Business Development Ideas – Walk Out of Quarantine Smarter
⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
The COVID-19 pandemic has really tormented businesses.
Supply chains have been disrupted, consumer behavior has changed for most industries, and the ongoing lockdown has precipitated a need for new employee management strategies. All business leaders are now struggling to come up with a post-coronavirus recovery plan.
But how do you structure your journey from failure to triumph when everything seems to be working against you? This article highlights ideas for business development that will be critical for businesses to thrive in the new normal.
10 Business Development Ideas
1. Expand Through a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)
If you were planning to expand your business to new markets before coronavirus ruined everything for everyone, it is best that you continue with the plan after quarantine.
However, you need to reimagine your expansion strategy because the virus might have rendered most of your strategies obsolete. How companies will be hiring staff to work abroad, business registration requirements, and employee compensation, among other key aspects of running a business overseas, have changed significantly due to the virus.
The good thing is that you can save yourself all the trouble of creating another expansion strategy by expanding through an international PEO. An international professional employer organization (PEO) can help you with all HR-related needs so that you focus on other areas of your business development plan.
2. Start Focusing on Building Trust
Companies that centered their campaigns and business models on revenue generation and not brand loyalty have suffered greatly during the coronavirus lockdown. Post-COVID-19, you need to focus more on winning people’s hearts and building loyalty around your business as opposed to going after people’s wallets.
Add value to every relationship you have, be it between you and your employees, shareholders, or clients.
When reaching out to new clients, be sure to equip them with knowledge and all the information they need about not only your products but also your brand and industry as a whole.
When dealing with your existing customers, focus on treating them right rather than making a sale. That is how you will build a strong reputation, create loyalty around your establishment, and earn customer trust. With such a strong platform, developing your business will be a little less tedious.
3. Develop a Workable Business Strategy
From the lessons of COVID-19 lockdown, what do you think you need to keep doing and what do you need to “not do” going forward? That is the fundamental question that will help you decide what to include in or exclude from your strategy. Here are important tips to developing a workable post-coronavirus business strategy:
- List all the weaknesses that coronavirus exposed in your business model and in your industry as a whole. Your new strategy needs to fix those weaknesses.
- If your business has withstood the coronavirus turbulence, which strengths made that possible? Your new strategy should harness and enhance those strengths.
· Which opportunities has the crisis precipitated especially in regards to new markets? Which new consumer trends can your business benefit from? Leverage those opportunities.
Picture 1. A good business strategy is crucial for business development
4. Get the Most from Your Prospects
Identify people who fit into your new strategy. If you need to hire new employees to actualize the strategy, search for the right talents for the job without minding their geographical location. If you have identified new markets, figure out a way of communicating with your prospects; customers who fit your buyer personas.
Strive to understand their needs and pain points at a personal level and consequently tailor your product or service in a way that benefits all prospects. That will help you improve customer loyalty and retention, both of which are critical for business development.
5. Invest in a good website
Is your website optimized for search engines? Have you published useful content on the website? Is it optimized for mobile? Have you linked it to your social media accounts? How is its user interface? Is the web design modern and navigable? Have you localized your content? Have you uploaded enough videos, photos, infographics, and other visual content?
This is the point: if there is one thing that the prolonged coronavirus lockdown has taught customers, that has to be the convenience of online shopping. People who never shopped online before are shopping for everything from their smartphones. This trend isn’t likely to end with the virus. For you to leverage this trend, you must invest substantially in your website.
Picture 2. Make online shopping convenient
6. Consider a Mobile Ordering App
Talking of online shopping, consumers are asking for much more than just clicking items on the website. They need to have a smooth ordering process, complete with delivery and pickup options. If you are to have a competitive edge in e-commerce after the pandemic, you need to be ready to accommodate this trend in your business development strategy.
Besides investing in a good website, you will need to have a mobile ordering app up and running when you resume operations. You might be hesitant to spend money on capital expenditure at this time because cash is tight, but this expense will pay out for itself in the near future, one way or another. Besides, tons of startup app developers will be willing to develop one for you at an affordable price.
Once your app is ready, market it on your website and social media pages so that it is ready for launching as soon as you resume operations.
7. Think Employee Safety
Employees’ job satisfaction is critical in your business development agenda. They may be eager to return to work after a long stretch at home, but they are also worried about their safety once they are back. You will need to give them an assurance that their safety at work is something that you hold at heart. To achieve this, several actions are necessary.
- If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught both employees and employers, it has to be that most work can be done perfectly from remote locations. You will need to leverage this to adhere to government measures of social distancing. Empower the employees whose work can continue seamlessly remotely to continue doing so even after the pandemic. Do this by providing them with the necessary technology and training.
- Mitigate the virus spread (and other contagious diseases) by scanning everyone who enters your business premises, the employees included. This means checking their temperature at the door, and seeking treatment for those who are found ill.
- Realigning staff schedules such that fewer employees are at the workplace at any given time. This should be done carefully to ensure that you do not experience skills shortage during any particular shift.
- Redesigning the workplace to include sanitization points at designated locations, as well as to allow social distancing in the sitting arrangement.
- Providing masks and personal protective equipment necessary for their line of work.
8. Help employees better their skill
Business processes have been undergoing major shifts in the past few years. Some of these changes include the rise of artificial intelligence, digital networks and machine learning. Following the need to send workers home during the pandemic, most companies opted to use robotics and other technologies for their businesses. These trends are just starting. In a few years to come, businesses will need to adopt these technologies as the base for their business development agenda.
It is then critical to prepare your business for the future in this sector. The quarantine period poses the best time to prepare for this. Start by funding your employees to acquire the necessary skills required for future business operations. For example, your marketers should acquire skills for marketing automation and digital marketing. People working in the manufacturing industry need to learn the skills for smart manufacturing. Help your employees take courses in artificial intelligence and automation as well as digital science. This way, you will be preparing your talents for future business development needs.
9. Keep pushing your brand
If your business was among the non-essential businesses that were forced by the pandemic to close down temporarily, you shouldn’t fold your hands and wait for the crisis to pass by. You might be surprised to find yourself out of business permanently once normality resumes.
Note that marketing your business at this time is important for business development and survival post-coronavirus. Get your name out there in a flexible and creative way. You can offer pandemic related information, just to remind people that your business still exists. Don’t allow your customers to forget about your brand; keep advertising your brand even if you aren’t making any sales at the moment.
10. Be on top of your financial standing
Whether you were in business or not during the pandemic, you will need money for your business development ideas once normalcy returns. Now that operations are slow, it is time to look deeply at your finances. Use this time to prepare your financial statements such as the profit and loss as well as the balance sheet. This way, you will have a clear picture of your business’s financial standing at the beginning of operations.
With a clear picture of your finances, you will be in a better position to draft a financial crisis recovery report well in advance. You will also be able to align your budget with the new figures. If you will need to take a loan to finance business development going forward, having the financials will help you do so before the operations begin.
Picture 3. Your business development will depend on your finances
Things are changing fast. But as much as it is okay to be afraid of change, you must not allow it to consume you. Just be innovative, agree to put in the work, and get your team together in readiness for the incoming wave of change. You will get through this.
Albin Morgan is a young and ambitious coach who has been helping people with personal and professional development for the past 3 years. His passion is to inspire others to live their dreams and be the persons they want to be. He helps people make career choices that feel genuinely right for them. He usually helps the individual evaluate their background, curiosities, passions and training so that they can choose a job, business or type of further education that helps them be successful and fulfilled.
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