5 Tactics for Embracing Change Post-Covid
Updated: Jan 26, 2021
By Stephen Hill and Hayden Shearman
During 2020, businesses have had to adapt faster than ever. So, here Stephen Hill and Hayden Shearman share their top five tactics that businesses are using in order to stay agile enough to spot and make the most of new opportunities.
1. Financial Forecasting Amidst Change: Look for the “treasure trove” of data that lies within your till or in the information insights that payment intermediaries and banks collect on your customer and can share. These insights provide a deeper dive into and complement the information provided by your accounting software. This information can help develop a range of scenario analyses, based on identified trends and change in customer habits. In this post-lockdown world, the ability to identify these “underlying” trends significantly improves forecasting assumptions and shaping efficient and targeted spend on items such as, marketing and inventory purchases. This information can ensure that time, energy and financial resources are not wasted using forecast predictions which have their foundations in a different time.
2. Fully Embracing the Cloud: Pre-2020 we all liked the idea of having our data on the cloud, but many businesses did so half-heartedly, if at all. Post-Covid, that has all changed. With fluid working environments and the ongoing threat of further lockdowns, the reliability and efficiencies that exist in cloud computing has made it a must-have. And the same should be said for tuning up all IT systems from comms to cyber security and remote working solutions.
3. Not Just Advertising, But ListeningCustomer Empathy!: In turbulent times, it’s not only important to keep communicating to your target market, but it’s also WAY more important to listen and fully understand what’s going on in their lives. Have their priorities and lifestyles changed? How price sensitive are they now? Do they want to shop online, eat at home, eat out, do a Zoom call rather than face-to-face meeting? Answering these sorts of questions will guide your marketing efforts and allow every dollar you spend on advertising to go so much further.
4. Deepening Strategic Relationships: As we all emerged uncertainly from a strict lockdown back in May 2020, the “Go Local” campaigns around New Zealand did a fantastic job of boosting local business. There was a real sense that we were all in this together. It emphasised the need to strengthen those key relationships businesses must maintain with suppliers, banks, investors and landlords. Together they can help you pull through any fast pivots, future cashflow issues or other emergencies, like leaning on your cleaners for emergency Covid sanitising cleans or your delivery and IT team to switch to a more e-commerce orientated business model.
5. Team Approach: The seeds of innovation often come from the frontlines and engine-room of a business. Sales staff, customer support, production rooms—these are the people who typically see problems first and understand your customers and processes best. Making sure that everyone in your team is onboard with a vision of constant improvement and innovation means that you’ll not only spot more opportunities for growth but your team will be better positioned and motivated to realise these opportunities for change.
Read Stephen Hill’s article in Business Central http://publications.waterfordpress.co.nz/business-central/104/ on how Opportuna CA is implementing change strategies for their clients.