Preparing Your Business for Resurgence: 9 Essential Steps
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted businesses, with many experiencing a slowdown in operations. A recent survey by Goldman Sachs revealed that over 50% of small business owners can only sustain their businesses for a maximum of three months at current rates. Rather than succumbing to despair, now is the opportune time to focus on tasks that are often neglected due to a a lack of time. By taking proactive measures, you can position your business for success when this crisis subsides. Here are nine crucial steps to undertake:
- Enhance your security protocols:
Cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, and even amidst the pandemic, hackers are exploiting vulnerabilities. It is imperative to strengthen your security protocols by implementing measures such as dark web monitoring, firewall protection, antivirus solutions, and secure remote connections. Identifying potential risks and taking proactive steps to mitigate them will safeguard your business and customer data.
- Develop a compliance plan:
With the emergence of new privacy laws worldwide, including data privacy regulations in the US, it is essential to ensure your business is compliant with relevant regulations. Evaluate customer, prospect, and website visitor data handling practices, and assess compliance requirements such as PCI, NIST, and HIPAA (if applicable). Seek expert assistance to review your existing compliance measures and establish a comprehensive plan to address any challenges.
- Consider hardware upgrades:
If you have received funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), you may have resources available to upgrade your hardware infrastructure. Although PPP funds cannot be allocated for hardware upgrades specifically, consider utilizing available cash to enhance your computer systems. Additionally, explore options such as Hardware as a Service, which allows you to spread the cost of hardware upgrades over monthly payments.
- Refresh your website:
Websites require periodic updates to ensure they effectively represent your business and resonate with your target audience. Take this time to review and refresh your website, focusing on content updates, design enhancements, and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. By highlighting your latest offerings and optimizing your website’s performance, you will strengthen your online presence.
- Streamline your lead list:
Over time, databases become cluttered and outdated without regular maintenance. Now is the ideal opportunity to audit your prospect and client lists, removing duplicates and reclassifying entries as necessary. Create a plan for ongoing upkeep to prevent future accumulation of redundant or inaccurate data, ensuring your lead list remains organized and up to date.
- Develop a strategic plan:
The current crisis has underscored the need for agility and proactive planning. Brainstorm your next product offering or marketing strategies and create a strategic plan for the next 12 to 18 months. Strategic planning is crucial for long-term success, and this period of relative calm presents an invaluable opportunity to devote time to strategic thinking and charting a course for the future.
- Gather testimonials and case studies:
Take advantage of positive feedback from satisfied customers and compile testimonials, case studies, and customer shout-outs for your website. By leveraging these endorsements, you can enhance your credibility and showcase the value your business provides.
- Invest in education and training:
Allocate time for yourself and your team to engage in professional development and training. Equip your team with best practices and the latest industry knowledge, ensuring they are well-prepared for the eventual rebound in business.
- Update standard operating procedures:
Review and update your standard operating procedures (SOPs) to align with your current business operations. Engage your team in this process to ensure they have the latest versions of SOPs and eliminate any outdated or redundant procedures. A comprehensive business manual will not only assist new hires but also promote consistency and efficiency across your organization.
While we anticipate a safe reopening of businesses in the near future, seize the opportunity presented by the current downturn to prepare your business for a resurgence. By proactively implementing these nine steps, you will position your business for success in the post-pandemic landscape.