2020 was a challenging year for most Australian businesses. Sudden lockdowns and social distancing laws forced businesses to re-think the way they sell their products and communicate with their customers.  

Here are some tips for what businesses can do to ensure that they remain flexible and able to continue operating successfully during one of the most unpredictable periods of human history. 

Prepare Your Business for The Digital World – Social media marketing can be often challenging for older employers who grew up before the digital age. However, the benefits of having a strong presence on social media platforms make it easier for customers to access information about your business and to purchase your products online.  

By utilising social media to tell a captivating story you humanise your business and sound less desperate to make a sale. Businesses should aim to use social media with the intention of building an online community that is passionate about the products you sell. 

For employers who are not digital natives it would be an excellent idea to hire a young adult to take care of your social media activity and utilise their knowledge of social media to create a stronger relationship with your customers online.    

Providing customers with the option to access information via social media platforms, has the potential to greatly reduce the number of inbound calls and prevent high levels of frustration coming from customers who have had to wait long periods of time to get a response from the business regarding any enquires they need to make.   

Have Your Business Prepared in Case There Is Another Lockdown – Although Australia has strong methods to trace and contain any new outbreaks of covid-19 this doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of a new lockdown occurring.   

It is crucial for your business to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Think about how would you access your software, connect with your staff and communicate with your clients – if there was another major outbreak of the virus and you were forced to close your business tomorrow? Are you in a position to keep your business operating online or remotely? 

Embrace New Technologies As new forms of technology emerge and more businesses adopt them into their workplace environment, the quicker there comes an expectation from customers that your business will have access to these technologies. For example; in 2021 most customers expect a clothing store to have an option for online shopping. If your business is slow to adopt you risk falling behind your competition and miss out on making sales. The money lost from not providing an opportunity for your customer to make an online sale will be lost to one of your competitors who already has an online store. 

It is important to make sure you educate your staff on how to use any forms of new technology introduced into the workplace. If your business offers a service or uses a form of technology that you don’t know how to use than you are likely to run into problems and risk disappointing your customers if they are unable to make use of the technologies you have provided them with. 

Use Digital Technologies to Make Admin Tasks Less Difficult – If you are currently unsure about switching to digital solutions due to a lack of knowledge, time constraints or price, let 2021 be the year you make the change.  

By choosing to evolve and digitalise your filing systems, invoicing, time-tracking and other key functions this will greatly reduce the amount of time spent on admin tasks. Having less time spent on admin tasks will enable you and your staff members to have more time to focus on other areas to ensure your business becomes a bigger success.  

Gain Valuable Insight with a Business Management System – Choosing to implement a business management system – or upgrading your outdated software – is a huge step, but the long-term benefits of making such changes are definitely worth the short-term inconveniences. 

An effective business management system connects different areas of your business, streamlining workflow and eliminating bottlenecks. This has the capacity to give you real-time insight into your financial performing, inventory and staff activity. This insight can be utilised to make it less difficult to make the right business decisions. Having all your data stored in the same place functions as a central source of truth for your business. When everyone in your business is using the same numbers, errors are reduced. This saves time and gives your staff more energy to spend elsewhere.