How You Can Be Successful in the “New Normal”
The recent pandemic should serve as a wake-up call to all businesses. Virtually overnight, many businesses found out that they were no longer considered or defined as “essential,” and many were ordered by either their mayor or their governor to shutter their doors.
During a catastrophic event such as a pandemic, a hurricane, or a flood, the fate of your business is impacted by the decisions of others, who may not have the same interest in your business as you do. The reality is when a catastrophic event occurs, the decision of whether your business opens or closes depends on the thoughts of scientists, economists, worried politicians, a panicked public, and the media. In short, it depends on what the current “new normal” is.
To continue to operate your business and continue to thrive, you may have to adapt to become relevant or, in some instances, become “essential.”
1. Making the Decision to Adapt
The first thing that must happen is you must decide to adapt. Whether it is your business model, the goods or services you provide, or how you will communicate with your customers or clients, nothing changes until you decide to become relevant.
2. Consider the Licensing Requirements
During the coronavirus pandemic, some companies made the decision to re-tool their machines and began making safety products and cleaning products. From bottling companies to clothing manufacturers, many companies pitched in to help with supply chain shortages for hand sanitizer and masks, just to name a few. Some of these products have restrictions or licensing requirements before they can be sold or given away.
Some states regulate the manufacture of hand sanitizer and require a license to do so. These states may, however, grant a waiver or give special permission to manufacture and sell COVID-19 related products provided they meet certain requirements.
Take a few moments to consult your business attorney and make sure you’re doing things the right way before you take action.
3. Going Virtual
Many businesses were forced to adapt to virtual (remote) working conditions. In addition to social distancing requirements and health concerns, many employees who have children have to stay home due to school closures.
Seemingly overnight, people were working on shared drives, attending virtual meetings, and collaborating on shared whiteboards. While virtual work environments may appear to be straightforward, businesses must embrace new technology to build out the virtual business platform. This includes considerations regarding securing intellectual property and making sure that any new technology can work with the business’s existing operating platforms.
4. Changes in Personnel
Both business owners and employees are beginning to realize that the virtual work environment also changes the employer-employee relationship. As a business, do you need the expensive overhead that an office brings? Do you need to pay the benefits to retain employees? As an employee, do you want to continue the added expense of a commute? Would you rather have the flexibility or the benefits? Your business attorney can help you manage the employer-employee relationship and answer these questions for you.
Now more than ever, open communication is the glue that is holding everything together. Throughout this pandemic, it is important for business owners to maintain open communication with customers, clients, and especially employees. Through email marketing, social media, or even routine phone calls, a business can communicate effectively with the people who will continue to help the business operate and grow.
6. Remember Who You Are
Finally, always remember who you are, what drove you to start your business, what makes you want to keep your business. Remember your core business mission and business goals. Your business plan may have changed slightly or temporarily, but your core mission will continue to drive you and give you inspiration as we all navigate through this pandemic.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice or instruction. Every legal question calls for a different legal answer, and the above might not apply to your situation. Contact IPS Legal Group, P.A. today to discuss how a business attorney from our firm can help you move forward through the new normal and thrive.