Sign In

 Four ways to adapt your business to a brave new world


 The global COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing nationwide lockdown meant that many South African businesses experienced disruptions on an unprecedented scale. Now, as the country gradually exits lockdown and prepares to return to full production, we are faced with the realisation that the pandemic has irrevocably changed many aspects of our lives. Instead of returning to normal, it is becoming increasingly clear that businesses are going to need to adapt to a new set of challenges and circumstances.

However, getting used to the “new normal" may not be that difficult for most organisations, and may indeed offer opportunities to evolve and thrive for some. As with all change, adjusting one's business to operate in a post-COVID world is easiest when you have a cheat sheet. With this in mind, we have put together some tips to help your company adapt to the winds of change.

Introducing new policies: Health and safety regulations mean that masks and hand sanitisers are now compulsory in all work environments, and screening employees for symptoms has become daily routine. While introducing all of these new measures to your whole staff can be difficult, the process is much smoother when you take the time to properly educate employees.

Ensuring they understand why their temperatures are being checked, and why they need to take certain safety steps, already makes the introduction of new policies a lot easier. In addition to this, you should make it your responsibility to keep them up to date on COVID-related news and information to help them to act more conscientiously both at work and at home.

Working around social distancing: Social distancing is one of the fundamental ways of ensuring the safety of your staff and clients. This can be a challenge especially for those businesses that rely on face-to-face interaction with their client base, as you cannot allow more than a certain number of people onto your premises at a time.

However, now is the ideal time to advertise your new safety measures and innovative solutions to your client base. If you have made it easier for clients to do business with you online, get in touch and let them know that they can expect the same high level of service from you without the need to leave their homes anymore. Alternatively, use this opportunity to showcase your new sanitation policies and practices by sharing a video tour of your premises, to put your walk-in clients at ease.

Less business travel: Another thing that is likely to remain the same for quite a long time, is a marked decrease in business travel, for conferences or client meetings. As an advantage, this could be a good reason to accelerate your plans for going digital, and you will be spending considerably less on accommodation, travel and meals for your employees. The money that you save from these exercises can be reinvested into the business or used to engage with outsourced logistics companies that specialize in getting products and samples to your client base more efficiently.

Build a bigger remote workforce: The lockdown has forced many businesses to build remote teams – and many companies are better for it. Even if a substantial portion of your staff needs to be on site, having as many of your desk-bound employees as possible work from home, has been shown to save a company money.

With this in mind, invest some capital and time into setting up secure networks and building policies that enable your teams to work from home more efficiently. Before long you may notice that your utilities costs are improving, and you could even find a case for moving to a smaller and more cost-efficient business premises that does not need to accommodate your entire workforce at any one time.





Seven ways to innovate and increase business resilience ways to innovate and increase business resilience
Five ways SMEs can save this savings month ways SMEs can save this savings month
5 ways to add supplementary revenue streams to your business ways to add supplementary revenue streams to your business

Join the conversation



Latest comments