Creating A New Business Normal

darren-nolander-workWe’re all adapting and doing our best during these unique times, but we know business – and the environment we operate in – won’t always stay this way. You should, of course, focus on the current situation, but do so with the understanding that change is inevitable. Until that change comes, you can work to position yourself for optimal success with some of the following suggestions.

Reduce Costs

Shelter-at-home orders have shown us that business continues regardless of whether we’re attending conferences, buying clients coffee, popping by open houses or utilizing that new software that was just installed on our work computers. Take this time to look at your expenses and see what really matters to your bottom line.

Does the expense help you find, contact, schedule and secure clients in a fashion that more than pays for itself? Great. Keep it. Does the expense make you look or feel successful, without any actual results? It may be time for this to go.

Maximize Staff

Whether you’re working on a team remotely or not, chances are you’re not quarantining with these individuals, which means the dynamic has changed. Take some time to evaluate every team member, their schedules, duties and compensation to ensure these all align appropriately.

This downtime is also ideal for considering any changes regarding roles and responsibilities. Carve out a little time to hop on a video chat to discuss current roles and how these roles may change once stay-at-home orders are lifted and business resumes at a more normal pace.

Evaluate Your Business Model

Does the way you work, work for you? That’s the million-dollar question during any business cycle. So, use this opportunity to do a self-audit. This should include your prospecting efforts, communication methods, referral partners, branding and co-branding, use of technology and administrative duties.

Are these arteries all pumping at full capacity, or are there blockages? How about during this quarantine period? Are you still running at 100 percent? If not, it’s time to identify and destroy the holdups.

Part of this strategy may involve diversifying. You may find that your referral partners bring you the bulk of your prospects, but is that only true because you rely on them for the majority of your business? If so, of course this is going to prove to be correct. You’re not placing your efforts elsewhere! The same goes for the other avenues. When you diversify the way you do business – including the who, where, how and when – you open yourself up to new channels of success that you might not have even known were there.

Find the Silver Linings

If necessity is the mother of invention, and it often is, there should be some positive outcomes from this crisis. We know the consequences have been profound for our business.  We’ve all learned how to work remotely—and at high level and great speed.  Some of these practices could well stick, making for better management and a more flexible and diverse workforce. As we’re forced to do more with less, many of us find better, simpler, less expensive, and faster ways to operate. No matter what, we need optimism and courage—these are the qualities that are needed more than ever as leaders make the decisions that will shape the next normal.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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