Post Lockdown Plan
It has been some time since I wrote a blog – according to my website it was 1st April 2020. Wow, that’s a year ago, how time flies.
So much has happened in the world since April 2020. We have been through three lockdowns since then and a whole lot more too.
In this time, I have taken on a part time employed role, it has taken some getting used to but I’m 5 months in and it’s all going well. I am a People Advisor for an agency called AWO, working across the world to shape, apply and enforce data rights. This role took my fancy after I completed my CIPD level 5 in Human Resource Management and along with all the work experience I had gained over previous years, I felt this was a good opportunity to combine everything together and put it to good use. The role is completely remote working, which fits in nicely with life as we know it now; and of course, Notebook & Pen is running alongside this quite nicely.
I feel very fortunate that since Covid hurtled into our lives, Notebook & Pen was already established as a remotely based service which was used to working from home and had the technology and systems in place to do so with ease. My experience with the systems and technology to enable home working has been called upon by many clients as they scrambled to migrate an office-based workforce to remote working almost overnight. Covid has changed life in business as we know it and a great proportion of which, I feel, is of greater long-term benefit.
As we experience lifting of restrictions, many businesses will be planning the next six months, year and so on. Whilst Covid is not out of our lives, it is becoming less at the forefront – thanks to the vaccine programme.
So, how can small businesses plan in this rather different world? Perhaps they have staff furloughed or working from home and need to bring them back to the office.
Employers need to be thinking about staff safety, their concerns, the way the business operates and do staff need to be in the office all the time, could a hybrid work pattern suit? Are there plans to recruit more staff, are businesses considering the government schemes for apprentices and young workers; of whom are reported to have been worst hit during the pandemic.
There are so many considerations for businesses, from financial to operational, resourcing to business development.
Here are my top 6 things to think about as we move forward in what we hope is a world less dominated by Covid.
1/ Have a plan. Identify where you are currently, where you want to be and by when. Then look to map out the steps you need to take, to get from now to where you want to be. Have realistic timeframes. Appreciate that the end plan may and likely will, change - that is ok.
2/ Identify the resources and support you may require in achieving the plan. What parts of the plan need support, is there a need for additional resources and at which point? Are these accessible or do they have lead times, factor this into the timings.
3/ Think of any barriers to the plan – are these financial perhaps? Identify what may pose concerns to the plan flowing smoothly and what can be done to alleviate these.
4/ Set aside time to review the plan, perhaps weekly, monthly; each business will be different and move at a different pace. All plans will change and need revising, they should not be fixed.
5/ Ask for support, learn from others. No business should be operating in a silo, there are so many opportunities to network and support each other. Sharing experience and learning with other businesses both similar and different is invaluable.
6/ Think as a customer not as a business owner. When you are involved in the day-to-day operations of your businesses you may lose vision of the bigger picture (and the plan). You may pursue activities that you think will lead to greater customers / sales / business opportunities. Take a moment to step back or ask someone else, what they see of your business and incorporate this thinking into your plan.
Whilst these are straight forward things to consider, they are all extremely important when moving your business forward on a pathway of success.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and the tips I have shared. Let me know how your business is doing, any learning you can share with others and if this has been helpful (or not!).
Stay safe everyone.