‘Post-Pandemic’ has a nice ring to it and preparing for a more free market is something to keep us focused through the doldrums. Speaking as an Aucklander, we’re all a little over lockdowns and dreaming of a more normal 2022. It’s time to make preparations but where do we start?

We know the business environment will be a very different one once restrictions are lifted, and so we must prepare both mentally and physically. How we’ve reacted to Covid will not necessarily help us to emerge from it. We must be ready for a change in approach or dare I say, another pivot!

As business advisors, we have all weathered a few storms in our careers. The experience of those highs and lows means we can often lend a steady hand to the wheel. I’m happy to share what I know in the hope it will help you and your business move forward with success. Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Focus on what you can control

Don’t burn up energy worrying about things you can’t control. It can be potentially very stressful! When you find your mind wandering into ‘what if?’ territory, take a breath and refocus on something you can achieve right now. Even better if it’s an important/urgent job. Alternatively, select something from your important/non-urgent pile and get that feel-good high when you can achieve something you know will help achieve a goal or objective.

Commit to banning the use of negative words in the workplace. Get rid of ‘never; can’t; won’t; etc’ and replace them with positive thoughts around your challenges. There’s usually a workaround. If it’s not obvious, brainstorm it with your team or business advisor! Changing workplace culture is never easy but tackle it word by word and you will see a new approach start to emerge.

2. Look at your business model

A ‘business model’ is just your company’s plan for making a profit. It identifies the products or services the business will sell, the target market for them, and the expenses anticipated. It’s time to review and evaluate the business plan because the world has changed.

  • Consider if your business model is still fit for purpose in a post-pandemic world?
  • What do you need to do differently?
  • How have your customers changed?
  • Have their needs changed?

Then sit down and rewrite your plan based on the target market and how best to reach it.

3. Make sure your business is operating efficiently

‘Operational efficiency’ is the capability of an enterprise to deliver products or services to its customers in the most cost-effective manner possible, while still ensuring the high-quality of its products, service and support. Remember you can’t control what you are not measuring. Measurement is key. We have many tools and resources to help with this, should you need some support.

4. Invest in marketing

What is your marketing budget for the rest of FY 2022? Do you feel this shows sufficient commitment to bringing your product or service to market? Consider the following signs, if any of them ring true, it could be time for your organisation to invest more in marketing.

  • Competition begins to outrank you
  • You don’t have a marketing plan
  • Your email/social marketing is stale or non-existent
  • You don’t have a company blog or it is rarely updated
  • You don’t have the technology needed to deliver key marketing reports

Develop your brand awareness. Your branding is the first impression your company will have on a prospect. A strong brand can express the importance of its drive, products, mission, policies or services to its customer base. Good branding communicates a company’s values and benefits, giving the prospect great insight into a company. It helps them form a bond, even before making that all-important first contact.

5. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to buy from you

  • Can they find you online? Not just by using your website URL but any industry-specific directories and the major search engines.
  • Can people access your website from tablets and phones? Not everyone is sitting at their desks on a laptop, over half will probably be on mobile devices – how does your site look on a phone?
  • Make sure your online presence is consistent and up to date. Google your company and check each of the links that apply.
  • Be ready to engage, whether that’s on the end of the phone when it rings or the chat on your website. Nothing is a bigger turn-off to a prospect than an unresponsive company.
  • Are you easy to deal with? How long does it take your prospect or client to get the answers they need? Are your staff flexible and approachable? Think through the customer journey and make it a good one.
  • Do you offer different payment options, straightforward terms and clear and consistent pricing? Nobody likes unpleasant surprises at checkout.
  • Do you offer fries with that? There are always add-ons that can present huge value to the customer but cost your organisation very little. It might be great advice, a tip for use of their purchase or just remembering their name and personal story that keeps them returning to you for more.

These tips are just a starting point to get you thinking about your business in a different way. If you’d like to do more, we are currently offering free 30-minute one-on-one advisory sessions. Get in touch if you’d like to take up this offer.

By Trevor Clark | Partner | Business Advisor

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