Life has been a whirlwind this last year. Everything that you considered normal has changed. Luckily, there is light at the end of the tunnel: the COVID-19 vaccines. However, it will take considerable time before the next normal sets in. Until then it’s time to turn pandemic threats into opportunities. How? We help you COVID-proof your business.
Compose a crisis management team
The health crisis has a great effect on businesses worldwide. If you haven’t done it yet, start with creating a crisis management team. Ideally, you compile this team by adding at least one team member per department. This will make the task force agile and help explore options from each possible angle. Some topics this team should manage are:
- Safety and protection of staff
- Crisis communication (external and internal)
- Continuity of work (plan resources and support staff)
- Assess costs (cut costs in order to keep people employed)
- Prepare for recovery (strategy for during and after the crisis)
Whenever major events occur, shifts in core markets follow. Look into it! COVID-19 has caused a skyrocket in demand for a few sectors. Do some desk research to discover patterns, potential new markets, or even products that are on the rise. Next to that, your research phase is a good opportunity to reach out to your clients. By conducting surveys or interviews, you can determine their – shift in – demand and where chances lie. While you’re in contact, don’t forget to inform them on how your organization handles COVID-19.
Prepare a SWOT-analysis
Performing a SWOT-analysis is a great method to salvage balance. Especially after having executed your primary research. Your analysis consists out of four elements:
- Strengths: strong features that can help you flourish your business. Think along the line of products, working methods, and strategies that have proven to work.
- Weaknesses: weak features that strain doing business during the pandemic. This could be closures of enterprises you depend on, layoffs, etc.
- Opportunities: business areas that you can explore to regain stability. Ranging from government stimulus to up-skilling your staff.
- Threats: situations that will negatively affect your business, such as lockdowns, drop in purchasing power, or policies.
Based on your SWOT-analysis, you map out your business strategy for the coming year. How can you tackle potential threats, tap into opportunities, overcome weaknesses, and use your strengths to your advantage? The key to transforming SWOT information into a strategy is adaptability. This is depended on your organizational structure and the industry you’re active in. For example, businesses active in tourism and the beautify sector aren’t very flexible. Beauticians can’t give treatments from a distance or find a new trade to practice temporarily. How different is this for the food and beverage industry. We hear of many success stories in that field, from wineries that now offer online tastings to alcohol producers starting to manufacture hand sanitizers.
Focus on digital transformation and safety
Not only now but also in the future, the focus will shift more and more to online. Many organizations that already had adopted an online first strategy have proven to be more versatile during the pandemic. Try to move all your business operations to virtual solutions, such as opening a web store or shifting all sales appointments to Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Whatever you do, don’t forget to communicate! Things have changed – therefore, you need to let people know what has changed and where they can find you online. Use your social media channels, website, and targeted e-mails to do so. This is also a perfect opportunity to let your contacts know how your business deals with COVID-19 in terms of safety. How do you guarantee the well-being of your staff and customers?
And that’s not all you can do to improve your digital presence. Take some time to reflect on what you already have. How can you improve your website to better serve your current and prospected clients? Conduct some research to test website usability. Finding areas for improvement is always the first step. Do you have some extra hours left? Taking a dive into the matter of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always a good idea. Start at our blog on Online marketing and key ranking criteria, explained.