that can be re-positioned to capture new areas of demand?
For example, many business premises as they re-open will be procuring additional services such as office re-fits, health and safety consultancy, training and education, new systems to support remote working etc. Are there opportunities for your business?
Your process and operations
Maximising the efficiency of your processes and operations will be critical to making your business more resilient and prosperous after lockdown. The ability to do more with less within your business gives you a solid platform to rebuild demand and grow in a sustainable way.
Optimising process will allow you to do more with less and therefore deliver improvement in productivity. Now is an excellent time to map your business processes and identify areas for improvement.
If you need help on how to create a process map why not take a look at our short tutorial here.
Do you have the necessary systems to deliver the operational efficiencies you need to achieve? Do you need tools to improve collaboration between colleagues, CRM software to improve the value of existing relationships and better track new business opportunities; or a project management tool to optimise your service and/or product delivery?
Unfortunately, using spreadsheets and email to run your business operations is probably no longer appropriate in the post-COVID-19 world.
Time to do more with less
The COVID-19 crisis has presented you in a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform your business into something more resilient, productive and profitable. You now need to do more with less.
Michael Lough is founder and managing director of Preston-based bespoke software development agency Blue Wren. He has presented a wide range of webinars and online workshops to support #BoostYourRecovery.
Blue Wren is a Boost & Co member, a host of additional public and private sector organisations that can help Lancashire businesses grow.