Just over one year ago, life as we knew it came to a complete halt and businesses were forced to look at innovative ways to pivot their operations in order to survive. Experts have said that economic recovery may take years for some sectors, contributing to higher bankruptcy rates for companies worldwide.
With lockdowns forcing closures of thirty days or longer, our favorite brick and mortar stores transitioned to online marketing or risked closing permanently. In-person events and industries that relied on face-to-face communications encountered many roadblocks in the crisis of determining how to make this work.
A good example is the real estate market, an industry that has relied on home tours and open houses for decades to secure sales now has moved to virtual open houses and 360-degree tours to transform their clients into a location without even leaving their home. Innovation at its finest!
Every facet of our lives has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but with change often comes the opportunity for innovation. One thing is for certain: it is unclear about when life will turn back to ‘normal,’ or what the new normal will look like. But instead of being afraid, this is an opportunity to try something different – and that’s what the most successful businesses have done at this time.
Let’s break down the positive takeaways that we have gathered from the groundbreaking, earth-shattering changes accompanied by the pandemic.
Remote work opportunities
Dare we say that the pandemic has brought some sense of normalcy to the world of remote work opportunities. Many industries that would never open the doors to work-from-home opportunities finally started to think about ways to continue operating behind the office walls. Before the pandemic, many companies were concerned that these virtual work circumstances would invite distraction and reduce productivity. but research shows that this is far from the case. The shift in the ways that we communicate and create are much different than they were even 365 days ago, but it turns out that that’s not a bad thing! Here are a few statistics.
According to McKinsey, “more than 20 percent of the workforce could work remotely three to five days a week as effectively as they could if working from an office.” A survey by Robert Half as reported in CBC stated that 44 percent of companies have hired temporary or full-time remote workers for the first time – and it is accompanied by many benefits, including:
Larger Talent Pool
Think about a small town where there are less candidates in a specialized trade. Now, imagine if the opportunity is opened up worldwide to thousands of potential candidates at the click of a button. Where you may not find the right fit in your region, a world awaits online.
If you work in an industry where employees can work completely remotely, eliminate the office completely. Depending on the size of your office, this will save tens of thousands over the course of a year. For small businesses, these fees can be allocated to marketing and sales, stretching the dollar more effectively.
The impact on the environment is just a bonus. Less time spent commuting means less cars on the road, lowering carbon emissions. Offices will use less paper and plastic. Energy bills will be reduced as we transition to fueling a home instead of acres of office buildings.
Marketing done differently
Many companies reduced or almost completely eliminated their marketing budgets while facing the fear of the unknown during the beginning of the pandemic. However, proactively reallocating resources can save brands from collapsing.
The smartest companies decided to change the way that they market instead, allocating budget towards online marketing that is cost-effective, measurable and offers a great return on investment. Today, more marketing can be done with less resources.
An oldie but a goodie, social media allows us to reach our audience easier than ever before. With billions of people using social platforms like Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis, your company is definitely missing the mark if it does not have a strong social media presence.
Don’t fret if you don’t know the first thing about social media. Hire a freelancer affordably on platforms like Upwork or Fiver, learn some tips and tricks from the team at Hubspot Academy or get down and dirty and DIY-it. Once you get the momentum going, try your hand at creating beautifully branded social media posts on PosterMyWall. Our world is becoming increasingly visual and this online graphic design tool allows its users to make the most out of thousands of templates for both photo and video. The best part is that they can be easily saved for potential team revisions or shared directly on Facebook or Twitter, without leaving the website.
Preparing for the future
If we did not learn anything else, it’s that life is completely unpredictable. Societal, environmental, cultural, economical disasters can all impact the bottom line of our business. It is important to have a contingency plan just in case something goes wrong that is completely out of our control. After all, similar situations might occur in the future and we want to make sure that we are prepared. Some ideas that we can implement include:
- Creating a continuity plan that considers various situations and how your company can best handle them
- Create an internal communications plan
- Allocate a reserve fund
- Purchase comprehensive insurance
- Prepare all your documents and add them to the cloud
The world is unpredictable but..
Our business lives don’t have to be. While we were sitting comfortably in the mundane routine of everyday life for some time, COVID-19 brought many businesses the shake-up needed to re-think how they conduct business.
Remote work has helped businesses tap into a diverse range of candidates like never before, closing the geographical gap. Many of the most successful teams include the rich expertise and opinions of employees located worldwide. Not to mention, saving money is an added benefit in these uncertain economic times. All while saving the environment sounds good to us.
Marketing has pivoted towards online tactics that are more cost-effective and measurable, with tools like Hubspot Academy and PosterMyWall making it easy to learn valuable information and put it into action
Finally, we’ve realized the true importance of planning ahead, as we never know what is going to come next. But that’s the fun of it all – learning to adapt to the challenges of life. We hope that this helpful information will encourage you to make the most out of the time left in lockdown and come out of the pandemic a brighter, better business.
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