As wise men once said, “change is the only constant.”
With COVID-19 causing massive changes to businesses around the world — from consumer behaviour to digital transformation — these words have never rung more true!
COVID-19 has forced many businesses into survival mode (and some, to an unfortunate end), and owners are constantly thinking of high-value and impactful strategies that allow them to reap long-term ROI.
It is no time to stagnate, for only the resilient and innovative can survive in the face of this global crisis. In this article, we explore the top 3 things businesses must adopt to emerge victorious post-Phase 2, while staying true to your brand story and serving the customers you love even better.
Source: KTCHN Rebel
1. Predict The Future? Yes!
Phase 2 (HA) caught many businesses by surprise, with a 2 day turnaround. If 2020’s Circuit Breaker taught us anything – it is the importance of planning and forecasting, so businesses are adept at handling sudden changes in the market.
And that begs the question: what can you do today to ensure your business thrives tomorrow?
As business owners, be sure to:
- anticipate new demands in the market based on past and present data
- conduct ample market research to know the trends in your scene based on local and geographical market study and
- chart a plausible path that will keep your brand ahead of the game
With the many new technologies emerging, New ways of doing things embraced by early-adopters such as cloud kitchens and digital time tracking is now something becoming more “normalized”. By observing trends and embracing new processes, you stand a greater chance of keeping up with the times.
Some trends that have been accelerated by the current situation which businesses can observe and prepare for include:
- scanning of QR codes (cue: QR-code based menus, highly popular in China)
- increased social and online brand interaction
- agility and adaptability in managing part timers – communication, admin, etc
- expectation of minimal to zero queue time due to delivery
That brings us to our next point:
2. Optimization, the name of the game
When Phase 2 hit (and boy did it hit hard), many businesses took to quick-fix measures. Unsurprisingly, as it was clearly a pressing situation. “Let’s do our best to get through this period first” was a common mantra amongst business owners.
However, taking each day as it comes only takes you so far. While it can seem like the best quick-fix, it’s comparatively short-sighted which can put greater stress on your business in the long run.
Organizations have turned to optimization as the new and effective secret sauce to achieving improved operating efficiencies, which have brought about game-changing results.
Instead of frantically implementing cost-cutting measures and aggressive promotions, this downtime has been a blessing in disguise to those who have used it wisely.
With the extra time on hand, businesses have been able to review their cost structure as well as strategies. This helps them better understand which part of the business is expending unnecessary costs, or not bringing in ROI. For instance:
- What is the full breakdown of our costs and labour costs?
- Is OT overspend a significant contributor?
- Have diligently kept to our labour budget?
- What are our staff busy with, what better business impact is there for their time?
By having time on hand to re-evaluate the business rather than firefight, businesses can glean good insights on what needs to be tweaked to operate smoother.
With that, it is easy to know what process to re-engineer. It could be a shift in internal structure, or adopted digital solutions built to solve commonly-faced problems in the industry like high OT costs. In doing so, you stay lean and also create a solid foundation when business picks up again.
Remember, every dollar and every minute of your time counts, and if you’re not optimising your business to its full capacity, your competitors likely will.
3. Future-Proofing Your Business
A research done by IBM revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation at 59% of the organisations surveyed. More businesses are looking at revisiting what they have done and making changes, such as new systems, technologies or strategies to stay nimble and future-proof.
Indeed, the pandemic has led to many F&B businesses, even traditional hawker owners, trying out digital solutions.
Source: Vulcan Post
And, the results have been very impressive! By the end of 2020, many restaurants that had adopted digital tools reported that revenues had bounced back to 70% to 80% of pre-pandemic levels.
As many have rightly stated, innovation is key in thriving through the pandemic and beyond. Streamline your enterprise operations and simplify your administrative processes, so you’re not dishing out more money for a team to do manual things that can be easily automated.
As Marshall Goldsmith, American executive leadership coach and author shared, “What got you here won’t get you there”. See how you can get your desired business outcomes quicker and more effectively with the right workforce management system, and eradicate ineffective processes that will keep you from getting stuck.
No better time than now
The pandemic has truly been a wake-up call for many businesses, that the unexpected or impossible might be just around the corner. While some might be waiting for things to ‘go back to normal’, others see this as the perfect opportunity to reinvent, optimise and future-proof their business processes and operations. Guess which one will go the distance? 🙂
If high labour costs never seem to leave you, consider it a call to digitise time tracking and scheduling, and like many of StaffAny’s users, enjoy up to 30% of your labour costs.
Want to read more? Learn how a workforce SaaS management platform may be what your business needs today!