The beginning of a new year brings with it an opportunity to reexamine the current state of your business. 2020 turned and twisted everyone’s work environments and processes in entirely new ways. Some we were prepared for. Some we were not. And some we completely made up as we went along—the old “building the airplane as we’re flying it” analogy comes to mind.
In times of chaos, many of our flaws are pushed to the forefront. When this happens we have to ask ourselves the hard questions. Do we continue doing things the way we’ve always done? Or do we adapt? Do we make a small change or a big one?
As industries attempt to regain revenues and find solid financial footing once more, for many reinvention may be the key not only to survival but also to long-term success.
After months of navigating uncertainty, U.S. manufacturing is beginning to stabilize. While recovery plans and back-to-work policies are being formulated, this is also an opportune time to examine your business as a whole and make more informed decisions based on long-term predictions for the industry.
People-centric approaches can make a big difference and position your business for prosperity in the face of lingering uncertainty. Those who are bold enough to focus on the future of employee and customer interactions now have an opportunity to set themselves up for greater success post-pandemic. A great place to start is by asking yourself (and in some cases your employees) some of these questions:
Now is a great time to reach out to your customers in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the pains and problems they are facing. In what ways can you use their information to position your business as indispensable? The more data you collect, the more you can steer company change in a direction that makes sense for everyone. Rely on your customers to inform your path forward.
Yes, working from home is working for some, but manufacturing has experienced a number of struggles simply because of the specialized tools and equipment that are needed. With that in mind, is now a time to implement new forms of automation that reduce human interaction? If not, what policies or changes can you implement that put your people—and their safety—first? Consider setting aside time to talk to your employees at all levels to gain a better understanding of the problems and concerns they are facing. Don’t be afraid to discuss life away from work as well. Showing you care about your employees away from the office makes a big impact on your brand’s reputation.
Challenge your leaders to think differently about the industry right now. Pose some of these questions to them. Empower them to “fix things, before they break.”
The pandemic has given many of us time to think and ponder what’s next. The early months led to some quick knee-jerk reaction ideas and bandage fixes, but what new insights or learnings have the additional months brought? What would happen if you give your leaders the green light to think bigger with the promise that you’ll invest in the best of their ideas? You never know what brilliant idea, more efficient system, or new source of revenue could be inside their minds at this moment.
Remember, your brand is more than just a logo. It’s a set of values. A mission. A vision. A positioning that informs and enables you and your employees to continuously build something better. Without a solid brand in place, your staff may not understand where the company is going—or how to improve upon it. A strong brand gives you more of a story to tell beyond simply making money. It gives you a strategy and foundation for growth. If you’ve overlooked this part of your business in the past, now may be the best time to address it and define it—for yourself and your staff.
This post was designed to make you think and take a longer look at your business with the ultimate goal of helping you grow.
With more than 90 years of servicing manufacturing businesses large and small throughout Florida, Seacoast has the financial knowledge and expertise to guide and inspire. Our technology and information rival the nation’s biggest banks, but our focus on the community means we never lose sight of you and your business.
Reach out today and experience what it’s like to have a banking partner that’s always got your back—ready and waiting with solutions that fit your business perfectly.
Topics: Supply Chain
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