3 Key Ways to Support Small Businesses in the Post-Pandemic Economy

Small business owners and entrepreneurs around the world are wondering “What’s next?” Whether that means the next challenge around the bend or the next adjustment small businesses will make to get ahead, one fact remains: the time to transform is now.  But which directions can members start moving in? Below we discuss…

  1. Your people: from digital competency to emotional intelligence, a new landscape requires new guidebooks.

  2. Your digital transformation: the businesses that were already digital at the start of 2020 have fared better, but this is only the beginning of the digital transformation.

  3. Your hiring process: new attitudes on working remotely could solve some of your most pressing workforce challenges.

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Support your #1 Asset:  Your People

From digital competency to emotional intelligence, a new landscape requires new guidebooks

The way small businesses respond to employees right now will continue to impact loyalty, trust, and productivity for months to come. Today, more employees than ever are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress. The Harvard Business Review points out that this emotion is actually grief, so they turned to David Kessler – who co-wrote the famous book On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss.  

One might think: “Grief? Really?” but Kessler points out that there’s more than one kind of “grief”. Today, what many small business owners and their employees are experiencing is what he calls anticipatory grief, that feeling we get when we’re uncertain what the future holds. So how can we help member business owners overcome it?

Help them find meaning through transformation & growth.

Emotions needs motion – and so far, throughout this shared experience: businesses across our network and around the world have created that motion by rising to the challenge, trying new things, and moving forward as well as they can.

Implement training opportunities as soon as possible

When we  began the year, nobody expected the need to drastically change the way work is done. But as McKinsey & Company reminds us, companies of all sizes need to begin “reskilling” their workforces now

  • Discover the skills, tools, and people that require a shift, and put training or policy in place to ensure that shift is a value-add for your business
  • Gather training and competency tools to build on digital, problem solving, social/emotional, and adaptability skills

“An organization’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly , is the ultimate competitive advantage.” 

Jack Welch
former CEo of General Electric

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Go digital: Don’t be left behind

The businesses that were already digital at the start of 2020 have fared well. This won’t be changing.

Local businesses have been drastically impacted, and the one change many expect to stick around is a hard shift to more digital experiences that allow vulnerable populations and customers in larger, metropolitan areas to shop from the safety of home. 

Right now is an opportunity for local businesses to take their digital transformation a step beyond the reactionary panic of a pandemic. Now is the time for business owners to explore how technology can help businesses make greater, more sustainable gains that don’t just “replace” standard means and methods – but augment them to accomplish more, improve working lives, and deliver better service. 

Make your digital shift permanent

A recent eMarketer forecast points to drastic changes in eCommerce for food, beverage, and grocery sales. With the experience around such staples changing. Savvy business owners should expect new customer expectations. 

Many customers are experiencing the convenience of eCommerce in a highly local way for the first time. This creates an opportunity to digitally provide the uniquely local convenience that big-box retailers and corporate competitors can’t offer.  Looking for suggestions? Get to know the building blocks of a solid digital presence.

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Hire Wider: expand small business reach to expand hiring outcomes

New attitudes about remote work can open up new skill-sets, new diversity, and new momentum

One of the greatest cultural shifts the COVID-19 pandemic has forced on small businesses has been a new reliance on remote everything. The “cloud” has never been more useful, from your data processes to the way your team works. While this might have been a shock at first for most small businesses, it can easily become an incredible strength.

Before the pandemic, it made perfect sense for the average local business to hire from the same geographic area time and time again. But hiring isn’t easy!  A new willingness to accommodate remote workers can easily fill the hardest positions with a fresh, new perspective. 

Where will teams be located in 5 years?

Whether your members are specialty retailers, service providers, or somewhere in between – evolving attitudes about remote work could help solve a number of hiring challenges.  Modern, digital hiring tools empower business owners to streamline the hiring process and access a wider pool of applicants. Need an incredible new salesperson? Thinking beyond your zipcode could connect businesses to the talent they’ve been missing, and a digital sales experience customers have always wanted. 

  • Digitize applicant management: The ability to streamline hiring in multiple locations without wondering about local salaries will make attracting a whole new audience of applicants infinitely easier. Take full advantage of tools to help streamline this, including Acquire4Hire – our powerful hiring and applicant management tool.
  • Don’t forget the basics: tried and true hiring practices will continue to be important, get some specific tips for hiring top talent from Acquire4Hire.

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