Finding silver linings for your business during crises
As the current global situation continues to impact the day to day lives of people all around the world, it is really hard to avoid the negativity that may come from the news, friends and family, and our own thoughts.
But, as John Milton’s famous idiom goes – every cloud has a silver lining. Silver linings may not be glaringly obvious, but once spotted, they can make even the most challenging of situations more hopeful.
There are a number of unique business opportunities that have come to light as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and if you are able to take advantage of those opportunities and maximise this period, it can do wonders for your business now and in the long run as well.
Taking plans off the backburner
As the years go by, most managers and business owners come up with great and creative ideas for their businesses. These can range from the implementation of a new storage system, novel ways to track customer insights, better ways to analyse employee performance, and so on.
The challenge is finding time to make these projects happen. As a result of the daily grind, these ideas are placed on the backburner, and efforts are focused on maintaining the status quo.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who are managing to get by despite this sluggish business climate, you have a unique opportunity to breathe life into some of your long-term ideas and passion projects that having been sitting on the backburner.
Rethinking long-term strategies
Business strategy analysis is an important thing to do from time to time. When done properly, key stakeholders and decision makers collaboratively work through the specific details of the organisation with a fine-tooth comb, brainstorming ideas for how to improve the way in which the business operates.
Read: Get the most out of your brainstorms
Opportunities to devote a significant period of time to this strategy analysis almost never present themselves, causing the analysis to happen gradually – rather than in a focused and uninterrupted environment.
If there was ever a time to rethink your business’s strategies – it’s now! These strategies can be employee journey mapping, customer experience efforts, product or service quality and fiscal stability.
Read: Mapping out your employee experience
Be there for your customers
Aside from rethinking long-term strategies and preparing for life after the virus, now is a great time to get an understanding of your customers’ current needs and pivot your offering to cater for those needs.
People remember those who go above and beyond for them in times of need, and with competition being as stiff as it is, it’s always important to find ways through which your business can stand out from the rest.
Instead of trying to find a way to push your product or service onto your customers, try and find innovative ways to use your resources and skills in ways that meet the immediate needs of your customers.
Read: How to tap into your employees hidden talents
By doing this, you can effectively achieve (at least) the following three positive outcomes:
- You’re helping people get through these challenging times.
- You’ll be remembered by your customers, which will hopefully give you a competitive edge in the future.
- Finding different uses for your resources and skills will help you learn about your organisation’s flexibility and agility – which can broaden your horizons for when the storm passes.
Getting to know your employees better
A lot of parents are saying that a silver lining to their Covid-19 cloud has been that they are now spending more quality time with their families.
Well, the same opportunity exists for you and your employees. Now is a great time to learn more about your employees, spend quality time with each of them to explore their likes, dislikes, ambitions and passions and work with them to help reach their goals and experience fulfillment in their careers.
Times of upheaval and change can be a good stress test to determine which of your employees are able to adapt and innovate when the going gets tough. Right now, there is a unique opportunity to see an employee’s true colours, making it an optimal time to be on the lookout for your future leaders.
Read: Management versus leadership – bringing out the best in your employees
Keep an eye out for those employees who rise to the occasion and present strong leadership traits. If a leader is born within your business as a result of the pandemic – that’s definitely a silver lining.
A chance for increased L&D
Managers need to foster a culture of ongoing learning and development (L&D) in order to create thriving and healthy work environments. Just like most other ‘extracurricular activities’ though, opportunities for L&D are normally limited to periodic training days or the random in-service workshop run by the company.
The coronavirus pandemic presents the rare opportunity to increase your company’s L&D efforts and help your employees improve and become better versions of themselves.
Now is a great time to work with your employees to enhance their careers through education and training. Discuss leadership, mental health, collaboration and negotiation, and help them build these skillsets out further.
You’ll find that not only are these increased L&D efforts a worthwhile investment in preparation for when the pandemic is finally over, but it’ll help your team improve their capacity to deal with their personal and professional challenges as they surface.
Read: What is interventional training?
You’re not alone if the current climate is making you feel uncertain as to what the future holds and finding the resilience to rise above negativity and push through the challenges is far easier said than done.
But, being aware of what the silver linings are and exploring ways to implement them into your business can be a game changer during these uncertain times.
Using this time to improve your business through innovation can help you navigate your way through this crisis and see it through to the other side.