Crisis, pressure, and instability are a dangerous set of circumstances for any business, and can sometimes spell the doom of newly emerging and established enterprises alike. But like any quagmire of the business world, it’s also an opportunity for growth, change, and resilience.
For leaders who thrive under pressure, crisis is an opportunity to prove the fortitude and efficacy of their business by deploying pivots and changes, seizing the advantages that arise through disruption. Below are three ways you can take advantage of 2020’s challenges and re-take the initiative instead of remaining on your heels.
Understand Your Customer’s Needs
In an economic crisis, people are vocal. The potential for change is in the air which gets consumers talking about issues that might have previously been overlooked. Research the market you’re operating in, engage with audiences by asking people what they think, and listen! Use this opportunity to find the needs of your base, then capitalize on it! Make a pivot, embrace a movement in your community, or revivify the culture of your business to align with the needs and wants of your customers. Doing so will fortify your operations in the future and garner loyalty with your B2B and B2C relationships.
Focus on Your Culture
If you’re researching your market and preparing to deploy changes to your company, then it’s also time to examine your company culture. The agility and grit necessary to deploy a pivot will require a positive and empowered work culture.
Whether you’re the sole owner and employee, a small business with only a few remote employees, or a large-scale organization, culture is something every company has. Understanding and developing that culture is a key part of what makes businesses successful both internally with their employees, and externally with customers. In fact, in a study carried out by IBM, organizations that ranked “in the top 25 percent on employee experience report nearly three times the return on assets compared to organizations in the bottom quartile.” A positive company culture nurtures many gains.
Use the relatively slower market during this pandemic and dedicate energy to encouraging your staff. Give them a voice and discuss their ideas for direction, organization, and in-office or remote engagement. Employees are an important part of the narrative of your business, and they likely have unique insight into an important part of your brand’s story.
Solidify your business’s resilience by reinforcing how vital your employees are to the company’s success and cultivate a shared sense of commitment and collective goals.
Develop Communication Plan for Emergencies
Businesses that have plans for emergencies have inevitably found 2020 far easier to endure than those without. Businesses that don’t already have a solid plan for handling health emergencies need to develop and implement one immediately. There are several steps for going about this, including transparent communication, remote work opportunities, and paid leave or contactless support within your business.
The most fundamental component of crisis strategy is honest, straightforward communication paths between employees and leadership. Develop a flow of information that remains consistent and thorough. You don’t want to leave employees guessing at policy or having to read between the lines to understand expectations, guidelines, and plans of action.
Creating a safe work environment is also critical. Employees want to know they’ll be taken care of during this pandemic. Special scenarios for dealing with exposures and quarantines should be communicated and implemented. Your employees will be happier and work better if they know there is a plan of action should a situation arise.
You’ll have to determine what strategies work best for your organization, but the key to overcoming the challenges of Coronavirus and COVID-19 is in the flexibility and adaptability of your business to meet the health needs of its employees.
2020 has presented challenges to our economy and industry like nothing else in recent memory. To thrive during these times requires adaptability, resilience, and a culture built around support. Focus on researching your customers’ needs to stay relevant during the crisis. Build a positive company culture for success within and without. Finally, have a plan for when the future deals you a surprise – being prepared will fortify your success in these uncertain times.
Sometimes, keeping your head above water in order to recognize and seize opportunities as they surface is easier said than done. That’s where we can help. UrbanLink Group specializes organization, creative content, engagement, and messaging. We can help you maximize your flexibility through brand and business alignment so you can make moves your business needs to succeed.
Get in touch for your free consult and let us help you forge a link to success.