It’s hard to see the silver lining or look on the positive side during a pandemic that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and millions more their jobs. But there is a positive side…
The business lessons learned are invaluable and will forever change the way we do business.
1. Failing to plan means planning to fail
An often-neglected part of business startup is planning for unforeseeable events. And while no one could have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses who had a financial failsafe in place, had time to adjust to the new reality. Those who failed to plan were left floating in a raging river without a paddle and many did not survive.
This is why businesses need a business plan. By forcing you to evaluate factors such as the feasibility and potential areas of weakness, business plans help you avoid the pitfalls and ride-out economic uncertainty. In short, business plans increase your chances of success considerably.
2. E-commerce is king
Business experts and analyst have been saying this for years, but COVID-19 brought it to the forefront in a devastating way: e-commerce is king.
With millions of Americans forced to stay at home, online shopping became the only way for people to shop. This caused e-commerce to jump a staggering 30% in a short period of time and it shows no sign of slowing.
Business owners who were forced to close their physical doors but had a strong online presence, were able to weather the storm. And in many cases, they exceeded their sales projections!
Even when COVID-19 is a thing of the past, e-commerce will still reign. This is because it created a whole new set of norms and opened local businesses up to the world. So, if you haven’t already, position your business for-ecommerce and thrive in any economy.
3. Employees can be just as productive working from home
Before the pandemic, many business owners would not have allowed their employees to work from home. COVID-19 forced their hand and what they discovered is what researchers discovered years ago: Employees can be just as productive (if not more so) working from home.
Like the rise of e-commerce, forced remote work has created a whole new set of norms that will stay in place long after the pandemic. Parents with sick children don’t have to miss work or use their PTO, they can simply work from home. Inclement weather or transportation issues doesn’t have to mean business closure or a smaller paycheck…it can mean just working from home for that day.
Employees no longer have to feel nervous asking if they can work from home and business owners no longer have to fear that work flow will come to a halt.
4. Customer safety is crucial to customer service
From better cleaning standards to contactless hand sanitizer dispensers to mask-wearing employees, COVID-19 has forced businesses to take customer safety more seriously. And the safety practices learned because of the pandemic should translate to better safety practices overall.
This could look like offices installing better ventilation systems to cut down on recycled germs and pollution that make workers sick. It can look like having employees wear masks during flu season and making sure bathrooms and areas of frequent contact are regularly cleaned and sanitized.
5. Adversity breeds ingenuity
Last but not least, COVID-19 has taught businesses that adversity breeds ingenuity. Curb-side pickup wasn’t a thing before COVID, but it is now and will likely remain past the pandemic. Contactless delivery wasn’t a thing before COVID, but now it is.
Think of the inventions and ways of doing things that were bred out of adversity. Airports are safer because of 9/11. America’s Most Wanted, created by the father of a kidnapped and murdered child, helped law enforcement capture more than 1,200 fugitives and bring home more than 50 missing children. The list goes on.
So, there you have it, 5 important business lessons learned from COVID-19. It would have been nice to learn these things without the pandemic, but there’s no mistake that bigger, better, stronger businesses will rise from the ashes.
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