Unprecedented changes have been inflicted upon most of the nation’s businesses, following the devastation of COVID-19. That being said, there are those industries – such as healthcare, online entertainment, digital marketing and eCommerce – that have thrived on the changes brought about by the pandemic. On the other hand, other fields, like retail and hospitality, have suffered greatly due to lockdown orders and social distancing rules. Whether your business has flourished or declined, however, post-pandemic restructuring may be essential. No matter what trials and tribulations a business has faced, this crisis should now be seen as an opportunity to learn, in order to be better prepared for the future.
Darren Diamond, associate of the business restructuring specialists, Lawton Benjamin, has a great deal of professional insight into the various steps one can take to ensure their business is able to prosper in the wake of the pandemic. Here, Darren has detailed six tips that a wide selection of businesses will need to implement.
Allow for Remote Working
Remote working is a phrase many will have never heard before 2020, but since then, it’s been ingrained in our day to day lives to the extreme. In order to survive the lockdowns, as they continuously reared their ugly heads, the UK’s businesses had no choice but to ask their staff to work from home. Before long, this was referred to by many as the ‘new normal’, and it’s only relatively recently that the nation’s employees have been able to return to the office. Whilst there are those who are overjoyed with this return to normalcy, others have done so begrudgingly, with yet more workers being provided with the option to continue to work remotely, should they choose to.
The businesses offering the latter have got it right. There are undeniable benefits to allowing staff to work from home, in both employee motivation and cost savings. Whilst some people really struggled to separate their home and work life, others thrived, and to suddenly take this away from them just doesn’t make good business sense. Looking ahead, it would seem that restructuring companies are more than likely to continue to accommodate those working from home, in order to reap the benefits of this flexibility.
Similar to the push towards remote working, the pandemic also gave many businesses the shove towards an online presence that they desperately needed. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with the traditional, face-to-face experience, it’s important to understand that the Internet isn’t going anywhere and businesses will need to evolve if they want to succeed. This is the case regardless of the pandemic, but COVID-19 has certainly forced many businesses to start providing their customers with an online service, which can be accessed from the safety of their homes.
Whether this applies to retail stores launching their own courier services, family restaurants providing online food delivery, or anything in between, it’s a simple fact that the need for businesses to get online grows more and more each passing day. The pandemic has helped to nudge reluctant businesses in the right direction, and when it comes to successfully restructuring in the wake of COVID-19, investing more time and money into your online presence is certainly advisable.
Save on Costs
The pandemic has seen the revenue and profits of countless companies plummet, consequently making money saving and cutting costs a priority for many restructuring businesses. When it comes to cutting costs, the end goal is always to be able to continue working as efficiently as normal (if not more so), but at a lower rate. When reassessing your expenses, have a shop around for cheaper insurance policies or software subscriptions, that won’t have a negative impact on your business or employees if implemented. Comparison sites can be a useful tool in this endeavour, as they allow you to input your business details and compare multiple offers.
Utilise Government Support
The Government has helped many businesses stay afloat throughout the various lockdowns, by offering support through a series of grants and loans, as well as a furlough scheme; the latter enabling companies to continue to pay employees, when forced to close premises or downsize, without going out of pocket themselves. Researching the various Government support schemes available to you should certainly feature as an element of your business restructure. Remember, these support options exist solely for struggling and recovering businesses to take advantage of!
Improve Your Customer Engagement
Customer engagement has played a crucial role in the survival of many businesses throughout the pandemic, with many brands finding a new appreciation for just how important this is. COVID-19 or not, any business that struggles to offer the same services as a competitor may be able to lock down (no pun intended) a client through customer experience alone. It’s become increasingly apparent that human-centric, empathetic customer engagement, which prioritises the value of the customer over the sale, is needed now more than ever. Customers who feel a genuine connection with a brand are far more likely to stay loyal to them, regardless of whatever worldwide crisis is around the corner.
Stay Up to Date With Your Competitors
Many companies will be coming out the other side of this pandemic with fewer competitors than they started with. On the other side of the coin, however, businesses in the previously mentioned pandemic-thriving industries may need to develop more competitive strategies in order to cope with the growing demand for their services, not to mention the new competitors that might have come out of the woodwork as a result. Regardless of which side of the coin your business is on, it would certainly be wise to stay up to date with what your competitors are doing, in order to understand exactly how the impact of the crisis has affected where you stand in the market.
The pandemic has wrought significant changes in the way that businesses are run, so,
regardless of whether a company has suffered or thrived as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, business restructuring is likely to be a mutual necessity.
Darren Diamond is an associate of the business restructuring and tax specialists, Lawton Benjamin. He is an experienced director with a demonstrated history of working in the accounting industry. Darren has strong professional skills in business planning, accounting, income tax, tax, and account management.