Over the past few months we’ve been sharing some practical advice for business during lockdown. As we move closer to what is being coined “the new normal”, further buzzwords such as “business continuity planning” have cropped up.
The notion of business continuity planning is nothing new. What originally spun out of a plan for keeping data centres from overheating in the 1970’s has evolved considerably since then. Now government and business alike have adopted their own version of continuity planning, which encompasses all aspects of an organisation's DNA - employees, technologies and business processes to proactively determine what the plan will be when an existential crisis hits home.
Simply put, business continuity management prepares you for taking immediate action by executing a range of processes and tactics once the threat has been confirmed.
Over the past few months, every business has already executed on some form of business continuity - whether it was by cutting costs to the bottom line or prioritising new channels to reach customers. Due to the abrupt nature of the pandemic it’s been challenging for every business owner to know which levers to pull and when.
Making the mission critical, immediate changes early on such as cutting costs is rather obvious. However, as time passes and anxiety levels settle, the businesses that have had a plan or are in the midst of creating one for the future are thinking correctly according to the World Economic Forum. Below are a few topline observations from their findings:
Companies which have gone digital are adapting to the crisis better than their peers
Business leaders need to devise a lockdown exit strategy
We should continue to use technology to augment, not replace, people
Companies should embrace the cultural and behavioural shifts that COVID-19 introduced
“Unsurprisingly, the organisations that were furthest down the digital transformation journey before COVID-19 struck are tending to adapt to the crisis better than their peers."
"Their business models and working processes meant that they were able to pivot more rapidly or accelerate changes already underway.”
McKinesy says “reopening is a massive natural experiment - make sure you learn from it.” Couldn’t be more true as restrictions for isolation lax and the focus changes from health and safety to getting back to work. As business owners we need to keep a close eye on how the varying stages of reopening will impact customer behaviour differently over time. Here’s their report which highlights some interesting early indicators of what reopening could look like globally. Key highlights include:
Increased traffic in online channels - Digital will transform businesses in every possible activity—from meals and groceries, to finance and education, to fitness.
Contactless operation - In many cities, customers can now have their cars repaired via a mobile service or car pick-up.
The emergence of new preferences - companies have the potential to not only guide future customer behaviour through “nudging”—proactively encouraging behaviours that are likely to endure after the pandemic—but also position themselves at the vanguard of shaping customer experience in the next normal.
Anticipate, don’t just ask for, customer feedback - Now is the time to make investments in the data, technology, and systems required to deliver exceptional experiences in a rapidly changing environment. These investments should aim to anticipate and predict customer sentiment and customer value. This often means being more proactive and responding in real time, requiring companies to harness data and analytics tools that can extract immediate customer-experience insights and overcome the short-sighted and reactive nature of surveys.
As a digital business, one of our top priorities is to help businesses continuously rethink ways they can leverage online platforms and channels to grow, or in this case, adapt and overcome. Now that the dust has truly settled, it’s clear to us that Covid-19 has created a window of opportunity online that when leveraged correctly will resonate with its intended audience to meet such demands.
In order to capitalise on it, we’ve come up with a service we call Digital Roadmap. It’s our response to what we’re seeing from a cultural and behavioural perspective combined with what our customers are asking for.
To make it as accessible as possible, we recently been approved as a Regional Business Partner Network server provider, which means any NZ registered businesses that qualify can receive the government subsidy to use towards growing their business. Click here to see if you meet the criteria.
The importance of having a plan in place for navigating the future of your business right now cannot be understated. We’d look forward to being your online strategic partner in order to make it happen.
Digital roadmap for small business:
A digital roadmap is a necessary yet often overlooked process that ensures you are using a comprehensive approach to maximise efforts across each online channel, effort and/or role to develop long term, sustainable results.
Becoming more strategic by aligning the company vision with your existing digital channels will uncover tactics that when executed will provide the competitive edge you’ve been looking for.
Areas of focus:
1. Reach - how to increase brand awareness and exposure
2. Engagement - how to improve consistency and retain interactions with the intended audience
3. Conversion - present a tangible, itemised list of customer acquisition improvements that can be made across website and wider customer journey
1. A half day workshop to discuss and assess your entire digital landscape - website, marketing activities, customer journey, target audience and business objectives.
2. An Internal assessment of these areas to align them with opportunities for improvement, both strategic and tactical in the form of a 6-12 month roadmap.
If this sounds like it's what your business needs to start fully utilising its capability online, don't hesitate to get in touch