4 ways to create business certainty
The pandemic has created immeasurable stress and uncertainty for businesses and unfortunately, there is no road map or ‘cheat sheet’ to get through to the other side.
Some businesses will fare better than others and for some, it will be the final straw. Whether your business is surviving, pivoting or starting again there are a few things business owners can do to create a new kind of certainty in these uncertain times.
One thing that is absolutely certain is, how we conduct business has significantly changed. What was once bricks and mortar operations, office spaces and deals done over coffee, is now more about online shopping, working from home and Zoom meetings.
Yesterday’s business no longer fits into a pandemic shaped hole so let’s take a minute to understand what our businesses look like now, in order to make the right decisions for a successful future.
Get reacquainted with your business
Even without the influence of a pandemic, your business is bound to change and adapt over time. Technology, team dynamics and client needs all contribute to the decisions being made for the future success of your business.
Understanding the “current state” of your business can provide significant insights and help determine what the right decisions are.
Conducting observational studies or working with your team to participate in diary studies allows you to collect data and see first-hand how current processes are impacting workflows, how the skills of your team are being utilised and whether the tools and technology in place are helping or hindering productivity.
Engage your team
Your team knows better than anyone what works and what doesn’t, because they live it every day.
The data collection activities above are a way to give your team a voice and share with leadership what they experience when trying to complete their jobs.
Making decisions that impact how your team is able to perform their jobs based on assumptions and generic reporting, can create a great divide between them and leadership and often lead to an unhappy and unengaged workforce.
A decision-making process that is inclusive of everyone and is based on real-life insights can be a positive factor towards creating certainty that the right decisions are being made.
See your business from your client’s eyes
How we engage with others, shop and seek entertainment is different and may never fully return to pre-pandemic times.
Whether the needs of our clients have changed, or we in our businesses have made changes to how we present, allow interaction.
Customer satisfaction surveys mean that we can change and evolve together and continue to build a business that meets the needs of our clients.
Because without clients, do we even have a business?
Back up your decisions with data
Data provides an unwavering source of truth that gives you insights into what is really going on in your business.
Data collected from observational studies (aka time and motion) helps you to quantify the areas of your business that are working or need improvement. However, engagement and satisfaction surveys will provide insights into how your team and clients feel about your business and their interaction with it.
Every business is unique in its purpose, delivery and internal structure. What we often forget is that our businesses hold all the insights and answers we need in order to make the right decision for our own situation.
While we can’t control what curveball the pandemic will throw at us next, we can control how we react and look towards the future.
Certainty is locked away in knowledge and every day our businesses create the data we need to unlock it. Data always has a story to tell if only we are prepared to listen.
While it may not tell the story you want to hear, it will tell you what you need to hear.
Author: Zoe Savic.
This article was first published in Inside Small Business, a sibling publication to Inside Franchise Business Executive.