COVID-19 has been a challenge for most businesses. We’ve witnessed lots of ups and downs, lots of businesses had to close their doors with no return. Others were flexible to adapt to the new reality.
We’ve interviewed CEOs of different businesses on how they overcame post-COVID business challenges. They answered the following questions:
- What was your post-COVID business challenge?
- How did you overcome it?
- How did you make use of digital platforms?
Getting back to the office
Devon Fata, the CEO of Pixoul, confessed it wasn’t an easy choice to get back to the office.
At first, I felt strongly that we would have to return to the office in some form, if only for the sake of in-person meetings and access to technology. But then I started reviewing our business in quarters 2-4 of 2020 and quarter 1 of 2021, and I found that overall business was up, overhead was down, and productivity was way up.
My employees were generally satisfied as well, with a majority preferring to continue working remotely. We have ultimately decided to go almost completely remote. Our “main office” is a base for myself and two other local employees, but everybody else works from home.
We had to ramp up our use of and commitment to a lot of online communication practices we had adopted during the height of the pandemic. There was a long learning curve on meetings and the kind of information we delivered in them. We ultimately went to a model with fewer all-staff zoom calls and more asynchronous webinars.”
Jonathan Zacharias, the Founder of GR0 also thinks that working remotely is one of the biggest challenges:
“The two biggest challenges for our agency are navigating remote work and turnover. My goal is to find innovative ways to foster more familial connections amongst my team members. A great deal of our staff have never had the chance to be in the office with the rest of the team because of the remote work lifestyle that is simply our new normal.
I want my team to feel connected, supported, and bonded with one another so my goal is to implement more social gatherings where we put the work aside in place of establishing rapport and enjoying each other’s company. I find this style of connection amongst employees improves the quality of work and boosts morale.
One of the ideas we’re trying includes hosting a remote lunch where each employee receives a $30 UberEats gift card. Everyone orders their meals online and then joins a Google Meets call where we go around and talk with each other. Another idea is a weekly book club. Each team member stays on the same timeline, reading a couple of chapters per week, and then we hold discussions to break down what everyone learned and answer any questions.”
Leadership is key
Gerald Lombardo, the Co-Founder of The Word Counter, also thinks managing the workforce remotely is a huge challenge. He thinks that it is critical that the executive team communicates directly with all managers and employees while leading by example.
“I’ve also discovered that now more than ever, great leadership is key to keeping a business afloat. Communicating with employees is extremely important and should be done on a daily basis as well as in the form of one-on-one meetings and all-hands company meetings.
With COVID-19 in full swing, we’ve found that full transparency is the best way to go. We are honest with employees and let them know exactly what to expect. During these difficult times, displaying that the employer and the employee are on the same page is critical. Demonstrating a “we are in this together” mentality goes a long way!”
Some brick-and-mortar stores, in-house service owners didn’t have any platform presence on social media platforms. The pandemic, however, changed this reality. Benjamin Stenson, the CEO of The Norsemen has a lot to share:
“Before the pandemic hit the world, the home improvement industry was generating billions in revenue. As the industry leaders, we worked with small companies and provided them our products. The industry was flourishing and new trends were following up. but very soon industry started to lose its potential. We had monthly clients, regular projects, and contracts from small businesses.
But since the pandemic, people became skeptical about who they meet and let enter their houses. Renovation and home improvement were the least necessity they needed back in stressful years. The ratio of monthly contracts was affected badly. Factories were closed, and thousands of contractors lost their jobs.
The situation remained the same till the last of 2020. We started to get back the momentum as people started to engage socially but with SOPs and proper social distancing. However, still, our contracts from small companies were reduced by 65% of what we used to get before the pandemic.
That was the time when Norsemen planned to utilize social media where the actual social gathering is happening. We utilized social media, Youtube, and forums like Reddit and Quora. We went with the complete strategy. We utilized copywriting – the most powerful tool that helped us get more clients.
We collected the data of our target audience and their favorite social platforms. For instance, we utilized Pinterest and Youtube for the audiences who preferred visual content and content marketing for the audience who preferred reading.
We hired copywriters to write engaging social media copy, funnel, and landing page to attract potential prospects. We answered Quora and Reddit queries and many other forums to stand out as authority leaders. Social media helped to refill the life in our business.”
Getting Customers Back
Most businesses faced the issue of client retention and satisfaction. Jeremy Yamaguchi, the CEO of Lawn Love, thinks this is their key business challenge post-pandemic.
“We had the challenge of getting customers back for our clients. During lockdown, home service industries almost completely stopped and many of our clients lost a large number of customers and nearly all of their leads.
During lockdown, we focused on a strategy of putting out high-quality content to get prospective leads on a mailing list, then nurturing that list as a lead base for our clients.”
As we can see, all of these businesses are different. But their post-pandemic business challenges are the same. Most of them started leveraging social media for more exposure. Others adapted to the new reality and started looking for leads in the digital world. This created more workspace and work from home became the new normal.
As to PMG360 we were also flexible. During the lockdown, we were busy generating leads for our clients, creating newsletters and emails. Our team expanded as we needed more workforce.