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How your small business can adapt to the post-coronavirus world

8 August 2020, 10:00 am by Samantha Garner

In Canada, many regions and provinces are easing pandemic restrictions, and some small businesses are opening up more. Here are some ways that businesses can adapt to our new world, and implement changes moving forward.

Investigate online and contactless options

During the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless delivery, pickup, and payment options helped many small businesses keep their heads above water. Not only did these options help to maintain social distancing guidelines, but many customers found them convenient as well. They enjoyed the convenience of placing orders online and not having to worry about carrying cash and making change. When your business is back to normal, consider maintaining some of these options to retain those customers who responded well to them.

If you ran a virtual workforce during the pandemic, could your team and workflow benefit from adding work-from-home days to your regular schedules? Could you investigate remote work more often in the future to allow for greater work-life sastisfaction?

Audit your offerings

Many small B2C businesses, particularly restaurants, had to streamline their offerings in order to avoid needless supplier orders and reduce customer wait times. When opening your business back up, ask yourself what this streamlining has shown you about your offerings. Did your customers miss what they couldn’t get? Did not ordering materials and supplies for these things positively affect your process or your expenses? Ask your customers what they want – you may be pleasantly surprised.

Maximize safety

If there’s one thing the pandemic made us all keenly aware of, it’s how many things we come into contact with during a transaction that may have the potential to cause illness. Review the safety protocols your small business enacted during the pandemic. What lessons did you learn from them? Could you adopt any of these protocols in your business going forward to increase employee and customer safety?

Review – or create – your crisis plan

Not many small businesses saw the pandemic coming, or could respond quickly enough. The way your small business weathered the storm can teach you a lot about how to prepare for similar events in the future. If you have a crisis plan, review how the pandemic stacked up against it. If you don’t have one, now’s a great time to make one! Think about how your small business can respond to sudden disruptions in staffing, supplies, operations – everything. You may be able to enact permanent changes that can help your business make it through a future event.

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