One thing we know for sure coming out of this pandemic is that nothing is predictable. No matter how much time and effort you put into your business plan, there will always be external challenges that are out of your control. Throughout this trying time, some businesses have closed their doors, others held on tight, and some have gone into hibernation, waiting for the pandemic to settle before starting fresh.
But despite the outcome, you as a business owner can learn from this, and ask yourself “how can I build a more robust business that will withstand any crises in the future?” The short answer is adaptability. Other factors will influence your business success; however, being able to adapt quickly to sudden changes is a huge benefit.
Many businesses went from having all employees in one office to having all employees working remotely in different locations. This drastic change wasn’t easy to grasp and businesses who effectively navigated this were the ones who could adapt; whether they transitioned into e-commerce to sell products or utilised video call software such as Zoom to provide services.
In saying that, no matter what stage you’re currently at with your business, the tips below will help you take some action towards adaptability and provide a stronger foundation for your business.
Keep in touch with your clients
Your clients are the heart of your business, so keeping in regular contact with them should be your number one priority. Regular communication shows acknowledgement and is especially appreciated in times like this where most people are in isolation and working from home.
Reach out to your past, current and prospective clients via personalised emails and check up on their current situation with a genuine interest. If you have a large client base, select the top 10% of your clients and send them personalised emails. Staying in touch with your clients will show your appreciation and strengthen customer loyalty for better business transactions in the future.
Update your SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the driver of Google ranking, and the aim is to have your website rank number one on Google Search, especially now when having an online presence is more important than ever.
To keep on top of the SEO game, you need to check your website’s ranking frequently and if necessary, make some improvements. This can be done by typing your business’ name into Google (making sure to delete all your cookies, caches and history beforehand for a more accurate result). Alternatively, some apps such as SEO Check can analyse your website ranking. If you find that your website is not up to par, below are some tips to improve your SEO:
- Optimise images on your website.
- Upload short informative videos.
- Fix any broken links on your website.
- Optimise your site for mobile devices.
- Encourage social media sharing.
- Use relevant keywords when writing the website’s copy.
- Create clean, focused and optimised URLs.
- Use infographics to make text-heavy content more engaging.
No matter what industry you’re in, the markets are constantly changing. Therefore, continuous learning is essential not only for growth but for improving your business’ ability to adapt. The more you understand your industry, the easier it is for you to deal with the different circumstances that may come your way.
The COVID-19 restrictions saw an increase in the availability of online educational resources and virtual webinars. This is a perfect opportunity to learn something new while juggling other tasks and is especially useful for busy business owners who usually don’t have the time to read or attend live events/courses.
Keep on top of your admin work
Admin tasks can be tedious, but are an essential part of business. They build the foundation of your operations and can impact how well your business performs. Amidst all the operational tasks, make sure you maintain a solid admin framework by considering the points below:
- Review your systems and processes. Ask yourself: what can be done more efficiently and how?
- Revise your insurance policy and ensure it’s still providing the relevant protection for your business.
- Monitor your business spending and make sure you’re on top of all your operational expenses such as rent, bills, wages and the like. If necessary, reduce costs by seeking a better deal for services like office cleaning or hired equipment.
- Declutter your email inbox so that important emails don’t get lost amongst spam. Responding late or not responding at all to important emails can damage your business’ credibility and make it more difficult to obtain new business in the future.
Be open to setting new goals
For your business to be adaptable, you as a business owner will need to have a proactive and adaptable mindset. Always be prepared to set new goals.
Think about alternative strategies you want to implement and set new goals that are realistic and attainable. Writing down these goals will also give you extra motivation and keep you accountable.
There is no denying the power of technology when it comes to operating a successful business, and this pandemic has proven it to be true. As the COVID-19 restrictions tightened at the beginning of the year, most businesses had no choice but to utilise technology to build a more substantial online presence.
From this situation alone, we can agree that leveraging technology is essential in building a robust business, particularly in this digital age. So, if you haven’t already, analyse your business operation and factor in where you can digitalise your process if it’s ever needed. Ask yourself:
- Can your service or product be delivered online, and what resources will you require?
- Do you have all the necessary hardware (computer screens etc.) to operate productively?
- Do you have all the necessary software (Zoom etc.) to stay connected with your employees and clients?
- Can your work files be easily accessed remotely for you and your employees to work effectively?
- Do you have the contact number of your IT provider handy in case you experience technical issues?
- Do you have Cyber Insurance to keep your company data protected both in the office and at home?
If you answered no to any of the above, it’s time to sit down and make a plan that will ensure your business can operate both in a physical office and remotely online. Being able to operate seamlessly in these two very different environments will give your business a huge advantage if you’re ever faced with a crisis in the future.
You put a lot of effort into building up your business, therefore it’s more important than ever to ensure it can withstand future crises. The team at East West Insurance Brokers can help keep your insurance up to date as you make any necessary changes to your business.
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Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.