After months working from home, this week marks a return to work for many. As the government winds down it’s financial support for the COVID-19 furlough scheme, we are now left to consider how to stimulate business growth after COVID-19.
The available support may be reaching its end, but that doesn’t mean businesses are through the worst of it. Without a financial safety net, business owners must now face the harsh reality and ask themselves, ‘will my business still thrive in the new normal?’.
A multitude of businesses which would have previously anticipated growth in 2020 are now confronting the very real prospect that their business may not even be viable under the COVID-19 restrictions.
As business owners we will still need to navigate the new challenges that social distancing, maximum venue capacities, markets with lower disposable income, travel restrictions, and delivery and supplier delays will bring.
Many, with an attitude tinged with realism and some skepticism, will now need to consider laying off staff who were previously furloughed, simply because the business demand will not support the workforce.
Is it really possible to have optimism in these trying times for the economy?
We certainly think so. A quiet period in business may actually offer more opportunities than you think!
Get the Edge on Your Competitors
If you have a mentality of doom and gloom, the likelihood is that your competitors are feeling it too. You can however, use this to your advantage to grow your business.
This is an especially good opportunity for smaller businesses looking to take some market share from larger industry giants. Smaller businesses are more elastic and responsive, it doesn’t take months of corporate bureaucracy to change the way you have been doing things.
Take the chance to be pivotal and dynamic. If you’ve never taken your business online, perhaps now is the time to explore digital opportunities?
Here at NTG we offer digital marketing apprenticeships, and you don’t need to take on a new member of staff to take advantage of them.
Try to think creatively about your current workforce. A member of your team who was dealing with front-of-house or the reception may now find their usual role is defunct, but if they could learn digital marketing skills, they could help you grow your business.
You don’t need a great deal of digital know-how to make a massive impact. Teaching employees to have ownership over the business’ social media can be transformative in itself!
Use Your Time Wisely To Prepare For a Big Comeback
Take those idle hands and look at your organisational chart. If you’re a business with a large number of staff, but you can’t utilize them all at the moment, there’s growth potential sitting there that you may have missed.
Businesses such as pubs, restaurants, sales teams and events management companies may not have been able to bring their entire team back yet, but why not use this downtime as a training opportunity?
Review your team with other senior members of staff and decide who has shown potential to be the future of your company. You could select members of your team to take part in team operations and leadership apprenticeships.
During these on-the-job courses, your employees will learn management skills, critical thinking and innovation. Your mentorship could ensure that you are futureproofing your business.
When else will you get such a fantastic opportunity to spend some time on professional development? Your staff will thank you for it, and you’ll be rewarded with workplace loyalty.
Ensure You’re Retaining New and Loyal Customers Post-Pandemic
The pandemic may have introduced you to new customers – maybe you started offering a home delivery service, and discovered a totally new potential market. No doubt, your most loyal and long-term customers kept you going by dedicatedly sharing your marketing while things were tough too.
Now is the time to give back to those customers, by giving your staff some customer service training.
A customer service apprenticeship will help your staff gain a crucial understanding of how to retain and build relationships with your customers.
Why not go one step further and run some staff training workshops online? With accessible video software now widely available, there’s no reason for your business not to be utilising it fully. Run workshops on Zoom or Skype and get your team in tip-top condition for their return to work.
Streamline Your Business For Efficiency
When I’m in a slump, I know the best thing to do is have a really good tidy. Nothing is more effective at creating headspace and stimulating creativity than a blank canvas.
That’s why it’s a great idea to use this downtime in business to sort everything out, and get your business running more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
Start with your processes – could you make them more productive by changing the way you do things? Could you implement new technologies and train your staff to use them?
Don’t forget to get input from your customers and stakeholders, send out surveys digitally. This will also help to create hype for your new and improved business when you come back to full capacity.
Why not also consider giving your staff some training in Business Administration? A business administration course will give your staff the skills to manage your workplace in the most successful and constructive way.
Once you’ve worked on your processes as a team, your newly trained staff can put their skills to good use by making your paperwork more coherent and orderly. They’ll also be able to run workshops and presentations to inspire and motivate other staff.
Will you be investing in staff training to give your business growth after COVID-19? We’d love to know your concerns and barriers to entry with staff training. Leave us a comment below with any questions, or head over to Twitter or Facebook to discuss this post!