Achieving consistent, sustainable growth is likely to be a fundamental goal for your business. As if growing a business during “normal times” was not hard enough, business owners are now faced with various obstacles brought upon by the pandemic. Business owners must manage uncertainty on several levels.
Below are a few obstacles that business owners may encounter and ideas regarding how to overcome them.
Managing Supply Chain Issues
The pandemic has affected many regions as well as their respective supply chains. Business owners are lacking hard data to rely on, concerns mount over depleting stock, and there is real fear that contractual relationships with customers won’t be able to be met.
Companies are navigating this tough terrain through various actions, including:
- Investing in technology to better track inventory
- Looking to diversify supplier and manufacturing partners
- Buying ahead to procure inventory and raw materials that are in short supply
- Adjusting customer demand by offering discounts on available inventory/potential substitutes
- Projecting supply chain volume for the next few quarters with key supply chain stakeholders
Recruiting and Retaining Talent
The pandemic has caused an immediate shift to the remote work environment and it is a business owner’s responsibility to adapt. Virtual recruiting has become the new standard, saving companies both cost and time, and many agree this method of recruiting is here to stay. Virtual recruiting and a remote work environment have also opened the doors for a wider base of candidates. When geographic location is not an issue, more talent is available.
Once candidates are hired, companies are using new and adaptive tactics to retain their talent:
- Embracing flexibility to ensure work-life balance
- Offering non-traditional perks, benefits, and incentives such as team lunches, employee appreciation activities, and paid volunteer time
- Creating a purpose-driven work culture
- Offering more competitive benefits and wages
- Changing their management style to focus on employee empowerment
Maintaining Your Culture in the New Workplace
Business growth starts with your people. Many businesses are still working in a virtual environment, and it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that your culture that existed pre-pandemic is the very same culture that made your business attractive to candidates. Take every opportunity to encourage your workforce, gauge employees’ views on how the company is performing, and look for ways to reward and bring employees together. Town halls have been a great tool for businesses to bring people together, but beyond that, virtual happy hours and other entertaining virtual events are good options to bring back some of what employees miss from those past water cooler discussions.
The pandemic has caused business owners to think on the fly more than ever and to adjust to an ever-changing business environment. While obstacles do exist, we must make sure we work hard to find ways around them.
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