The world is facing a challenge unlike any we have seen in our lifetime. The COVID-19 Pandemic has raged through the word like wildfire, leaving the global economy in a near depression. Social distancing practices and country-wide lockdowns have caused demand to plummet. Businesses are closing their doors. Millions are losing their jobs. Many feel that staying afloat is the best we can do for our business.
Let’s challenge that mindset. Let’s use this time to grow instead of just maintain. This pandemic is only in its beginning stages. Experts predict that it may be as long as two years before they find an effective vaccine. In other words, things are likely to get worse before they get better.
Social distancing, and other coronavirus prevention practices, are here to stay, at least for the near future. Adapt or die. In the face of a global recession, business growth is going to be difficult, but not impossible. Your growth is good for everyone. Economies are built on the backs of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs can save economies as well.
Take the Time to Find Your Feet
The change in the global demand structure is having a unique effect on every business. Most have had a massive decrease in cash flow. On the other hand, there are those experiencing a massive surge in demand. This is true of medical supply companies, video conferencing platforms, and e-commerce based companies. You need to assess where you are before you can try to move forward.
So, Things Aren’t Looking Good…
Your business is suffering? You are not alone. This challenge does not mean the end of your business. It is of the utmost importance to step back and evaluate your position. This is the only way to chart a new course toward growth. It may be overwhelming to look at problems in their entirety. The following questions should help you break down these complex issues, one step at a time.
- “What is the precise cause of the decrease in demand?” This may seem like a senseless question, but it is crucial. You need to narrow down exactly what factors of social distancing protocols are affecting your trade. A well-defined answer is best. The answer may include several points, but it should be as clear and exact as possible
- “Can I adapt my current business to the new socio-economic climate?” This is a follow-on from the previous question. Once you define the cause of your trouble, you can put together a plan to overcome it. If you are a retailer, your problem may be a lack of face-to-face contact. A simple solution here would be to set-up e-commerce sites and delivery services.
- “Are there any barriers to servicing my existing clients?” Servicing your existing clientele has never been more important. When the dust settles, your clients should have the confidence that you are reliable. This comes from weathering this storm together. Your normal means of customer servicing may be unavailable. For example, you may be unable to travel to meetings or prohibited from doing physical maintenance. Use available technology and resources to overcome these obstacles. This may even be as simple as a call to check-in with your customers.
- “Are there any gaps in the market?” A successful entrepreneur is always looking for a way to address the needs of the public. Try to find innovative solutions that will allow you to use your current resources to bridge any market gaps. An example here would be 3D printing companies. Many companies that use 3D printing technologies are producing ventilators that are essential in fighting COVID-19.
- “Are new resources required?” Changing your business model is no mean feat. You may find your needs have changed. Extra resources such as staff, equipment, and IT support may be needed.
- “What can I do to maintain growth when the economy returns to normal?” Although we are going to be fighting this disease for a long time, the economy will hopefully normalize in the future. As a society, this pandemic is likely to cause long-lasting changes in behaviour. That being said, when this is over, we must still be able to deliver our current services to our customers. In other words, make sure you put measures in place to protect your current business before focusing on growth.
We’re Doing Great!
On the other end of the spectrum, your business may be experiencing a boom. The demand for your product or service has grown. Which is great! You deserve hearty congratulations on this front. Yet, you are at a crossroads in your journey. You need to make a decision on how you are going to meet this surge in demand. You have tough decisions to make. You need to increase your supply.
Companies rely on their employees far more than employees rely on their jobs. Without your people, you can’t function. So, you are probably in a position where you need more hands on deck. This can be tricky. If you increase your staff complement by too much, you may find that when markets return to normal you are left with a salary bill you can’t afford. If you grow by too little, you won’t be able to meet demand without compromising quality. A decrease in quality is never acceptable.
Time is another problem. With a rapid change in demand, the change in supply needs to be equally as fast. If you cannot meet your clients’ needs, they will find someone who can. Putting your business under immense pressure.
Merging these ideas, you need a workforce you can grow to meet a rapid surge in demand. This growth must be fast. Maintaining the ability to shrink your workforce back down is also essential. Outsourcing offers an elegant solution. When outsourcing, you bypass the recruitment process, which is often extremely time-consuming.
