After almost two years of lockdown, isolation, border closures and travel bans, the world is slowly opening up again. Now’s the time to identify the changes that have emerged due to COVID-19 and how businesses can adapt to the new reality.
In this article, you’ll discover the seven ways in which the world has shifted because of COVID-19. Some of them you’ve definitely felt and experienced in your business, a couple of others are more subtle but equally important aspects shaping the future of business.
Shift to Online
The e-commerce sector saw massive growth as customers looked towards online shopping as an alternative during the pandemic. In fact, the e-commerce platform Shopify saw a 110 per cent increase in revenue, making it Canada’s most valuable firm.
So what you need to be thinking about is how you can shift your business online. This is for both product and service-based businesses. People want to buy stuff online and have it shipped directly to them. If you’re a service-based business, you need to make sure that people can book a consultation or request a quote online.
Virtual meetings have become a workplace norm. Although in-person meetings are slowly returning, virtual meetings are here to stay. Like the impact of the pandemic, the shift to virtual meetings will change the way people work forever.
Whether it’s coffee catch-ups, lunch meetings, business events or speaking engagements, you can just jump into Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams and start your meeting. Instead of flying every week to attend board meetings in different locations around the country, you can now attend meetings wherever you are.
Another shift in the business industry is the move to screen-to-screen selling — that is, selling done on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone which opens up a whole new world of sales possibilities. Today, more and more businesses are recognizing screen to screen selling as equally effective to traditional, in-person selling.
If you’re looking to implement screen to screen selling, make sure you’ve got a good setup, lighting and camera so you can take your meetings to that next level.
Although some of us will be returning to the workplace, it looks like remote working is here to stay in some form or another. We’re seeing many organisations encouraging their workforce to continue working from home even after cities slowly lift their lockdowns and restrictions. The reason being is because their talent is now no longer restricted to the people that can physically come into their office, they can now hire staff across the country and all over the world.
What does the future of work look like for your business? If you’re considering a remote working culture, you don’t have to jump straight to hiring a fully-distributed team in different locations. First, you should consider the five levels of remote work. Read the full article here.
Virtual Assistants are Not Just Assistants
One of the big things that hopefully you have learned through this pandemic is that virtual assistants are not just assistants. They’re not just capable of doing small and menial tasks, they’re doing whole jobs, and some of them are highly specialized. Some of you may have hired remote architects, accountants and other professionals that are doing way more than just assistant jobs.
If you’re looking to build a remote team, we’ve got the perfect training for you. In just under an hour, you’ll learn everything you need to know to find, hire and manage your own virtual assistants. For more information, click here.
Mental Health is an Everyone Issue
As a business, you need to know that mental health is now something that you have to take seriously as a boss, manager and leader. First of all, you’ve got to make sure you’re looking after your own mental health. One of the most important parts of your job is to stay mentally healthy. But also, it’s now your responsibility to make sure that when people are working, they are in a healthy environment physically and mentally, as well.
There’s a whole bunch of things that you can do in order to improve your mental health in your business. When your team feels burnt out after a long week of working, you can turn regular meetings into walking meetings. Walking meetings are a productive and healthy solution to combat the challenges facing workers today.
Here are other ways you can support mental health at work:
- Team Retreats
- Free Gym Memberships
- Have a Wellness Day
- Take Part in Gratitude Challenge
- Hire a Mental Health Officer
Reviews Aren’t Just for Customers
Glassdoor is a website where current and former employees anonymously leave reviews about you and your business. There’s a growing number of job seekers that trust Glassdoor more than they trust company-produced messages. As a leader, you must make sure that you create a great working environment for your team.
To do this, you can refer to Google’s 10-year study around what makes great managers. One of the points there is to create an inclusive team environment and show concern for success and well being. As Google puts it, “in a team with high psychological safety, teammates feel safe to take risks around their team members. They feel confident that no one on the team will embarrass or punish anyone else for admitting a mistake, asking a question, or offering a new idea.”
Business Is Becoming More Competitive
As you may have experienced, the business industry has become a lot more competitive. In the last two years, the barrier to starting a business has never been lower. Technology has never been cheaper. Access to markets through platforms like Facebook and Instagram is very low cost.
Also, technology is now making geography almost irrelevant. In the past, you just used to have competitors locally. Now you’ve got competitors all over the country and around the globe.
However, in the long run, the cream of the crop will rise to the top, so you shouldn’t be worried. Instead, this should excite you. If you’re running a good business and you continue learning and growing your skills, then you’ll be fine. You’ll rise to the surface.
I love this quote by Jim Rohn, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.” The bottom line is it’s time to step up. It’s time to keep learning and growing. If you continue to stay on this journey of self-improvement, then you will absolutely build a massive business over the next few years.
Your Next Step
These are the seven things that have changed as a result of COVID-19 and what you need to be thinking about moving forward. Check the two or three that you really need to focus on and implement them in your business. With these new insights, make some changes, lean in, focus more online, take mental health seriously for yourself and others as well, and ultimately, it’s time to step up.