How Your Business Can Bounce Back From COVID-19
Since the circuit breaker was enacted, a lot of things have changed in the course of our daily lives. Now, Singapore has transitioned to Phase 2 of re-opening.
Business owners are now faced with the task of adapting and overcoming new obstacles put into place as a result of COVID-19 and safe distancing measures.
Anyone expecting things to return to normal post-Phase 2 will have to readjust their expectations, because the fact of the matter is that we are faced with a new normal – meaning a new way of life.
Furthermore, based on global trends, there is still a high risk for a second wave of Coronavirus infections. Businesses need to be prepared in case of another lockdown.
For businesses expecting to resume operations in the second half of this year, it means having to go back to the drawing board and coming up with new plans for growth and recovery.
Here’s a step-by-step roadmap for business owners looking to find recovery in a post-COVID world and get back in the game.
Step 1: Ensure BCP measures are well in place
In another article, we talked about how to implement a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) as the circuit breaker kicked off.
Even though we’re now at the beginning of Phase 2 and eagerly anticipating Phase 3, it does not mean that we have a good enough reason to do away with our BCPs just yet.
Remember, there is still the lingering threat of a second wave of infections in Singapore and around the world.
This is why it is important to continue implementing your BCP in the organisation and recognise that this will be the “the new norm” for the time being, until the pandemic situation improves- and that will likely only happen once a vaccine has been found for COVID-19.
Step 2: Continue to embrace remote working
Naturally, continuing to implement BCPs in your organisation will entail that remote working continues indefinitely where possible.
By now, your team should have gotten used to a whole new rhythm of approaching work on a day-to-day basis while stationed primarily at home.
If not, our article about managing your remote working team should help.
Businesses should continue looking into a range of tools and software to further smooth over the remote working process, including cloud storage solutions like Dropbox Business, where you’ll be able to store and secure team documents securely, keep everyone connected to a quick and easy way of accessing files no matter where they are.
Remote work is likely not going to go away for a long time in a post-COVID world. There is a high chance that even more businesses and employees have figured out that so many roles and tasks can be done remotely.
If you’re a business owner or leader who is primarily concerned with protecting the health of your employees and keeping them safe in uncertain times, embrace remote working.
And speaking of looking into digital solutions to amplify your operations…
Step 3: Ready the business for more digital transformation
More digital transformation must take place if your business or organisation is to adapt to this new normal. Part of the new normal being consumers and businesses going online.
For example, business owners can consider converting offline marketing efforts to digital marketing instead, now that social distancing is here to stay and the nation is still taking a rather cautious stance on the pandemic for now.
If you business sells goods offline, you should consider utilizing e-commerce to facilitate some online transactions.
There are platforms like CombineSell where you can integrate your online shop with other 3rd party e-commerce sites to massively increase your reach too.
One thing many Singaporeans learned during the lockdown is that things can be bought online very easily, food can be delivered to your homes, and online shopping can be as therapeutic as window shopping.
Until the curve is truly flattened, businesses need to expect a new way of operating and must consider the likely possibility of going digital – either partially or completely.
This effort will add to your business’ resilience. Other decisions you can make to continue adapting would be to review your cash flow management and think seriously about investing into new forms of technology so you can keep rolling with the punches and stay on top of your competition.
Step 4: Make use of government grants for growth
In the last recession in 2008, the government focused greatly on upskilling and equipping Singaporeans for when the economy recovers.
It is a time of preparation and regrouping, especially for your employees, which is why it’s in your best interests to make full use of government grants and relief packages for those affected by the pandemic.
From grants that subsidise a portion of your employees’ salaries to traineeship programs that expose you to a wide pool of digitally proficient applicants, there are plenty of resources out there to tap on that the government has pushed to provide.
For example, you can make use of the Professional Conversion Programme to subsidize new digital roles in your company.
And this does not just apply to local hires – the government is also providing relief and levies for the hiring of foreign employees (those with work passes and S passes) as well, so your options as a business owner and employer are not limited.
Further reading: 8 Grants For Businesses to Tide Over Coronavirus
Step 5: Review critical gaps in the business
Finally, take a step back to look at your business from as holistic a standpoint as possible.
How exactly was your business impacted by the global pandemic and subsequent Circuit Breaker?
If something isn’t working or if your production process appears crippled, now is the best time to take a closer look to investigate and improvise.
Remember that whatever you do, whether it’s making changes to infrastructure or restructuring teams and how they function, these ought to be documented.
Your business continuity plans are not static things, but must evolve with the times as you adapt and overcome these changes.
As far as we can tell, COVID-19 has changed the world – and may continue to change our way of life down the line. As business owners, we owe our survival to our own adaptability.
That’s why a digital transformation needs to take place alongside remote working measures and business continuity plans – or we will risk being left behind and become obsolete.
If you aren’t sure how your business can undergo digital transformation, simply talk to our digital strategists.