Growing a business is difficult enough in normal times, but CEOs and business leaders face even greater challenges these days.
Ravaged by the effects of the coronavirus, some enterprises clinging to old business models have fallen by the wayside. Other businesses, forced by circumstances to pivot or otherwise refine their means of operations, are making plans to outlast the pandemic, no matter how long it takes.
Is it even possible for a business to grow under present conditions?
Significant growth took place in 2021, despite the resurgence of Covid-19. As The New York Times reports, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that GDP “expanded by 1.7 percent in the final three months of 2021 after adjusting for inflation … For the full year, the economy grew 5.7 percent, the largest annual increase since 1984.”
Here are tips to help you plan for growth in 2022 and beyond:
Make employee health and safety a top priority.
Most businesses had employee-health safeguards in place prior to the pandemic. But current circumstances make clear that more can be done in terms of maintaining a safe workplace (access to hand sanitizer, social-distancing procedures, etc.).
Also, recognize that employees face unique challenges when trying to balance work with their personal lives. In many cases, opting for a remote-employee operation makes the most sense. If you’re headed in that direction, it’s vital to keep offsite workers engaged. Keep these tips in mind:
- Use communications technology to stay in touch with remote workers.
- Include offsite employees in onsite meetings.
- Be mindful of remote workers’ mental health and well-being.
- Recognize and reward offsite employees’ achievements.
A workforce that includes offsite employees “has, by now, attained something of a permanent status, as many companies anticipate continuing the remote-employee process long after the nation’s recovery is fully underway.”
Refine your strategic marketing approach.
If social media plays a key role in your marketing strategies, make a renewed effort to connect with prospects (while also supporting existing customers). This means paying closer attention to content on your business website and coming up with new ways to connect with followers.
“If ever there was a time to think about whether your company is easy to find online, your website is easy to navigate or your social media is generating likes and retweets, this is it,” notes Forbes. Just as importantly, communicate to customers that “you are there and you value them, and give them incentives to spread the word about how much they love your products and services.”
Take advantage of virtual options to nurture sales leads.
Prospects may feel more comfortable being approached by your sales team if you do so via a virtual marketing event. Look into hosting an industry-specific webinar or town hall meeting, which people can view from their own homes. Look to create an immersive experience for your sales leads, drawing them in with giveaways and/or speakers who offer great value to those who attend.
As for sales calls, it’s vital in our Zoom era to be always professional. “Treat your virtual sales calls like in-person meetings and prioritize first impressions,” notes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Make sure to wear professional attire, “optimize your background and home office environment, and make sure your audio and video are clear for seamless communication.”
Stay mindful of your own frame of mind.
Remember, your team looks to you for guidance through difficult times. Never panic! Stay calm by taking care of yourself, “which will alternatively keep your employees calm,” advises Open for Business. “Ultimately, this can create a healthier mindset for everyone to come up with ideas to move forward.”
Want more information on how to grow your company during (and after) a pandemic? Register for our free TAB Boss Webinar, “Growth Strategies Post-Covid 19.”