72. Business Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
(Episode 2 of 2)
Welcome back to another episode of Monetization Nation. In our previous episode, we talked about four business lessons learned during the pandemic such as: being quick to pivot or change, the advantages of working remotely, diversifying revenue streams, and showing more compassion and patience for others.
In this second episode, we will discuss five more business lessons we can learn from the pandemic, including: Investing in technology, how marketing budgets are essential, changes that are here to stay, family connection and its importance, and how things will get better.
5. Invest in Technology
“Having technology in place with employees trained to use it may have been the difference between seamlessly shifting to remote work and lagging behind. Whether it’s teaching employees how to use online meetings or making sure your website and order functions can meet demand, an investment in technology is always sound . . . Prepping for the future includes making sure your organization is ready to meet demand一whatever its source.” (Source: Zenefits)
Everyone was caught off guard by the effects of a worldwide pandemic. Toilet paper was in short supply, hand sanitizer was almost nonexistent, graduations were canceled, and social distancing became crucial. Many businesses were forced to target and service customers much more online. Restaurants were forced to do curbside pickup, and other businesses had to think quickly to adapt to the sudden circumstances.
A very large impact from COVID has been learning how to best navigate and implement digital technology in order to reduce in-person interactions and protect the health of workers. According to Scott Clark on Reworked, even if a business plans to move workers back to the office, many employees are reluctant to go back.
He also mentioned that in a July 2020 survey conducted by Azurite Consulting, 25% of the office workers said they would quit if they were asked to return to the office too soon. Another 37% said they have a better work-life balance by working remotely, and 82% said virtual conferencing tools are just as effective as in-person meetings.
Technology is allowing us to augment our workforces. According to ISHN, augmented workforces learn fast, focus on value-adding activities, and are overwhelmingly customer-centric. “By 2025, I believe that there will be a mix of four to five bots or virtual assistants (or RPA processes) per employee in all types of companies. Almost 30% of every job has some level of automation potential. If companies can redefine their strategic workforce planning to beyond just planning productivity with humans, they will multiply their customer value while actually creating more jobs in other areas of the economy.” (Source: ISHN)
Using cloud-based communication has become essential to businesses. “As on-demand needs skyrocket, the cloud responds in turn; providing anyone with an internet connection unlimited access to a vast collection of applications and tools. Organizations offering SaaS are already intimately aware of the advantages a cloud delivery model can enable, including the ability to share one infrastructure among multiple customers.” (Source: Replicon)
From a survey conducted, “the majority of respondents (67%) said they agree or strongly agree that the pandemic accelerated their adoption of cloud-based communications, collaboration, and productivity tools . . . ultimately, respondents confirmed that digital collaboration tools are the new normal and will remain a staple well after the pandemic, particularly video conferencing.” (Source: TechRepublic)
6. Marketing Budgets are Essential
Many different aspects of work and living have been deemed essential. Having a marketing budget is one essential element of business. Marketing requires a lot of strategy, time, and consistency in order to see results. So, when we step back from marketing, it can be dangerous to the long-term well-being of any business.
“Use tough times to re-evaluate your marketing and get creative with your budget, but keep the pedal to the metal when it comes to building brand awareness and connecting with your audience.” (Source: Aegis Insurance Markets)
7. Changes Here to Stay
“Jim Sullivan cautions his clients . . . that normal isn’t coming back . . . many pandemic changes are likely to become permanent, like boomers using third-party apps for food delivery and QR codes replacing paper menus. Shortlist of lessons learned: touchless payment, dedicated pickup area/window, contactless delivery, speed and accuracy, and latex gloves.” (Source: Post Crescent)
Working remotely is another tectonic shift that has kept businesses alive during the pandemic, kept food on the tables, and provided many individuals with hope. According to a Gartner survey, leaders have come to realize remote workers are capable of being just as engaged and productive as they were in the office. A report from the Society for Human Resource Management and Oxford Economics showed that 64% of salaried and 49% of hourly employees are working remotely most of the time, up from 3% and 2% in January 2020. As far back as March, 74% of CFOs planned to transition additional onsite employees to remote workspaces permanently after the COVID-19 crisis ends.
8. Family Connection
Amongst all of the changes, crises, and disruptions that our world has been facing, I hope each of us has been able to reflect and remember those things that are most important in life.
9. Things Will Get Better
“What you see and experience now is not what forever will be.” — Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This past year, and right now, has been a very difficult time. We have all experienced changes. We have all experienced loneliness or isolation in one way or another. We have all experienced loss in one way or another.
I would like to leave a hopeful reminder, an expectation almost, that things will get better.
“Think of those who survived the Great Depression. Or World War II. Or 9/11. Name your devastation, and they all have one thing in common: eventually, things got better. Yes, the trauma and financial impact may live on longer, but we will survive this. We’ve just got to keep positive and know that good things are coming.” (Source: Susan Guillory, on AllBusiness.com)
Here are some of my key takeaways from today’s episode:
1. Invest in technology. COVID-19 has forced many businesses to take an online approach and work more remotely.
2. Marketing our businesses is essential. When times are tough, it might not be wise to turn off our advertising and marketing.
3. Many pandemic changes will become permanent. Working remotely is one of those changes that businesses have adapted to and in many cases found to be very productive for them, their employees, and their clients.
4. Family is so very important. Let’s focus more on those things that are most important to us.
5. Things will get better. What we are experiencing now will not forever remain. We can be hopeful and know that good things are coming.
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