The pandemic shutdown led to a mass panic among business leaders. They wanted to keep their doors open but many businesses didn’t get the opportunity to do that. Those that did have success with keeping staff did so by the skin of their teeth. Business owners often struggle to plan for the future but no one could plan for a pandemic that felt like it came from nowhere. How do you budget when you don’t know what the future is going to bring in the first place?
Small business owners that did manage to keep hold of their teams were eligible for an ERTC – a credit for retaining people during a time of crisis. You need to do what you can to keep your business moving forward where possible because when you do that, you are telling people that they matter. You are telling people that their time and their future matters to you as an employer. If you want to know how your business did well to retain people through the pandemic, we’ve got a list of things you did right below!
- You utilized your relationships. The pandemic made everyone jump aboard and use their networks to reach out to business groups. Facilitating that collaboration that matters is so important, and whether you are dealing with employees or colleagues, you need to ensure that you rely on those relationships. When people are furloughed, you can reach out for staff through your network that you can borrow while they can’t work in their original jobs. If you do that, you’re going to be able to keep your business going.
- You expanded your business hours. The beauty of being online is in being able to get in front of your people and your customer base! You can effectively be available 24/7 when you are an online business. If you’re a cafe owner, then opening an online platform to sell your products would have given you the edge. People need to eat and being online with an efficient system of ordering is how you can keep your customers happy. You might also diversify through a crisis to cater to businesses, too.
- You showed you cared about the pandemic. There are plenty of tin foil hats wearing naysayers out there and it’s those who believe that the pandemic isn’t real. If you are the type of employer that takes science seriously then congratulations – you care more about your team than you do pretending that this isn’t actually happening. By ensuring that your business is kept clean and hygienic you are showing your team that you care that the pandemic is serious, and that their health and the health of your clients and customers also matters.
- You accommodated your customers. People want to feel as if the businesses that they are working with are communicative and connective, and a good way to have done that is to get online and allow people to reach out to you! Live chat options, open communication lines with longer online hours and more are great ways to stay connected to others – especially in a crisis.
- You tried to help the community. If you looked to the local community to help, you are a business that did well in the pandemic. Think about donations for those in the community who cannot afford to find food for themselves, or contacting local businesses in order to pull together a delivery service to local care homes.
- You engaged your customers. You took the pandemic in your stride with signing up for TikTok and making funny videos. You laughed at the pandemic and you made a point of showing that your business is with your customers you’re likely to have gained better respect. You need to be on social media and keep the lines of communication and conversation open. Your customers needed to know you were in the pandemic with them and you did exactly that – well done you!
- You used technology to help you. Your business may not have been tech savvy before, but since the pandemic you have seen that you need to be if you want to have happy employees. Now, you have invested properly in your tech you know that you customers and your employees are happy and healthy. The pandemic changed a lot in how you deal with your team and your customers and you rose to the challenge and made positive changes that can last a lifetime!