things small businesses can do
things small businesses can do
This pandemic provides a good opportunity for businesses to do some re-evaluation; ask questions about how to improve efficiency after this blows away.
One way to achieve that is by codifying processes and updating database. It is popular knowledge that information is vital for any business to survive.
This means that customers and employees must be up-to-date on the business plans and direction as it changes to meet market demands and different realities.
Businesses must take this time to document/update all of the unwritten policies, processes as it involves the business as whole.
Many times, there have been experiences of employees claiming not to be aware of a certain rule that should have guided their decision, so codifying all the information that your employees need to be aware of should be written down somewhere and shared across the board so that everyone is aligned.
This would go a long way in helping to improve communication and efficiency in the long run.
Encourage Professional Development
The success of any business lies with its people. As a business owner, it cannot be over-emphasized the importance of professional development for employees.
Given the current reality where non-essentials have been forced to work from home or take unpaid leave, businesses should encourage employees to take advantage of this ‘opportunity’ to develop themselves and build in-demand skills.
As a CEO or a manager, you want the best people on your team especially coming out of this pandemic. You want people who can hit the ground with ideas to keep the business running.
As you know, professional development helps employees continue to not only be competent in their profession but also excel in it. It should be an ongoing process that continues throughout an individual’s career.
Actively pursuing professional development ensures that knowledge and skills stay relevant and up to date. It also allows employees to be more aware of changing trends and directions. With the professional world moving at a faster pace than ever before, not developing oneself will cause one to be left behind as peers expand their knowledge and skills.
Build Social Presence
The use of digital platforms have been on the increase during this period and very rightly. Businesses are trying to gain market share and are competing for audience attention. Beyond ensuring that you have an active online presence, what is key is focusing on the platform that targets your audience.
As a small business, you cannot be everywhere because you most likely do not have the resources (finance and manpower), so what is advisable is to “go deep and go wide.”
Find out what platform(s) your audience congregate and create high engaging content and begin to build human interaction. The trends of events have shown that there is so much to be gained from active participation on these platforms.
Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp for Business, Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn, to mention a few should be taken very seriously because of the large number of users.
Build Thought Leadership
Every business has a story to tell; journey, challenges, learnings, insights and general experience. If there was ever a time to share that story, it is now.
Procrastination and tight schedules might have restrained many businesses from unleashing the phenomenal content that could turn things around in their fields.
Incidentally, this period has also forced a lot of people to stay online and access the necessary knowledge and know-hows on various issues of interest.
There is no better time to unpack all that knowledge living in your head and share with the world than now. Value is the number 1 magnet in business and thought leadership is arguably the fastest way to give value.
Thought leadership is a type of content marketing. It positions you as an expert leader in your field. People look to you for information and ideas because you are able to lead their thoughts. It makes life easy for you as an entrepreneur when you are perceived as a thought leader in your industry.