What lessons can businesses learn from the pandemic?
The pandemic has caused widespread disruption for businesses across several industries, but there are silver linings. For some companies, the crisis has opened doors, and many businesses will utilise lessons to make improvements in the future. Here are some of the key takeaways for company bosses.
Flexibility has never been more crucial. Businesses across every sector have had to be flexible in the last 18 months and many are preparing to embrace flexibility moving forward. Employees are working remotely or combining office and remote work, and businesses are offering customers a wider range of options in terms of buying products and services. Flexible working had become more commonplace before the pandemic, but the situation undoubtedly accelerated the shift towards home working. Now that restrictions are easing, businesses are opening up to employees, but many are adopting a more flexible approach and allowing employees to mix working from home with spending time in offices, call centres or other communal facilities. Studies show that flexibility is now one of the most valuable perks for employees considering job offers. Companies that embrace flexibility in the future are likely to attract top talent and enhance employee retention rates.
Technology and innovation
Most businesses have relied heavily on technology to make it through the pandemic and navigate store closures and lockdowns. Thanks to technology, teams have been able to link up virtually and keep in touch with clients. Investing in technology has always been advantageous, but it is perhaps more important than ever before. Failing to move with the times can contribute to companies being left behind and create a chasm between market leaders and businesses trying to keep up. You can find out more about innovative equipment and technology online, and it’s also wise to analyse what your competitors are doing and to engage with clients to see what kinds of improvements they would appreciate or value. Using technology can help you boost efficiency and facilitate communication, as well as develop products and services and offer additional perks or features.
Business owners have to respond to challenges, often with little notice. Agility is critical for survival in the 21st century. If you can adapt quickly and modify the way you work to cater to new trends or challenges, you stand a good chance not only of staying afloat, but also of being able to take advantage of a potentially difficult situation. Many companies modified their product ranges or delivery options during the pandemic, for example. This allowed them to capitalise on new buying trends and set their business apart.
Most of us experienced a heightened sense of community during the pandemic. This doesn’t relate solely to neighbours, colleagues and friends. It is also relevant to businesses. Companies and brands can now engage with customers and build strong relationships to foster loyalty and provide enjoyable customer experiences. Use social media and email to connect with clients, strengthen ties and build trust. More than 90% of consumers now buy from brands they follow on social media.
The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for businesses but there is an opportunity to learn and utilise valuable lessons to improve performance moving forward.