Adjusting to business in Level 3
With the news that the lockdown level is changing, or as our designer Cecilia puts it ‘Level 4 with takeaways’, we’re now able to get a bit of a feel for what’s up next. It’s great to hear that many businesses can start to fire up the engine again – in our newly minted domestic economy. Now, there are plenty of good reads on the Covid-19 scenario, but we’ll leave that to the experts. We’re keen to shake down a few ideas around planning, people and gearing up for the next days, weeks and months. Make sure you comment and give us some feedback on these thoughts. And you can also follow our LinkedIn journey here.
Planning – creating a new paradigm
In October 2019 I wrote a short piece encouraging businesses to plan for 2020. I must admit reading back on that now seems quite detached from the new playbook that most of us now face. During the lockdown I revisited the concept of ‘planning’ in a few different contexts.
What does ‘business planning’ look like now? What does a ‘sales pipeline’ look like now? What does your ‘culture’ look to hitch itself to now? Simply put, it just got way harder to plan ahead. Further, I’m not sure we’re deep enough into the story yet to confidently be accurate in a planning sense.
Shaped by a health crisis, this pandemic has broad ranging tentacles that we’re yet to see play out. Planning can still help, it has a big role. We’ve probably all in the past talked about being ‘agile’ but haven’t truly lived it. That term now means everything. It needs a new definition and an actual outcome, but it’s the term to focus on.
Plan for agility, make decisions quickly, inform the team and run with them. The ability for a business and their people to be able to pivot will be key to success. We’re going to need to get better at realising our potential to be in the moment. That’s where opportunities will arise.
Keep up your customer communications
We bang on a bit about this, it probably has never been more accurate. Also remember your team are key to being in the know. Give them good info to allow them to respond. Here are a few tips that we recommend:
- Avoid assumptions or speculation about your business by communicating to your clients often, with short bursts of relevant info
- Short and sharp, but keep it human and engaging – your brand is still on show here
- Thank them for their continued support
- Use empathy when communicating – we haven’t become machines and being relatable and approachable is key
- Assure them you’re planning and adapting for ‘the new normal’ and that they can rely on you – business confidence breeds confidence
- Be prepared for reactions rather than responses. Everyone is on edge and bit more reactive at the moment
- Offer the preferred way they should get in touch with you if needed
And don’t forget that a little bit of humour may be just the medicine.