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What’s “normal” now?

There’s no going back.

Where SARS and MERS were the harbingers of things to come, COVID has effectively changed us from this point forward.

Recovery, for the most part, will never again entail “business as usual” because let’s not forget the economy wasn’t strong when we were forced to pivot into this new realty. Someone said, “it’s like threading a very large rope through a tiny needle” and we must try to do just that by adjusting our expectations, modifying what we do and how we do it to best meet customer needs.

Remaining status quo and hoping for the best is no longer a viable option. We, as business owners, need to expect and face the reality that the impact of this pandemic will be felt indefinitely. So, where do we start?

At the beginning.

  • Define your goal.
  • Decide how to expand the market offering and adjust the value proposition.
  • As you quickly adapt, this may open exposure to a new client base as demand changes.
  • Prepare for the surge when restrictions are lifted
  • Understand that customer expectations have changed after so long in isolation.
  • Communication—Communication—Communication … is key. Keep customers informed with effective and relevant information.

A colleague put it best when comparing “old-style” business response as a checker game. All the pieces are moving forward with defined rules in one direction. Can we ever consider business in this light again?

The new normal is more reflective of a chess game. Each piece is capable of specific moves, pivots and directional changes. We, as business owners have to understand which piece does what in order to achieve a “win”. This may mean instead of employees coming into an office, that some continue to work from home. Some employers may shift to more of a “gig” workforce with specific outcomes in mind, for a defined period of time, while others, depending on product or service, may move to a “contract” specific workforce.

It’s not enough anymore to call people to work, considerations have to involve:

  • how are they getting there?
  • are there elevators involved?
  • do you have to supply masks and personal protective equipment (PPE)?


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