As the CEO of Biz Latin Hub, I understand the difficulties companies face while trying to continue doing business under challenging conditions. Given most of the regions closed its borders and implemented new temporary trade and travel policies due to Covid-19, there are important considerations to make to support the survival of your business.
Now, people are starting to realize that this is no longer a passing thing. Human society must embrace the ‘new normal’.
Businesses cannot ignore this ‘new life’, and now more than ever Darwinian ideas apply, which can be summed up as: adapt or die. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, forcing millions of people to work from home, only the most capable business can survive.
Here are some essential tips to innovate your business for the ‘new normal’.
Business continuity planning
First of all, business owners must carefully observe and analyze the situation to identify necessary changes that must be considered. Before innovating, you must have a clear understanding of the impact and the precautions of COVID-19. Consider the following questions:
- What are the threats that could potentially affect your business?
- What is the likelihood of a specific hazard occurring each year?
- How severe are the consequences of a specific hazard on your business?
The World Health Organization (WHO) created a useful guide with templates to help you conduct risk assessments and mitigation. Without proper business continuity planning, it is very likely your businesses won’t successfully innovate to thrive in this challenging environment.
Most valuable asset: Employees
Employees are the most valuable resource of a business. This is emphasized in this “new normal” because they are the ones who keep the business afloat. People are taking note of businesses that have treated their employees inappropriately and this can lead to social controversy.
When innovating, take into consideration the employees. Many business have had to innovate by having their employee work from home, where the stress can be equal or even greater than working in the office. Assuming employees aren’t working as hard from home can be counterproductive and overstress your employees.
It is important to innovate with flexible methods that allow employees to work efficiently while maintaining a balance between their private life and work. For employees whose work requires them to work in the office, offices should adapt the spaces to create an environment where they feel comfortable and safe.
Innovative tools to improve your business
Although trends already indicated the importance of investing in IT, the benefits are further proven by the pandemic. IT is the driver of change and business resilience, especially as a tool providing us with constant communication.
In a study conducted by PTC surveying 128 executives from around the globe, the top 3 benefits of digital transformation are improved operational efficiency (40%), faster time to market (36%) and the ability to meet customer expectations (35%). That is why it is very important to innovate in your business with IT, taking into account the necessary security measures.
Especially in this ‘new normal’, it is important to maintain good communication with employees, collaborators, customers and other stakeholders in the business.
It is useless to develop an excellent business plan if it is not properly and clearly communicated to the collaborators. By communicating the business plans effectively throughout the organization, the team as a whole can have a fixed objective to work towards together.
Don’t forget to communicate with the general public to inform them that measures are being taken to address the pandemic or other hazards. This publicly shows the business is prepared for this and any future event, translating into business resilience.
Social media can be leveraged by building networks of relationships for the business. It is important to be active in social networks and interact with the community. Through social media, the public and employees can see the stance businesses are taking to mitigate risks, giving the company a good reputation.
Partnering with other people and organizations
One of the best ways to innovate in business in this “new normal” is through participation with other people and organizations that have common goals similar to your business or that complement each other.
This is directly related to the previous point. Thanks to social networks, you can build relationships that can go beyond your geographical location and even the main activities of the business. Be sure to conduct proper research of your potential partners via due diligence. Due diligence can prevent you from partnering with an unreliable organization or person.
Businesses must adapt
We can conclude that everything can be summed up in one word: “adaptation”. All the aspects mentioned that we call innovative will soon no longer be called that and will only be part of the “new normal”. Businesses cannot be left behind and must adapt to these changes.