Tearing everything down at this point in time provides a clear view of where you have been and provides an opportunity to plan the road ahead using what you have learned from the past to guide you. This is your moment for reinvention.
We have learnt that print is an essential communications device for a society to function in a global pandemic. We have read amazing stories of print shops, industry vendors and suppliers creating and providing much needed COVID-19 protection and social distancing graphics to the world.
That is an amazing reflection upon the ingenuity and spirit of the print industry and we should all feel proud to be part of it, but that good feeling will fade as quickly as the need for ‘wash your hands’ signage and focus needs to be on what print will be needed in the months to come to stay essential.
If your recovery strategy is based on ‘getting back to normal’ you will miss out on this unique moment in time to evolve with the world.
Here are three things to think about before you open your doors:
If your business had to first create a system to work remotely when you needed to work remotely, now is the time to gather feedback, do research and make improvements so it can function optimally for employees and customers.
If you had a system in place, get feedback from everyone currently using it – especially your customers – and make improvements. Develop best practices for remote working and continually educate your staff and customers on your process. It will become a differentiation you can sell on. No one will want to work with a supplier that doesn’t have a clear disaster plan in place after this.
Tough love time – now is the time to clean house. It is a clean slate for everyone and ‘old’ relationships have value, but new ideas and energy will be priceless for your future.
Look for hires outside of the industry to bring a fresh perspective – and by fresh I mean young. People who not only embrace technology but use it and can see more clearly how print can enhance, support or lead a digital marketing experience. Selling the same print to the same customers when business starts again shows you have learned nothing from the world living and shopping online these past months.
If your business was just starting now and could only sell three things after lockdown is lifted, what would they be? How can you create unique packages/service offerings for those items and automate and optimise the workflow process for less human touches and maximum profit? How can you market these items and find relevant customers who need your help? These aren’t rhetorical questions.
I don’t have specific answers as each business will have unique opportunities, challenges and customer needs during the recovery, but focusing on what will be needed for recovery is the key.
We’re open for business
In a few weeks, or a few months, or a few days from now depending upon when this article comes out the world will open for business almost all at once. Don’t become a causality of the coronavirus by striving to get back to ‘normal’ when this is over.
Take the gift of time you have been given now to strategically relaunch your pandemic-prepared business with fresh ideas and opportunities to help customers relaunch theirs.
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