Top 5 Tips to innovate during and after a pandemic
26 August 2020
Clearly, COVID-19 is a potential threat to all businesses and is changing the way almost all of us are working on a daily basis, but it can also be seen as an opportunity.
Businesses that are agile, adaptable and open to change are more likely to be in a position to grow post-pandemic than those who are stuck in a rut and steadfastly refuse to do things differently.
Bisola Orimalade is an SFEDI-accredited business adviser with nearly 10 years’ experience supporting businesses to start and grow. In her role with SEMLEP’s Growth Hub, Bisola supports SMEs to identify areas of growth to achieve their business goals. Though her specialism is digital marketing, gained through running her own digital marketing agency, she supports SMEs in various aspects of business.
Here Bisola shares her top tips for how businesses can innovate both during and after a pandemic to ensure they are best-positioned for future growth.
- Listen to people’s pains. What are they complaining about? What have your customers been telling you regarding your product and services prior to the pandemic? It’s vital you are able to empathise with your clients and understand their concerns in order to recognise any potential problem and act to put it right. Keep your ears open and receptive to constructive feedback and be willing to adapt your services to meet the needs of your customers.
- Adapt to the new way of working. Things have changed, possibly forever. There’s no getting away from that and no matter how much it might make you feel uncomfortable, businesses need to get on board with it. There is now a demand and an expectation for flexible working. Office space may need to be reconsidered and greater investment in technology may be necessary. Managers need to lead from the front and embrace the challenges posed by COVID-19, coming up with innovative solutions and new ways of doing things.
- Seek expert business advice. Nobody knows all of the answers, all of the time. These are unprecedented times and it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for help when you need it. Reach out to others to get their input and harness the benefits of their knowledge to boost your business. COVID-19 will take you out of your comfort zone but by working collaboratively with others you can meet those challenges head on.
- Be flexible in your business approach. Even the best-laid business plans have been ripped up by the pandemic. Strategies that were seemingly set in stone have been consigned to the past and we all need to rethink and reshape our businesses and what the future looks like for all of us. By being quick, agile and nimble in our decision-making process we can switch to new processes, imagine new revenue streams and target new markets. It’s important to take yourself out of the status quo, ask yourself those difficult questions and come up with previously unimagined answers.
- Revisit your marketing strategy. It’s not just your business that’s changed, others have too. The channels you previously used to reach your customers may have seen their effectiveness decimated by COVID-19 and now could be the time to change the way you market your business and advertise your services. With more of us working from home and an even greater onus on technology to keep the workplace connected, is now finally the time to focus on digital? Traditional print media has suffered during lockdown, with dwindling circulations and no guarantee those readers will return. By switching to a more data-driven digital marketing strategy you could see a far greater ROI and position yourself for growth when your customers are ready to return.
SEMLEP’s Growth Hub is here to help. Get more information on our services here, or if you would like to speak to a business adviser, please contact us.