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If you are running a business, whether small or large, it is going to get tough and you cannot expect to do BUSINESS in the same way post Lockdown as you did prior to Lockdown.

Here, I have even prepared a precis of a number of crucial steps which you have to do for your business, if you want to survive, indeed, grow and prosper.

COVID-19 Guidelines: Make your business compliant with COVID Guidelines provided by Govt. & Make a Coronavirus Safety Procedure Policy. It is critical that you make the necessary changes to your business compliance wrt to legislation especially if you have customers physically visiting your work premises and you have employees physically working there, too. The safety of your employees and your customers has to be an utmost priority. It is also imperative that you create good procedures and protocols for safe working that comply with Government legislation and that you incorporate good and effective safe distancing and protection methods.

Review your HR policy: Your employees are bound to feel nervous about working after Lockdown and it is crucial that you reassess your employment strategy now. For companies operating post lockdown would be difficult running a business. However, you will need your employees to work to their full potential to help get you through this. For this, you will need a happy workforce and this is a good time to review how you will work with your employees and how you will treat your employees in the new 'normal'. Build strong employee relationships that inspire and motivate. You will need strong bonds and relationships with your employees, if they are to feel inspired and motivated to perform to their best ability. This will involve close interaction between you and your key staff.

Employee Safety: Understand and talk to your employees about their fears & concerns. They may have many doubts through those unsure times; they may be considering their safety and future employment prospect. For this, you have to be open enough to understand and discuss their fears and concerns. There is a need to pacify their issues and to reassure them. In this new running environment. In this new working climate, they will be worried about contact with other employees and customers from their health perspective. As an employer, it will be compulsory upon you to minimize all contact and to maximize their protection, including using good social distancing and protective protocols.

Social Media: Social media is one of the best ways to create awareness for your merchandise and to drive traffic to your website. You need to reexamine and re-evaluate this and, again, try to see things through the eyes of your customer. You may want to make it appealing and engaging, and also you want to assume that the higher your content material, the higher your pix and the extra content material you put up onto social media, the extra attention you may create, the extra site visitors you may get for your internet site and the extra clients and sales, you may realize.

Website & Online offerings: Online sales are going to grow massively now with customers being nervous about visiting shops. Also, during this period, people have got more used to buying online and you must take advantage of this. Your website is going to have to work very hard for you and it is imperative that it works right, efficiently and effectively for you, too. You need to additionally make sure the shopping for procedures out of your internet site is straightforward to perform and offers the client an awesome enjoy and the belief to shop for from you. Now is the time to study it and your on-line services thoroughly. Video marketing: Video advertising and marketing is surely turning into very effective as your target clients are much more likely to look at a brief video as opposed to examine text. The opportunities are endless, here, inclusive of movies highlighting your products, displaying how clients can use your products, to even displaying clients the use of them. Video has to be used on all of your social media platforms, your website, e-mail advertising and marketing and also you have to even bear in mind starting your personal YouTube channel too. Customer reviews and testimonials: If Customers are to shop for you, they have to have faith in you, your merchandise and your business. Good comments and testimonials are a terrific manner to try this and also you ought to exhibit those in all types of your marketing. Don't be shy or modest, you want to get those out. Email Marketing: You will get hold of the email address for each Customer who buys from you and with their permission, you ought to collect a listing of addresses and frequently touch them with information of your products, etc. Many clients who're actually satisfied together along with your services could be satisfied in an effort to do this. The happier they'll be, the much more likely they may be to subscribe.

Work from Home: Encourage working from home for employees, if possible. Wherever possible, you should encourage all employees to work remotely from home (based on which Industry you operate), if at all possible; for this you must be prepared to supply and install the appropriate technology to make the process work well and efficiently.

Employee engagements: Encourage your employees to express their views, make suggestions. Employee engagement is crucial in these times; you need to know their views and to allow them to make suggestions to how procedures are conducted - many good ideas could be forthcoming. It is also important that they are allowed to ask questions and that their voice is heard. Suppressing employee engagement could be very detrimental to your business generally and you should avoid this. Customer profile: Revisit your customer profile and customer experience. You are going to need every customer that you can grab during these difficult times. Importantly, you will need customers for repeat purchase to achieve high customer loyalty and good sales, the customer journey and customer experience must be excellent; if it is any less, you risk losing customers and sales. Review of 4 P: This is the time to check the whole lot along with your marketing, products, prices, customer support and after sales, etc. Everything should be reassessed and modified where necessary and on a regular basis. Review your products. You need strong product sales if you are to be profitable during post lockdown. But will the products you were selling before lockdown still be good sellers after lockdown? An extensive review might be appropriate and this could display up a few new thoughts for promoting sales. New product development or modifications in existing product lines: Sales are crucial if you are to stay profitable and the greater the choice of high selling products, the greater your revenue sales will be. This is the time to think about digressing into selling different products into different markets to different customer groups. Many businesses have done this successfully during the Lockdown, such chemical companies producing hand sanitizers. With some creativity and some thinking 'outside the box', you could look at selling other related or none related products. Reassess & revise your product pricing: With a recession, rising unemployment and less spending power, it might be wise to review your pricing to make yourself more competitive. You could maybe look at reducing the price of a product slightly or you could look at creating a deal where more products can be sold; here the contribution per product sale might be reduced but your overall gross profit margin might be boosted. Review your targeted clients: Do you actually understand your Targeted clients? Do you recognize who they may be and what their buying patterns are? The higher you recognize and understand your clients, the higher you could marketplace to them and the higher you could promote to them. You should reassess your target customers on a regular basis, as customer needs and wants as well as buying habits can change. Build Strong Bonding with Customer: Think to build stronger relationships with your customers. Building strong customer relationships is key to creating a loyal customer base, where customers keep buying from you and who will help to spread your business message, as brand ambassadors. This is the time to review how you talk to your customers and the messages that you use. Branding: Look to strengthen your brand image. A strong brand image is crucial if you are to maintain the trust of existing customers to keep buying and to gain the trust of new customers to give you a try. Do you know how customers see your brand? It is imperative that you know and a good way to find out is to ask them; and, you don't just want to know the good stuff but you need to know the bad stuff too, if you are to strengthen your brand and eliminate any perceived weaknesses. Companies that adapt to the changing needs of customers will recover more rapidly and be better positioned than competitors. Now, the need for these capabilities will become foundational to experience creation, and the speed at which companies can—and, increasingly must—respond to them will become sources of competitive advantage.

Dr. Praveen Srivastava

Business Coach and Management consultant

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