Recently, we hosted a webinar in partnership with Baltimore law firm Miles & Stockbridge on how businesses are adapting to “the new normal.”
If you missed our webinar, don’t worry. This blog will be a summary of the main points and you can get a copy of the full webinar by filling out the form on our COVID-19 page!
The New Normal
When the clock struck midnight on January 1st, 2020, we had no idea what we were in for. Coronavirus was just starting to get on our radar and within months it has taken the world, quite literally, by storm. Businesses have struggled to adapt as they juggle a volatile economy, imposed government shutdowns, and trying to make sense of government aid programs.
As states start to re-open, and government sanctions are lifting, business owners are adjusting to the “new normal” and adapting to life with COVID-19.
Supply Chain Disruptions
If your business relies heavily on a supply chain, you probably already noticed that your vendors have been experiencing disruptions like never before. While this impacts lead times and costs of your projects, you must plan around these disruptions.
Communicate with your suppliers. It may be appropriate to re-negotiate prices, discuss payment schedules, and credit terms to find solutions that suit both you and your suppliers during this time.
Get creative. Take a good look at your inventory, your customers’ needs, and your capabilities. Flexibility may be the key to succeeding in this challenging environment. Do you have the capacity to make a different product with your current inventory? Talk to your vendors and see if they can help. They may have more capabilities then you think.
Before COVID-19, most of your employees probably worked in the office. However, as the global pandemic cases rise, many companies are still allowing their employees to work full-time from home, some indefinitely.
There are pros and cons to allowing people to work from home. In the current environment, the decision to allow people to work from home is coming from a place of safety. However, coronavirus won’t be plaguing us forever. What will this work from home trend look like as businesses start to open their doors again?
Pros of allowing remote work
Employees working from home can be just as productive, if not more productive, as their in-office counterparts, according to research from Stanford University and Cardiff University. Not only are employees more productive, but they are also happier and report greater employee satisfaction and work-life balance. Businesses are saving money and lowering their overhead costs by reducing office space, and according to a survey done by Global Workplace Analytics, 36% of employees even report that they would choose the ability to work from home over a pay raise.
Cons of allowing remote work
Many business owners worry that allowing their employees to work from home will cause a lack of supervision, lack of access to information, social isolation, distractions, and even a loss of sense of belonging. The latter being especially dangerous as it can lead to increased turnover within an organization.
Overcome remote challenges
If you’re currently allowing your employees to work from home, or if you plan to do so in the future, make sure that you have the infrastructure to do so. Talk to your IT and cybersecurity teams to make sure employees can do their jobs efficiently and securely from their homes. Ensure you have several points of communication that go beyond emails such as video calls, chat, and phone calls.
If allowing full-time remote work seems out of the question, consider implementing a work from home policy that allows employees to work from home for a portion of the week (1-2 days).
Socially Distant Networking
As a business owner, one of the biggest challenges you may face in growing your business during COVID-19 will be the lack of networking. Many people enjoy attending networking events, sporting events, etc., to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, prospects, and referral sources. Many organizations are hosting digital networking events via Zoom. If you haven’t attended one, it’s worth a try. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on your best business casual attire, and turn on that laptop camera for a digital networking experience. You can take this one step further and ask prospects, referral sources, etc. to a follow-up Zoom meeting instead of lunch.
Take advantage of social media
This is not the time for online radio silence. Keep your social pages updated and engage with other people via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It is also a good way to keep your clients, employees, prospects, and referral sources updated on how you and your business are doing.
Network safely in person
As businesses begin to open, you may wonder if it’s safe to take a client out golfing or to meet someone for lunch outside. While everyone should use their discretion, it is possible to enjoy some activities safely. We recommend you follow the recent CDC guidelines to do so.
We’re all in
As always, we’re here for you. If you have any questions or comments, send us a message using the form below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (410) 363-7211.
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