In today’s edition of Wundamail Voices, we catch up with Small Business Influencer, Ivana Taylor.
What do you think the future of work looks like post-crisis?
A redefined essential
When we experience a disruption, what we consider to be essential changes. We've learned that being in an office isn't always essential. And, at the same time, those in-person businesses have become even more essential that we even realized.
Business owners have to find the essential products and services they provide and they have to connect with their customers in a way that proves how essential they are. This can be an uphill battle and many businesses will have to create entirely new ways of getting, serving and keeping customers.
We've been talking about "customer experience" for a long time. Social distancing guidelines and requirements will push all types of businesses to re-examine what a great customer experience looks like. Some restaurants have added clear bubbles and tents around outdoor seating, while some dance clubs have converted to outdoor "picnic seating". There are creative solutions out there, it's just going to take some time for small businesses to find and implement them.
How should managers/leaders prepare?
Some business owners (understandably) have been in freak-out mode. They've been dealing with PPP, figuring out how to keep the business afloat and open. Managers, while also worried, have a unique perspective and set of skills. Managers have an opportunity to become "intra-preneurs" and use their front-line and operational experiences to devise new ways of getting customers back with delightful experiences.
Open yourself up to new ideas - Use this disruption to come up with new and creative ideas. While there are constraints in place, there are also opportunities.
Take calculated risks - Everything is up for testing. We've never had this experience before, so you'll have to try new things, take a calculated risk and see what happens.
Humanize - In all things, put being human first. This can be difficult to do when you are fighting for the life of your business, but remember everyone is in it together. Don't be afraid to show your vulnerability, be kind to others and use this opportunity to build PR with your community.
Do you think this is a step in the right direction and why?
I'm not sure that we'll know what the "right direction" is until this entire event passes. So it could be a few years. We will certainly learn new things, whack ourselves on the side of the head for not knowing or doing other things.
This is just another disruption - like the internet, like social media, like a recession. While we can't be prepared for what disruption we're going to get - we can definitely have a plan or guideline in place for how to manage the disruption.