We recently shared our insights into how businesses have adapted and innovated during 2020, despite the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Here we share our top tips for businesses looking to build for better:
1. Reputation management is key
Public scrutiny can be very damaging for businesses and throughout the pandemic, the court of public opinion has passed judgment on the actions of businesses. Without proper reputation management, businesses risk losing engagement from their stakeholders, whether that is their shareholders, employees or customers.
2. Focus on the important issues
The most successful businesses are quickly identifying issues which cannot easily be commercially resolved and finding ways to resolve disputes, including through the Courts (an option which has been available throughout).
3. Plan ahead
Businesses were not previously prepared for an event like the Covid -19 pandemic, however, now is a great opportunity to look ahead and think about the safeguards you have in place if such an event happened again, for example, look at your supply chain resilience as this will be relevant for Brexit too.
4. Engage with your employees
Many businesses and their employees have faced a difficult year. The most successful businesses have created a feeling within their organisation that they are 'all in this together'. We have seen management teams being more open and transparent, enabling their people to gain a better understanding about what their business is and how it operates, which ultimately will help improve employee engagement.
5. Use technology to your advantage
Although many are feeling a bit 'zoomed' out, the adoption of technology and enforced remote working has opened up lines of communications, with fewer barriers to arranging meetings. The Head of Legal at one of our retail clients shared with us how remote working has improved communication and sharing of information and ideas with their organisation.
Technology can also be used to improve customer experience. One of clients, a jewellery retailer said to us that the pandemic had accelerated their customer facing digital transformation.
6. Assess your route to market
With some traditional routes to market being heavily disrupted by the pandemic, many businesses have re-evaluated how they are engaging with the market and coming up with new ideas. The FD of a food business shared with us that the lack of face to face meetings, hospitality and trade shows and ability to be able to demonstrate products is saving money but also revealing who is really skilled at developing new business.
7. Get back to 'business as usual' (with some tweaks)
Most businesses are beyond the 'fire fight', are flexing and adapting to the 'current normal' and are focussed on what they would have been focusing on pre-Covid – customer care, growth, pipeline, new markets etc - getting back to 'business as usual (as possible)'.