COVID-19 today has earned itself a household name amidst various media outlets. It is not an alien to majority anymore. COVID-19 has been tagged pandemic which has now become a Big challenge for many countries of the world; it’s a global global challenge that is affecting religious, political, family and economic aspects of human activity.
This has got many people wondering what the aftereffect of this period could be, especially to their business. What would be their fate of their business during COVID-19 and beyond? In the heart of many business owners are questions about the survivor of their business during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic. The focus of this article therefore is to provide you with tips on how you sustain your business through COVID-19 and Beyond.
3 Highlighted Tips on Sustaining your Business Through COVID-19:
- CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP;
Do Away With Assumption
It could be very costly to think that your customers are aware of the situation on ground therefore, they should understand. This is very common to us in a country like Nigeria where we always think everyone is thinking what we are thinking. No, it is not always true. You shouldn’t even apply such attitude to business.
Do not wait until after the pandemic and to start calling them up for business transaction. No. It doesn’t work that way. Remember we are Humans first, before business. Try and set your priority in such order. How much of your customer’s health or welfare do you know right now? How many of them do you even was actually directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic? You see, when people know that you care for them and not just their money, they begin to trust and wanting to keep the relationship with you even beyond business affairs.
Life thrives on relationship always remember this.
“Build Relationships with your customers, don’t just make friends with their money.”
And one of the ways to do this is to make them realise that you have their interest in mind. That you think about them. For example, think of what each of them does and how you can help them through this time. It doesn’t have to be all about money all the time. Think about what kind of values you can do for them at this time, as a way of showing that you are thinking about them. What service can you render?
Also, do not forget to inform them about your [Updated] working hours. Let them know that due to the current situation, you are making some amendment to your operation and available times. We can all assume they know; but it’s good to let them know you value them and their patronage.
When you’re ready to move your business online, inform them about this new update and how you plan to keep serving them remotely. Let them know your plans on your delivery methods and it will improve the quality of your service.
NOTE: Please, do not try to create a whatsapp group and add your customers without informing them first; it may not be good enough, except you have an established personal relationship with them outside business. And if you plan to do this probably to serve them better, kindly inform them about it first before you add them to that group.
2. CONNECT YOUR TEAM REMOTELY FOR PRODUCTIVITY WHILE COVID-19 LASTS
If I may ask: if you remove digital tools that help you connect with your team for remote work, what would you have left? Originally and in the real life, it happens that many of us do not have a good relationship with our workers and colleagues at work. But we want them to make everything possible to connect online. Think about that too.
Do not forget you’re meeting the same person you always tell you don’t like their work whenever you’re working together in the office; it is the same person that you’re inviting to come and join you work remotely.
SO YOU HAVE TO FIX YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TEAM FIRST
Think about the kind of Energy that you’re bringing to your comment and fix it. And do not assume everyone will be ready at the same as you. Prepare your team ahead of time for remote meetings.
Secondly, always plan ahead with your team when exactly you will want the meeting to commence online so that everyone can prepare ahead of time. Google Keep/calendar are the tools that can adopted for this purpose. With these tools you can save in your Gmail account an upcoming meeting and get notified by Google when it is time. With their help, you’ll never miss any meeting even when you’re busy with other chores, you will be notified of an upcoming meeting approaches.
Having fixed the time to engage your team remotely, how do you engage them?
There are various digital tools that come to mind here; however, I will like to recommend Hangout. Google hangout is a video conferencing app that gives you and your team an opportunity to communicate face-to-face from remotely. In addition, you can connect as much as 50 people directly from your Gmail account. You may also need to share documents and various files with each other while you are away from one another; the digital tool I will recommend here is Google Drive. It remains the best digital tool that you can leverage on for remote collaboration. It allows you to have a remote access to different files and applications; and instead of exchanging emails every now and then and back and forth with multiple attachments, Google Docs can get this job done, provides ability to edit simultaneously in real time, chat within files, and receive feedback using comments.
3. BOOSTING YOUR BUSINESS IMMUNITY AND MOTIVATION FOR PRODUCTIVITY
- Stick to your routine. What time do you wake up to start the day on a norm? If the first thing you do when you wake up every morning was to enter the bathroom and brush your teeth, stick to it. Continue in that state of mind. It helps you to prepare your mind for the day, so don’t feel relaxed [too much] yet just because it is #lockdown.
- Discover your strength and stay with it. There are many of us who get more productive between certain times; for some, it is in the morning. Someone had once shared with me that whatever he could not do between the hours of 7 to 12 in the morning means he may not be able to do it again for that day. So discover the time of the day when you are more productive and stay with it.
- You may have to maintain a social distance with social media too. This may sound unrealistic considering the time and period that we are in, but if you have a work to deliver online as a remote worker, you may need to exercise some discipline in how you relate with social media for the purpose of productivity. You can’t afford to ‘waste’ the time you should spend attending to your customers or working to improve your business, tweeting and instagram-ing.
- Try and make arrangement for a personal workspace. Do not make it a habit to work anywhere you feel is right. Prepare your mind for the work that you want to do. Enter and sit down in that corner you set aside as if you enter an office.
- Time Management. Take a break when it is necessary. It is not a must you sit on computer all day; also, see to how to manage your distraction (especially if you have children); then try and take some time to walk out and exercise.