Leveling Up: How to Plan For Business GrowthDec 23, 2021 12:17PM ● By Paul Ryll
The pandemic continues to transform how we run our businesses while propelling us into the future at an incredible rate as it relates to business transformation. The past 21 months have provided challenges we never would have anticipated prior to March 2020, and today, who we are as business owners has changed drastically.
As we settle into post-pandemic life, it’s important for business owners to see the bright side. While the pandemic has been a struggle for us all, it has also provided a time to pause, reflect, and consider what we can control and how we can be better. Here are four considerations for business owners as we continue to navigate the post-pandemic world.
1. Take advantage of people spending more time at home
If our homes weren’t the center of our own personal universes pre-pandemic, they are now. Whether working from home, teaching your kids from home, or just spending more time there in general, our homes have become an increasingly fundamental part of our lives. As a business owner, I think it’s important to really reflect on how this shift is impacting our own companies, employees, and customers.
On the employee engagement side, maybe it’s adopting a more flexible work-from-home schedule. For customers, maybe it’s asking – how can I reach people outside of the office? And perhaps most importantly, how are their decision-making processes and buying powers different from the comfort of their homes? Regardless of the industry, we can all stop and think about how we can change our approach due to everyone spending more time at home. Small changes go a long way.
2. Focus on your employees’ personal well-being
The pandemic has changed what’s important to the average person in ways none of us could have ever anticipated. Beer-stocked refrigerators, game rooms, and after-hours parties aren’t going to keep employees coming back to work. And if they are, maybe you don’t want them there after all. What is more important today is putting employees’ health and well-being at the center of your approach as a business owner.
People are looking for an employer who values flexibility, puts family first, and promotes living a balanced lifestyle. Mental health is an increasing concern as well. We can all start movements within our own companies by just being better to each other. Hold the door for someone. Ask them about their day. Give them a compliment. Sure, there are big problems to solve – in terms of the pandemic, our businesses, and our own personal lives, but in the meantime, we can all make a difference in what we do and how we act. As a business owner, putting your employees first in this regard is not only critical – it’s essential.
3. Continue using technology to bridge gaps
It’s safe to say that we have all become more comfortable with technology and the power it can have on an organization since the pandemic began. But more importantly, are we using it to bridge gaps? Soon after the onset of Covid, I had to ask myself what my business gaps truly were and how technology could overcome them. The possibilities were really endless. You can earn more revenue. You can streamline processes. You can work with someone from across the globe. You can be more efficient. The list goes on.
You might be reading this and thinking – I’ve been there, done that. However, I think we can all agree that more can be done. As we move into 2022, I’d challenge any business owner to identify their top three business gaps and ask how technology can make a difference in the year ahead.
4. Use the pandemic as a time to pivot
For me personally, the pandemic has been a time to pivot and think big. In 2020, the world changed forever in a matter of days, and lifestyle trends have changed dramatically. It’s important to see our new reality as an opportunity and adapt right along with it, whether you’re in an industry that has boomed because of the pandemic or struggled as a result.
As it relates to making necessary “pivots” in business, I always tend to follow my instincts. Do you have any nagging thoughts pulling you in a certain direction? Listen to them. They are right nine times out of 10. There are all kinds of business experts out there, and they’re important to utilize when necessary. But at the end of the day, you know your business best, and the voice in your head is what guides you best.
If you’ve found that you’re burned out from the pandemic or you’ve made all of the changes you think you need to, task yourself with taking a second – or maybe a third – look. Start with your people. Address technology concerns. And don’t forget your day-to-day processes. Even making one change in each area can go a long way as it relates to business transformation in the new year.
An entrepreneur and certified residential appraiser, Paul Ryll is the co-founder of Oscar Mike Mobile Appraisals, which recently launched an app for residential appraisals. He is also a restaurateur whose new fast-casual Mediterranean concept, Parsley & Mint, has two locations. A former United States Marine, Ryll is literally “Oscar Mike” – military speak for “On the Move,” He holds a Master of Science of Real Estate and Infrastructure from Johns Hopkins University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree from The Culinary Institute of America. Paul is also part of the City of Greenville’s “From Here you Can Change the World” initiative.