All organisations have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Kate Henwood provides thought on how businesses could adapt to thrive in this New World.
“If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.”
I love this quote. I first came across it ten years ago when my husband was ill, and his first round of treatment hadn’t worked. It reminded me that just because one course of action hadn’t worked, it didn’t mean that we gave up.
Isn’t that the same in business? We don’t give up because something doesn’t work. We look for a different way, a better way, a new way.
Right now, this is what we are all having to do – at home, with our children, our relationships, and our businesses.
Change can be uncomfortable
Very few of us like change. It’s like when we have to replace that old, comfortable bra – the one that’s tatty but soft and doesn’t dig in. The new one is stiff and doesn’t feel the same, but look how much better supported you are. Before long, you don’t even notice that its your ‘new’ bra. It’s just a bra. It becomes ‘normal’. That’s what will happen with your business if you make changes – they will become your ‘normal’ way of working.
There are infinite changes you could make. These are the ones that I’m trying to put in place in my business:
1. Be flexible
Just because you have ‘always done it this way’ doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do it. Think about how else you could reach the same goal. Can you work online rather than face-to-face? Arrange to work with people but still be responsible and socially distanced? Perhaps you could provide delivery now? Sometimes we can’t change how we do things, but often we can.
2. Be supportive
Covid-19 has seen a huge increase in community spirit; loads of people getting involved in what’s going on locally, helping neighbours and random acts of kindness. The smallest acts can make such a difference. We need to be doing this in our businesses too.
Maybe you have a favourite charity or a community project you could support, or increase your support for? Or you could offer support for fellow business owners. It doesn’t have to be financial – it can be liking or sharing a social media post, writing a testimonial or recommending them to friends and family. Find your own way to give back.
3. Be mindful
What’s important to your customers right now? What do they need? When you’re doing your marketing, put yourself in their shoes and be sensitive.
Remember that even if your product or service might be perfect for your potential customer, right now might not be the best time for them. Acknowledge that and make a note to contact them again – the timing may be better next time.
4. Be responsible
Isn’t it lovely that the skies and the air are clear, there’s less traffic, less pollution, we can hear the birds, there’s less litter? My petrol bill has gone down hugely, so my impact on the environment is so much less. And that’s great.
Going forward, I’ll be looking at ways to work more online, rather than face to face, because it costs less – environmentally, in time, in fuel, and not to mention in coffee and cake.
Going digital is just one small way that I can be a little bit more responsible in my business, day to day.
5. Be you
Covid-19 has made us all look inward and remember and question who we are and what’s important to us. We have the chance to evolve and re-emerge, like a caterpillar transforming to a beautiful butterfly. We have the opportunity to find our wings and fly…
Can we reflect that in our businesses?
Working for ourselves, we have the unique privilege of being able to put our unique stamp on our work. Be proud of that; celebrate it and remember that people buy from people that they know, like and trust. People will choose to work with or buy from you because you are YOU, and you’re amazing!