The new normal has presented businesses, big and small, with unique challenges as health and safety protocols dictate how we do business. The new way of life in the new normal affects the workforce and supplier’s delivery logistics, management needs, performance monitoring, and overhead costs.
As smaller businesses have significantly less leeway for change to their daily operations, informed and innovative decision-making is essential for adapting to the new business landscape. Taking a closer look at opportunities for localization, streamlining, technological integration, professional services, and your engagement in the business will aid in bringing your company to great heights despite these rocky times.
Prominent corporations have the luxury of trying out wildcard methods of adapting to the new normal. They can implement change to varying degrees with a larger organization and possibly multiple locations. In comparison, smaller companies should take careful steps to ensure that the changes are seamlessly integrated and only improve the brand. Here are a few things you can do to adapt to the new times:
If your business needs any raw materials imported cross-country or even internationally, you might want to consider localizing your suppliers. The supply chains in various industries have been affected mainly as countries worldwide continue to have ever-changing import and export policies related to the pandemic. These changes can cause delays in the processing and delivery of your essential materials.
Suppose these materials are what your brand is built on and aren’t available locally. In that case, establishing a closer relationship with your supplier and real-time status reports of the delivery logistics will be necessary to ensure you’re meeting both your timeline and budget. You can also consider engaging smaller, local suppliers, which might cause an increase in cost initially but will be offset with the smoother deliveries and transactions.
Businesses that offer a wide variety of goods and services might want to consider streamlining their product offerings. Maintaining the many materials or higher workforce requirements of an extensive product offering not only drives up your cost but also makes for increased management needs. Streamlining your offering to your best-sellers or those with the highest demand ensures you don’t have a surplus of goods or manpower. This will also serve to provide you with better profit margins.
Smaller businesses arguably actually have a better chance at successful small-scale technological integration. Simpler business models are easier to alter and have fewer contingent moving pieces to consider. It can be as simple as utilizing cloud computing or workforce management programs to improve efficiency or even looking into possible areas for automation. Suppose you have the liquidity needed to take a significant step towards tech integration. It enhances productivity and sews the seeds for efficiency and higher productivity. In terms of remote management, performance tracking, and smaller manufacturing needs, new technology tailored for the new normal is currently available on the market to help.
Excellent accounting, legal, advertising, and project management consultants are invaluable parts of small businesses. Less prominent organizations that can’t afford to have designated departments for the following areas will usually engage seasoned industry professionals for their guidance and services.
While the goal is for these to be included in the in-house organizational structure eventually, they all serve as immense resources for small businesses. Having an accountant who knows the ins and outs of your business, personal financial statements, tax regulations helps you get a clearer picture of your return of investment. Having a well-versed civil and criminal attorney helps you professionally and personally. For instance, suppose one of your delivery drivers was charged with driving under the influence. A DUI lawyer can help your company as they will be well versed in both as a DUI can fall under civil and criminal cases.
Ad agencies can also help prepare campaigns that fit your budget while still delivering your desired results. While small business owners might be tempted to craft their marketing and advertising agendas personally, professional agencies benefit from industry exposure to recent trends and an established history of successful campaigns. Another essential professional service is project management experts. Suppose you’re considering undertaking a new significant project. These professionals make sure you accomplish the task within your budget and improve the implementation and daily organizational needs of a project.
Small businesses continue to overcome the hurdles of the new normal with intelligent thinking and creative business solutions. Not all industries will respond the same way to different tactics, though. So a thorough analysis of both your market and competitors and their new behaviors will serve to help you recognize potential areas for change.