We’ve got lots of questions about the business environment after COVID-19, here are our answers to help get you back on your feet
- Many of today’s business owners have never had to restart their business after a medical pandemic, and during a probable recession. How would you suggest people do this?
It is important to see this as it is, a first in many possible events that will affect your business. You should not only prepare your business for re-opening but adapt your business plan to be able to survive in a different economic climate. Not only should you review your way of doing business but you should try to re-invent the whole structure of your organization to be able to work from anywhere in the world using technology. Of course, this isn’t possible for a small number of businesses, but for everyone else, it is the future.
- The environment of the economy in Canada, and all over the world, is said to be changing. How can business owners navigate this change and still ensure that they thrive?
- Of course, it depends on the industry that you are in. The accommodation economic sector for example might have a harder time in adapting because they have an important geographic restriction. Other businesses, such as restaurants and grocery stores might want to turn more towards delivery services to ensure their survival due to the fact that their products are not bound to their location.
- Will there be anything within the structure of business that needs to change? Are small businesses going to struggle or thrive?
- Once again, it depends a great deal on the industry that you are in, but small businesses are probably going to be the ones who are going to thrive the most. The reason for this is that it’s easier to adapt and change the way you do things when you have a small number of employees in only one location. A big international corporation would have to adapt differently in each country/region to reflect the reality of those geographical locations. That takes a lot of time and coordination. People’s mentality has also changed in the sense that they are wanting more than ever to support local business.
- As a tech business, how are things going to change? What are the plans for employees, other management, and clients?
- Things are fairly normal for the development team as they are able to work from a computer anywhere. There are of course a few things that will change such as face to face meetings with more than 10 people. The biggest change for the employees and management is the way they work. In tech there is a lot of teamwork including development and marketing and it’s harder to do when you are not all working in the same place. For clients, the important part is to reassure them and show them that work is still being done and that your company is not closed. In general, either it is for clients, employees or management, the magic word is communication.
- What is the most important thing for business owners to do as the first thing when quarantine is over and we head back to work?
- There are two aspects to that answer, the internal and external side. Internally, the company should provide a secure and welcoming environment where employees and management alike will feel like they are safe to return to. This environment will facilitate productivity and will ease the mind of the workers and customers.
Externally, every company should have a solid marketing plan addressing their reopening.
They have to not only let people know that it is now safe to return to physical locations, but also attract customers to the product/services they have been living without for the last couple of months. This marketing strategy should be in effect a couple of weeks before the official reopening to create some kind of “hype” around the business that they once frequented.
- How important is marketing and advertising in this new economic environment? Is marketing a worthwhile expense if people don’t necessarily have the extra funds to purchase things in general?
- Like mentioned in the last question, a marketing plan is vital. Depending on the industry that you are working in, there are different ways to make the most out of your marketing budget in a time like this. Of course, the channels you decide to use might change if things are not back the way they were. For example, if people are not going out as much, a bus stop signage might not be the best option for you to advertise anymore. Digital marketing is the best way to advertise your business, even more so now, and is scalable and targetable depending on your budget.
- People have lost jobs, what should business owners do to introduce staff and employees back into work, while keeping the budget balanced on your end?
- For the budget aspect, the Canadian government has given a lot of help to companies and employees which was a great relief for all. Other than that, it is important to reevaluate and restructure your company organization charts to make the most of each hour. The most important thing right now is efficiency and morale, make sure that everyone knows what they are doing and that they feel appreciated for the work that they are doing.
- Morale has been low, what suggestions can be made about clients and employees who are very uninspired to work?
- Having a great team leader in place is the first step to re-motivating the team as well as clients. Keeping a positive vibe in the workplace is key. It’s important to set a weekly team meeting such as a morning coffee meeting or a Friday after work get together over zoom (or in-person depending on the policies set in place) where everyone can talk about their feelings and have a little fun.
- In digital marketing and advertising, what are a few tips that people can use to advertise their businesses in a way that is respectful of what has happened?
- SEO is a powerful yet discreet advertising tool that is used by most companies to be seen online so of course we recommend that as a form of directive marketing. Another way to advertise would be through social media. Not only are people spending more time on them, but they are looking actively for good and unique content. Talk about your reality and how you and your employees will be back even stronger after the pandemic. You will not only create touching relatable content but you will also create a great bond between you and your clientele. As they say, “we are all in this together!’’
- How can businesses grow after this pandemic? What tips and tricks are necessary, and what is just a waste of time?
- Throughout COVID-19 businesses have learned a lot about themselves and how to scale based on productivity.
- Assess what positions are vital and get rid of positions that are burning your monthly salary expense or create new positions based on the new way of how your business is operating
- Really take a look at where you are spending your marketing dollars, 80% should be spent on digital marketing
- Rethink suppliers and pricing strategies, people are willing to pay a little bit more to support local in these times
- Find a good support system with likeminded entrepreneurs that can relate and offer great feedback
- A lot has been said on social media about the normality of life after this pandemic, that people and their habits will change. Are we entering a new era where we know nothing of what to expect?
- Yes, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. People are always scared of change. There is usually some good that comes out of the most traumatic and horrible event so be hopeful that we might see some good soon. The unknown is scary, so don’t see it as a threat, see it as an opportunity. It is a time to grow together as a society.
- What has the pandemic taught business owners?
- When you think everything is going well, that is when it all goes downhill. You have to stay on your toes and be ready to adapt to anything coming your way. As a business owner you create connections between other business owners, clients and yourself and it is important to stay strong together. Those connections might be the difference between thriving and losing your business.
- If a business owner wants to work in business consulting, marketing, or SEO Services, how would one find Cansoft?
- What has the pandemic taught business owners?