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How small businesses/entpreneurs can thrive in a post COVID Economy

By Joanna Swash, Chief Executive Officer, Money penny
Creativity thrives on chaos – It’s very easy to maintain the status quo when running a business, but a crisis like COVID 19 can lead to change, as we’ve been forced to be creative, innovate, adapt and do things differently, while business leaders will have learnt a lot about their business and their customers which will prove to be useful knowledge for future business development.  While inevitably some businesses will fail, entrepreneurs will start new businesses and existing companies will identify new services to develop.
Use your data to make informed decisions – It’s more important than ever to analyse your business data pre and post COVID.  For example, at Moneypenny we’ve discovered that despite a boom in the use of social media to contact businesses, the telephone still remains the most important communication method for customers to connect with businesses, as 43% of businesses say phone calls were even more important during lockdown.
 
Respond to customers promptly – People are inherently impatient and as lockdown restrictions are eased, clients will go back to expecting quick responses to their enquiries and calls. As enquiry levels increase and the world adapts to the new normal it will be vital for businesses to have the resource in place to cope and to get ahead of the competition
 
Business Cuts, a necessary evil – No-one likes to make cuts in business, but these may be necessary to ensure business survival.  Those who enjoy gardening will know that pruning can stimulate new growth.
 
People value human interaction  – At Moneypenny we noticed phone call duration increased for our clients during lockdown. This is largely due to callers craving human interaction, however as restrictions ease while businesses might see call durations and volumes return to normal, the desire for meaningful human interaction will remain.   People will remember the business that made an effort to call them to inform on the status of their services under lockdown and are likely to repay them with brand loyalty
 
Invest in tech – we’ve seen a big increase in businesses using tech during lockdown, with use of tools like Zoom, Google meets and Microsoft teams booming and this is only going to continue, especially in the communications space.  The companies that embrace new tech, such as live chat bots and AI will reap the benefits.  Far from removing the human equation from business, our experience has been that tech has stimulated human dialogue, for example, use of Workplace by Facebook by our staff has led to a proliferation of online quizzes, celebrations and info sharing
Don’t be afraid to outsource – many businesses might be tempted to make savings by trying to do everything themselves, but it really does pay to outsource certain functions like communications as this can be handled by experts more easily and cost effectively than you think, leaving your staff free to focus on the things they are good at.