The Now Normal

THE NOW NORMAL: EPISODE 1 | Post Pandemic Planning Toolkit for a Professional Services Business

August 21, 2020
Due to the pandemic, people's lifestyle, including businesses, have changed. The reality is that the proper phrase isn’t "the new normal" it’s "the now normal."

As a result, the business environment has rapidly evolved, requiring many entreprofessionals to speed up business marketing innovations to keep up with the current situation. However, even after the pandemic eases, the world will be forever changed. The strategies you and your competitors may have used before Covid-19 may not be as effective today and will likely need a major revamp to keep your business afloat as the post-pandemic world marches on.

WHAT’S TRENDING?

Post-Pandemic Business Preparedness Plan

While getting a fresh start might be the best idea, this will not always be efficient without first creating a sure-fire and smart post-pandemic continuity plan. With that, the Vimagery Team has developed this discussion regarding how to create a post-pandemic preparedness planning toolkit for businesses so that you’ll ensure business survival even during challenging times.

Here are some of the things you need to consider before implementing your own post-pandemic business continuity plan.

1. New Plan

Starting your business with a recovery plan involves a thorough knowledge of your professional business. When drafting a plan, make sure to envision your goals, the people involved, the current situation, and the possible outcomes or consequences if this plan will be executed. That's why a pandemic preparedness checklist is necessary before creating a new plan. Here are the things you should consider:

Goals
● What were your goals before the pandemic?
● What are your goals after the pandemic?
● What are the goals that are attainable in the next month or two?
People
● Who should be on my team?
● Who should I retain and remove?
● What kind of talents should my team members have?
Situation
● How is the economy doing?
● Is the pandemic getting better or worse?
● What is the best working setup for my staff? Work from home or office?
● Do I have the essential tools for my team and myself?
● What are the health protocols that need to be implemented at the office to avoid infecting others?
Possible Outcomes/Consequences
● Will it reduce the overall risk?
● Will it restore the day-to-day operations?
● Is the plan in compliance with regulations specific to my business and/or area?
● Will it improve my ROI?
● Will it make up for lost revenue?

This checklist serves as a guide in creating the recovery plan of your own. And to ensure success, aim at getting affirmative answers to all points of this checklist.

Takeaway: Be strict in following your checklist, if most of your answers get negative results- Scrap your proposed plan and start over again.

2. New Staff

New Staff doesn't necessarily mean terminating your existing employees. It indicates staff with new roles. With a different situation, most likely, some things need to change. The management may need additional talent to make the post-pandemic plan realized. For example: Before the Covid-19, your business was likely structured with more in-person meetings and traditional marketing. Now, however, because of SARS-CoV-2, you’ve made the switch to digital marketing strategies in order to keep your business afloat. With that, you hired a digital marketer to make sure your business drives traffic and increases its sales even during these times.

Take note, you’ll need to be smart regarding your staffing decisions. It would help if you can determine the additional skills and talents you’ll need for your future goals. Your existing staff might have the needed skills … digital marketing skills, app development capability, copywriting, content creation, health hazard knowledge, and more ... but if not, you’d be wise to source those skills as soon as possible.

Takeaway: Hiring may be exhausting for you. If you find your current staff as trainable, the Vimagery team can provide digital marketing coaching.

3. New Tools

Assuming that the majority can go back to work in the office, some may remain working from home. Can you guarantee that your everyday operation is still manageable? How will you support your virtual team members? Do they have the necessary tools to keep them operative if another disruption might happen? Have you ensured the security of your data in a remote working environment?

Today, the situation is undeterminable. Even after the pandemic, a disruption might occur again, and it could significantly impact your company if you do not have the right tools. These new tools include the following: secured home WiFi, project management tools, group chat tools, coordinated social media pages, online meeting portals, and so on. In fact, you'll need to re-strategize your plan constantly because changing times usher in new approaches that require new tools to execute a post-pandemic business plan successfully.

Takeaway: Some new tools help you save, both in terms of time and money. For example, you can use a free tool like Click Up - it’s a project management tool that allows you to navigate through all of your team’s tasks including sales, marketing, and financial management. But there are so many more.  Feel welcome to reach out to us to learn about other tools that might be a fit for your specific business.

SERIOUS GAME-CHANGER FOR PROFESSIONALS

A Quick Tip For Entreprofessionals

Change Your Marketing Approach

As an entreprofessional that owns a business dealing with impacts of this pandemic, it is crucial to be wise with regard to your expenditures. You must avoid wasting money on marketing tactics that don’t drive results. Instead, invest in creating post-pandemic marketing and sales plans that will move your business forward. However, digital marketing as a whole is often the most cost-effective way of marketing your business. But not all strategies are created equal and not all channels of digital marketing are right for every business.

If your marketing approach prior to this year has been all about traditional marketing, please do yourself a favor. Give serious consideration to a digital marketing approach. With what has happened, such as Government and Health professionals advising us to stay in our homes, observe social distancing, and avoid going out; it greatly impacts everyday business operations for professional services businesses such as personal transactions, one-on-one consultations, and anything that traditionally required face-to-face interactions.  

Take note that a business that isn't digital will surely not last long in this now normal. Why? Because there are 4.57 billion individuals regularly using digital channels such as social media, email, and websites to interact with the world and to source providers of services that they need. With that, your competitors are also starting to use digital marketing strategies to cultivate brand awareness and improve conversion rates.

Takeaway:
● There are simple ways of using digital marketing strategies. By simply creating social media business pages, you can begin taking the first steps in creating your social media plan. For instance, if you set up a Facebook Business Page, you can begin posting your daily updates on Facebook. In this way, you can begin to cultivate brand awareness to your target market.
● Do regular testing. The purpose of testing is to evaluate your preparedness plan and to make sure that future disruptions have low to no impact on daily business operations.

SHIFTING GEARS

This pandemic has contributed a lot of changes. If you don’t want to be left out by all marketing changes, you must refresh your plan, staff, tools, and marketing approach and bring all of them into alignment with the digital marketing age within which we live. These are just basic steps on building a successful post-pandemic preparedness plan. And the only way to work toward the improvement of conversion rates, revenue, and ROI amidst the pandemic is through regular testing.

Pros: Preparedness, Mitigate Risks, Recover Operations
While the pandemic has caused a tremendous economic downturn, you need to keep in mind that the only way to ensure business survival and success during this recession is to adjust to the situation. Adjust by taking necessary steps, like creating business continuity plans. In this way, you’ll reduce the possible risks brought by the disruption and make coping with the crisis much easier. Moreover, you’ll be able to recover your operations. As a result-clients, investors, stockholders, will be more confident in doing business with you because while your competitors are striving hard to get back on their feet, here you are standing proud and tall.  That way, you can work to set yourself apart from your competition.4
 
Cons: Cost and Maintenance
Post-pandemic Preparedness Plan has disadvantages. Creating one might need you to hire someone that is specializing this skill in handling the recovery processes. And obviously, it will be an added cost in your budget. Also, the implementation of this preparedness plan is so tedious that it requires a lot of time. This is going to be costly and time-consuming so you have to evaluate first and make sure everything is done right when you choose to pursue the preparedness plan.

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Professional services businesses are uniquely challenged by what the pandemic has done over the past few months. If you are overwhelmed by how to develop a post pandemic plan for your business, click here to see if you qualify for a Vimagery Strategy Session. Together, we can help shortcut your efforts to cultivate, convert, and close new clients in the weeks and months ahead.

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