These are the lessons we're taking away from lockdown, do you have anything to add?
Lockdown was (and remains to be) a tough time for business. Having to close your doors at short notice, or switch to an entirely digital, remote-working model, was a stressful experience for most.
Suddenly, your office space and construction sites lay empty, your employees were spread across various home locations and (crucially) your customer sales and revenue deteriorated in the blink of an eye. The amazing thing about human resilience and ingenuity, however, is how quickly businesses DID evolve to cope with this situation.
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity” – Albert Einstein.
Teams got used to home-working, video meetings and dealing with customers in the online space. And many of us began to see the positives of this low-impact, remote-working approach.
So, what lessons did we learn from this enforced period of business shutdown, quarantine and remote working? What should we remember and continue to do post-lockdown?
Things to hang on to now in the return to working life?
- More time with family -with the daily commute no longer needed, and the ability to work remotely from our own homes, everyone had far more time to spend with their loved ones. Whether it was those in their bubble or (via video calls) their wider circle of friends and family. Although enforced time together may have added a few strains, this extra time with our nearest and dearest is something we are grateful for – and should aim to continue.
A more active lifestyle – finding the time to fit in a gym session or run was always tricky before Covid-19 took over. The quieter pace in lockdown meant that many could follow the latest workout video, go for a run, or get back on our bikes. We know exercise is good for both our physical AND our mental wellbeing - so it's important to keep this in your daily schedule going forward.
Future planning – working ON the business, rather than IN the business is an aspiration of any ambitious owner, but the time to do this is usually scarce. In lockdown many business owners have had far more time available to think through their core goals, what their next move should be and what their ‘post-coronavirus strategy’ should be.
Using data to understand your customers – Intuition is vital for business owners but if there’s data in your business that you haven't had the time to review, you may be missing opportunities. For some, lockdown provided some time for analysis such as learning to use Google Analytics to understand how your customers find you, what your popular pages are, and which products are selling.
Getting in control of your financial model – huge drops in revenue have meant cashflow concerns. We've been assisting clients to re-evaluate their financial model. Looking at costs, debts and potential revenue streams allows you to see how you can reduce cash outflows and boost those all-important cash inflows. Reporting on these metrics will continue to support your business decisions.
If there are any other lessons that you learnt during lockdown leave a reply below, we would love to add more to our list!
None of us know exactly what the ‘new normal’ of business trading will look like. But if you want to be ready for a different kind of business reality, we can help. We’ll work with you to update your goals, strategy and financial model – so you’re ready for the future.
It is also worth noting that DVA offers services that are registered with the Management Capability Development Voucher Fund. Find out more by visiting www.regionalbusinesspartners.co.nz