As lockdown arrangements change, businesses are considering how to adapt to make sure that they carry on their business in the new normal, looking after the safety of their staff, their suppliers and their customers.
It’s very difficult to predict how things will change after lockdown. There remains a concern that if new arrangements aren’t carried out carefully, there could be a second wave and arrangements for emerging from lockdown will need to be re-thought. As you plan for the easing of lockdown rules, here’s 8 strategies that will help you to restart your business under the new conditions.
1. Make A Detailed Plan
As businesses adjust to the new post-lockdown world, you’ll need to prioritise the relevant changes. You may need contingency plans if there is a second wave of contagion. Changes will clearly depend upon the nature of your business, but you need to consider how your suppliers and customers will interact with you and make sure that you can carry out the different aspects of your business following rules of social distancing and with extra attention to hygiene and sanitation.
2. Stimulate Interest
To revive demand, businesses may need to consider pricing strategies and discounts and to take steps to ensure that brand loyalty is maintained. Heavy discounting could have a detrimental effect on finances where sales have already slumped. The customer experience is the key to success here. Marketing strategies may have to focus very much on digital channels in the short term in order to actively engage with customers and create loyalty.
3. Reassure Customers that Safety is Your Top Concern
Customers will be anxious and will want to know that all safety procedures are being followed. You will need to proactively demonstrate that steps are being taken to minimise risks. This could be taking thermal temperature checks, providing antibacterial hand gel, asking for goods not to be handled and clearly marking safe distance parameters within and outside the building.
4. Keeping Staff Safe
Staff equally need reassurance that it is safe to return to the workplace. This may mean changing some roles for vulnerable staff, rearranging work areas, and utilising shift arrangements to reduce the number of people in the building. Remote working may still be the best solution for some members of staff.
5. Restarting processes
Firms will need to consider their supply chain and business processes and determine how they need to be adapted to the new procedures. It may be that logistics are affected and more detailed planning is needed to transport supplies or customer demand may have changed for some products or services.
6. Rethink IT, technology and digital strategy
As customers and suppliers have had to implement new arrangements for using IT, technology and digital methods, either for remote working, marketing or video-conferencing, there are a wide range of opportunities here for a positive route forward. Customers have rapidly adapted to shopping online and you will need a long-term plan to make sure that your digital processes are sufficiently robust. This might mean new technology or human resources to make sure that the new focus on digital is built into long-term plans.
7. Formalise Crisis Management Arrangements into a Long-Term Plan
Many procedures put into place during the height of the crisis were hastily put together to work through the situation. For long-term plans, these arrangements need to be refined and formalised as new ways of working may mean businesses need to reassess their technology and human resources and priorities with a greater focus on digital technology.
8. Monitor and Assess the Restart Plan
As with any strategy, once it’s devised and implemented, it’s important to monitor and assess its effectiveness and adapt where necessary. Although the Covid-19 crisis has placed a huge burden on business, as we emerge from lockdown, there are a wealth of opportunities for a fresh start. Why not contact us at Clifford Associates and see how we can help steer the resourcing for your business in the right direction.
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