The onboarding process of remote workers is generally a lot quicker and easier than training full-time employees. If you work through an outsourcing agency, the onboarding process is normally handled for you. Additionally, remote workers generally do not have the same contractual requirements as permanent employees. This gives you the flexibility to match your workforce with demand.
Room to Grow
During this time of restricted movement, it is easy to focus on what you can’t do. Shifting perspective and focusing on things you can do is good for growth. Some key areas to focus time and resources are:
The world is upside down. Economies are crashing and health systems are overloaded. Governments, private companies, and citizens have been giving selflessly towards fighting this pandemic.
SpaceX has started manufacturing face shields, hand sanitisers, and hosting blood donation drives. This is just one of many inspiring contributions made by big business. Join this fight. You don’t have to make a multi-million dollar donation to help.
Evaluate your resources, perhaps there is some small way you can help during this time. An act as simple as using social media to share correct information about social distancing can go a long way. As much as outreach does look good for public relations purposes, this should not be your main goal. Uplifting your community during this time is a small step towards fixing our global economy.
- Web Presence
Digital marketing has become even more important in the current crisis. As many adopt a work-from-home model, more time is spent online. Developing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is the perfect lockdown challenge. There are many ways in which companies present themselves online. You need to find the best way for your company to reach its target audience. Focus particular energy on:
- SEO Campaigns. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial step toward helping customers find your business. When a potential customer searches for your business or a key phrase related to your business, you want to be on the first page of results. The easier it is for customers to find you, the more customers you are likely to get. Publishing high-quality content incorporating well-researched keywords is the best way to bolster your SEO score.
- Social Media Presence. Social media is a major part of any digital marketing campaign. There are many ways to use social media to become more visible. The most important thing to bear in mind is that your campaigns should be audience-specific. Advertising focused on corporate clients is much more likely to be successful on LinkedIn than Instagram.
- Expense Management
Everyone hates budget cuts. In a time where you are trying to grow your business, you need to make sure you are spending money in the right way. Try to invest more money in avenues that result in growth. In order to do this, you will need to cut the budget for other areas. No expense is too small to be evaluated.
- Keeping Your Team Motivated
Every ship needs a crew. This is an extremely difficult time for everyone. Changes in business operations are likely to add more stress for employees. In this time of social distancing, communication is more important than ever. Constantly checking in with your staff can help to add some much-needed stability.
So, how do you make sure all of this happens properly and with little detriment to your business? Well, consider starting with outsourcing.
Outsourcing With Noon Dalton
Outsourcing is a way to promote business growth while maintaining the bottom line. The current crisis is causing us to change our approach to business. Doing all of these changes in-house can compromise quality on both new and pre-existing functions.
Noon Dalton offers a full package to meet all your BPO needs. We care about the growth of your business. Your growth is our growth. This is why we offer consultation services at no extra charge, along with:
- Virtual Employees. The shift toward remote working has been accelerated by the fight against COVID-19. We provide an excellent team of remote workers. The function of your remote force is only limited by your imagination. Outsourcing administrative tasks such as document processing, or even managing social media posts, are just a few popular tasks for remote workers. Businesses are likely to experience fluctuations in demand during this COVID crisis. Outsourcing allows you to up or down-scale your workforce according to your demand.
- The Switch To E-Commerce. As we have discussed, web presence has become even more important amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Many businesses do not have the in-house expertise to properly manage their online functions. E-commerce management presents a major challenge. At Noon Dalton, we have many years of experience in e-commerce support. You can focus on selling, while we focus on the nuts and bolts of your online platform.
- Customer Service. Servicing your existing clientele is extremely important. Noon Dalton offers a range of customer service solutions. These include telemarketing and call centres, among others.
- Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). The recruitment process is time- and labour-intensive. Full-time human resource managers are expensive. Yet, the knowledge and expertise provided by a skilled HR team are irreplaceable. Outsourcing the recruitment process helps you find the talent you need, as soon as you need it. With the added benefit of saving your pocket.