Business101: How to readjust your business for the new normal
JOHANNESBURG - Covid-19 and the resultant lockdowns have left businesses with disruptions of unprecedented levels.
As South Africa gradually exits lockdown and prepares to return to full production, the reality is that the pandemic has irrevocably changed many aspects of our lives.
Instead of returning to normal, it is becoming increasingly clear that businesses are going to need to adapt to a new set of challenges and circumstances.
The new normal may, however, not be that difficult for most.
It may offer opportunities to evolve and thrive.
Here are some tips to help your business to adapt to the winds of change.
Policies Masks and hand sanitisers are now compulsory in all work environments and screening employees for symptoms has become daily routine.
These new measures may be difficult but taking time to educate staff on them makes their implementation much smoother. Make sure they understand reasons behind the temperature checks a how they could take certain safety steps.
Keep them updated on Covid-19 news and information to help them act more conscientiously at work and at home. Distancing Physical distancing has also become the norm for staff and clients.
This can be difficult especially for businesses that rely on face-to-face interaction with their client base. But you cannot allow more than a certain number of people onto your premises at a time.
Advertise your new safety measures and innovative solutions to your client base. Make it easier for clients to do business online, get in touch and let them know that they can expect the same high level of service without leaving their homes. Also use this time to showcase your new sanitation policies and practices by sharing a video tour of your premises.
Travelling Less business travel is something that is likely to remain for some time.
This could be good to accelerate your plans for going digital as you will be spending considerably less on accommodation, travel and meals.
The money that you save from these exercises can be reinvested into the business or used to engage with outsourced logistics companies that specialse in getting products and samples to your client base more efficiently.
Staffing Many businesses are now working on building remote teams.
Even if a substantial portion of needs to be on site, having your desk-bound employees working from home has been shown to save a company money.
Invest capital and time into setting up secure networks and building policies that enable your teams to work from home more efficiently.
Before long you may notice that your utilities costs are improving, and you could even find a case for moving to a smaller and more cost-efficient business premises that does not need to accommodate your entire workforce at any one time.
Bierman is a managing director at Business Partners Limited.