• Nadia Omair

How to add value to your business while social distancing

The global health crisis i.e. the Coronavirus has been hard on each one of us. Many businesses have to shut their operations temporarily as a result of restrictions imposed by the government, while others are facing slow periods of business. This time is stressful, however, there are ways how you can still add value to your business while staying at home, so that when you get back in business, you are all set to take it to the next level and perform better than before. Here is how:

1. Organise and get your accounts, books, and financials up to date during this time

Accounting often becomes a low priority for small business owners as they juggle all the other responsibilities of managing and growing their business operations. Plus, most of the business owners find accounting complicated and tedious. So, if during this time your business is slow or had to shut down, utilise the time to organise and get your accounts, books and financials up to date.

Take out all those receipts of your business expenses that had been pending for so long to be entered into the accounting system, reconcile your bank statement and get your books up to date.

2. Look for online courses, training, and seminars for ongoing continual professional development (CPD)

The next thing that we find almost impossible to focus on while steering the ship of a growing business is the ongoing professional development. We are always looking for that break which we can utilise to further develop our skills and grow professionally.

As we all know that the global health crisis has resulted in slow or even dead periods of business. This is the perfect time to work on the skills that would help you to take your business to the next level when things get back to usual. For example, if you had been thinking to get your hands on the contemporary concepts of digital marketing, this is the time for you to dive in and develop your skills through online professional development courses. Learn how you can boost content across devices, reach your audience when they’re most engaged, track social media data to drive real results and inspire the audience to take action throughout the funnel.

3. Revisit your business processes and look for opportunities to improve in the long run

I won’t be surprised to know that you already have a continuous improvement business strategy in place but it doesn’t get the attention and time it deserves. Small business owners are often too busy with other things.

Usually day to day operations, stock management, client/ customer communications and order delivery consumes all the time and we hardly have the energy to focus on continuous improvement.

This is the time when you can think about improvising your products, services, and processes of your business. Think about what could be improved, what areas of your business have got room for improvements, find ways to work smarter, revisit your business processes, identify process improvement opportunities or develop new ways to deliver top-notch quality to your customers.

4. Review customer feedback forms/surveys/ complaints and plan actions to improve your service quality

If your customers have been completing feedback forms or surveys, there is a high chance that many of these feedback forms/surveys haven’t been screened thoroughly. Utilise this time to go through customer feedback, surveys and complaints, and plan actions. Identify what aspect of your product/service requires improvisation, create an action plan to tackle issues that resulted in unhappy customers.

Alternatively, if you haven’t carried out a survey yet, this is the perfect time to get feedback from your customers. Post a poll on your Facebook page, or send a survey form to the customers who have bought your product or service in the past. Analyse the responses and prepare how you would improve your product/service once you get back in business.

5. Automate repetitive processes within your business

A small business can incorporate automation in every aspect of business such as leads, customer service, sales and office management. When repetitive processes are automated, more time can be devoted towards the goals that really matter such as growing and building your business. You can utilise this time to think about how you can incorporate automation within your business operations. This will not only help you cut down with the costs but will also enhance operational efficiency.

6. Restructure, improvise and update your website and online presence

As a small business owner, you might have a very basic landing page as you probably did not have time to create a professionally appealing one before. Utilise this time to restructure your website, add pages as necessary, update all the information, and make it look more professionally appealing, consistent and harmonious.

Create engaging content for social media and interact with your audience. Get to know them better. Maintain a connection with them and stay in touch so that they come back to you once the crisis is over.

7. Spend some time self-reflecting and self-assessing

Lastly, I would highly recommend taking some time out and self-reflect in order to analyse your skills in a better way and get valuable business insights. No matter what type or size of business you own, self-assessment and self-reflection is crucial for the successful operation of a business. As a leader, you must give importance to learning by analysing your business success and failures. Use this as the base to develop a practical road map to move your business to the next level in the future.

We are in it together, we will bounce back together. Maintain the positivity, do not lose hope, this will be over soon.

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