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3 Tips You Need to Know for Your Business After COVID-19 Passes
3 Tips You Need to Know for Your Business After COVID-19 Passes
Monday, 11th May 2020 ThinkSmart Software

With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading across the world, many small business owners find themselves in a precarious position. In many countries, businesses have been forced to close their doors and temporarily work from home. Some enterprises have made this transition relatively smoothly. Software programmers, for example, can write code at home just as efficiently as in the office. Other businesses, which require physical interaction, like dance studios, gymnastic instructors etc., find themselves in a different predicament.

Although some countries are beginning to relax areas of the lockdowns, it is becoming clear that society will take a long time to return to normal. As an entrepreneur, you're very likely going to need to update aspects of your business to adjust to COVID-19.

Fortunately, there are three things you can consider to help your business be well-prepared for the post-COVID world!

Review and Update Health Procedures and Guidance

As time goes on, it is becoming evident that the world will be different after this pandemic passes. People will, understandably, be more cautious about being around other people. Some will also be wearing masks more - even if authorities eventually say it is not necessary to do so.

Now is a great time to figure out what your health procedures will be once the government allows businesses to reopen. For example, if you were once teaching five students close together in the same room, you might need to adjust that to one or two or only offer individual lessons. Parents, in particular, may be wary of bringing their children to a place where they might be exposed to COVID-19.

Some health procedures you may wish to consider are:

  • Reducing the size of your classes and thinking of ways to incorporate some elements of social distancing into your routines. For example, if you teach guitar, you might want to have students sitting two metres away so that you both feel safe.
  • Consider plans to have fewer parents attend classes or congregating at or around your venue (like at a coffee shop, e.g.). Be clear about your expectations of parents and why you have these restrictions in place. Fewer adults in your studio will markedly reduce the spread of this disease.
  • Transition to contactless payments. Whether clients put in their credit card information online, or you accept other contactless payment methods, customers are beginning to use these types of payment methods as a way to minimise exposure to COVID-19.
  • Wear masks and find ways to take temperatures. Since fevers are present in most COVID-19 cases, many governments are looking at temperature sensing as a way to keep people safe.

Some of these aspects may change as the pandemic progresses and subsides. While your business's physical location is closed, now is the perfect time to reimagine what safety procedures you can implement once authorities give it the green light to reopen.

It's worth noting that your plans should not come as a surprise to prospective clients! Once you begin formalising these plans, you should let parents know and start posting about what your guidance will be (social media posts are excellent for this). You will likely get some feedback - both good and bad - about your ideas. You can incorporate this feedback to finalise your guidance as you get closer and closer to the date when your studio will reopen!

With the right health procedures in place, you should be able to make people feel reasonably comfortable to come back. If not, then you can always offer the option to continue virtually!

Can You Optimise Your Business Model?

As a small business owner, you have a good sense of the natural "rhythms" of your business. You have a specific advertising budget that you know will attract some people. You know what you need to do to get good reviews. In short, you know how to run your business profitably.

It's not hard to imagine that in a post-COVID world, the old business model is no longer as efficient as it once was. For starters, many people are discovering that online learning is a fantastic tool, and online education tends to be cheaper to administer than having a physical studio location. Plus, students and parents may still be wary of going to your building even if you put lots of health safeguards in place.

Therefore, the new "normal" might be a hybrid where some students elect to have at least some of their classes online. As a business owner, you can prepare for this by thinking of what that hybrid business model might be. Do you still need your full studio? Can you expand? After all, if you can do eight classes a day online, that frees up studio space for those that want to attend in person!

You may also wish to consider implementing some form of online learning as an initial offering for people. Instead of needing to go to your studio to get their first introductory lesson, maybe you can offer one cheaper over the web. That way, they get to know you, and you get to know the prospective student, without making them drive to your business!

The addition of online learning means that many small businesses will be able to adjust and optimise their current business models.

Prepare for A Potential "Second Wave"

While everyone hopes that once the government gives the all-clear for businesses to reopen, and stay open, we also know that's not guaranteed. Governments are discussing the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus all over the world. In Australia, prominent academics discuss this very possibility as do officials in the UK .

Whether or not there will be a second wave remains to be seen as nobody can predict the future. What you can do, as a business owner, is prepare financially and mentally, in the case of governments requiring lockdowns again to get control of the virus. Focus on having some financial cushion to ride out another (hopefully shorter) lockdown. Additionally, you can work on a secondary lesson structure that you can use if your business must close again. Train all your employees on these policies and procedures as well.

Even when things return to normal, you should have a backup in case things aren't "normal" indefinitely. COVID-19 may require localised shutdowns through aggressive testing and tracing. If your business needs to work from home for a little while again, ensure that you have a smooth transition, so your students don't miss out on crucial instructional material!

COVID-19 Will Bring Some Permanent Changes

As most people are now saying, COVID-19 will bring some changes that will likely last for quite a while. Without a vaccine, businesses will probably need to adjust to this new "normal" and learn to thrive in it. You can do that by reviewing your health procedures to ensure customers feel safe, looking at your business model for potential optimisations, and preparing your studio for possible temporary closures in the future.

With these adjustments, you can be confident that your business will continue to survive and thrive in the post-COVID world!

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