They say every experience is a lesson, so what can brands take from the 2020 pandemic?
It’s not too dramatic to say that COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it, and this is especially true when it comes to the way businesses are run.
From increased digitalisation to shopping local, companies have had to adjust to a new set of circumstances and expectations.
It’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed as a small business in uncertain times, so let’s take this opportunity to reflect on the possible lessons we can take away from this time. What can businesses learn in order to thrive in a post-COVID world? Here are five lessons you need to know.
Preparation is everything
You can never prepare for every situation, but a strong business continuity plan can help you mitigate the worst effects of a crisis. This plan should have three key principles:
- Ensuring your team is safe in any crisis, whether natural or manmade. The wellbeing of your employees should be the main driving force behind your decisions.
- Maintaining open channels of communication with both employees and customers is the best way to provide reassurance and manage expectations.
- Data security. This is particularly important when, as has been the case with COVID-19, businesses must make the switch to remote working. You’ll need measures in place to make sure sensitive information remains protected.
The importance of people
If COVID-19 has reminded us of anything, it’s the importance of genuine human contact and relationships. This has been a tough time for everyone, but sometimes it takes a tough situation to remind us of the importance of empathy and understanding.
Going forward, it is important that businesses continue this level of understanding, checking in with team members and customers alike in order to offer support. Clear communication, safe spaces for sharing thoughts and regular interactions are all key to the modern business environment.
Some things can’t be controlled
Although planning is always good, we need to accept that there are some things we simply cannot control. COVID-19 has taught us the hard way that there will be times that leave us feeling completely powerless. So it’s vital that we put our energy into the things we can control.
Small goals and priorities should drive everything you do. You may not be able to change the situation, but you can change how you act as a result of it.
Cybercrime is a very real threat
While pandemics bring out the best in most of us, they can bring out the worst in others. The first half of 2020 has shown a huge spike in cybercrime, mostly in the form of phishing emails claiming to offer important information about the virus.
In an age where pretty much everything is digitalised, falling victim to a cyberattack can be catastrophic for businesses. It’s important that both entrepreneurs and employees are clued up on cybersecurity, and that both hardware and software is fitted with the appropriate protection.
Community support is paramount
Even though physical contact was impossible for much of the pandemic, it definitely feels like communities have become stronger as a result of the lockdown. This shows just how beneficial it can be to be a brand which has cemented itself within its local area. By taking the time to get to know and give back to your community, you can reap the reward of a loyal customer base which won’t turn away from your business when times get hard.