For many local small businesses, the past year and a half have been one of the unprecedented challenges. With many provinces lifting Covid restrictions, and the vaccine administered at a fast pace, re-opening is the next thing on the horizon. Business planning can be challenging enough in the best of times, and this year is far from the best. Therefore, creating a post-covid business plan, one that's realistic and achievable, can help you define your business goals over the next year, and give you measurable metrics to analyze the success of your business.
Three Important Questions For Post-Covid Business Plans
Creating goals starts with defining them. Three key questions can help you create the best business plan, not just post-Covid, but in the future, as well.
How does your business really make money?
Businesses aren't just vendors of goods or providers of services. Successful businesses identify a need their customers have and position themselves as the answer to meeting it. So, what need do you meet? Understanding this will help you know how you make your money, and can help you with marketing initiatives, too, as you'll be able to present your business in a way that appeals to your target customers.
Who do you depend on to drive the business?
Appealing to your target customers can be difficult if you haven't defined who your target customer is. Focus on what type of person will patronize your business, including age, gender, and income, and education levels. Then, you can get a better picture of what this type of person needs, and how you provide it.
What will people's behaviors look like after the pandemic?
Understanding how you changed your operating model during the pandemic can give you insight into how your customers will buy from you afterward. Did you start a home delivery service, or offer virtual consulting fr a service business? Many of your customers may appreciate the convenience of these services, and they could be a vital part of your business moving forward.
Predicting Behavioral Changes For Your Customers
Predicting whether your customers will continue their pandemic methods of consuming goods and services can be tricky. You may wish to send out a survey to your customer base, asking them if they preferred your pre-pandemic business model or the altered, more virtual one. Responding to their needs and presenting your business in the way that your customers wish to shop gives you a goal for your business.
Your target customer's needs may have changed, too. Perhaps they're working from home and they like the convenience of home-delivered goods and virtual services. Or, they may be tired of being at home, in welcome the chance to shop in person again.
The Chamber can be a strong resource for your business. It's an organization with a mission to help local businesses in the community grow and thrive. From helping you find the right employees to hosting business showcases, the Chamber is on your side, as a business owner. If you haven't stopped by your local office, take the time to introduce yourself and tell your representatives a little about your business, your goals, and ask what kind of programs you can participate in to help raise your visibility in the community.