Summer is here after what seemed like a winter that would never end. Frankly, spring didn’t make much of a dent as the cost-of-living crisis continued to dominate headlines. Business owners and employees alike have been worrying about skyrocketing energy bills, supermarket shelves either being empty or stocked with products that are now out of their price range, and whether there was going to be much government support to speak of. Everyone is holding their breath, hoping that summer is going to be a little smoother.
However, you’ll already know that it’s a mistake to assume that things will get easier. The next major challenge is always just around the corner. And it has been made abundantly clear just how quickly things can change. You need to make sure that you have got yourself and your business ready for whatever surprises the summer throws at you. Now, the specifics of these challenges may vary, but there are some evergreen areas that you can focus on in your business that will give you the best chance of moving ahead at full speed.
Make Sure You Are Up To Speed With Your Financial Situation
Let’s start with one of the most important. There have been so many stories about businesses struggling and even closing in recent months because of the issues mentioned above. It is so important that you have a crystal-clear idea of where your company is at financially. It’s just not good enough to have a general sense of “a bit rocky right now.” If you don’t already have a financial advisor, then it makes sense to bring one on board.
The idea of adding someone else to the payroll when things are already tough might sound counter intuitive. But they will be able to help you to identify costs that can be cut, talk you through any government grants or incentives that you can apply for, and start putting together a cushion for any slow months. They can also be an invaluable sounding board when you’re thinking about making any major changes when you’re thinking about growth.
Work On Your Sustainability Plan
Sustainability is one of the hottest buzzwords in business right now, but it’s so much more than that. The stories about climate change have been downright alarming recently. There were record heatwaves in the UK last year, and there have already been warnings about what we can expect to see in the supermarkets because of how hot it has been in Spain.
Every business needs to think about what it can do to cut down on its carbon footprint and improve sustainability. Using recycled and recyclable packaging, for example, is a great place to start, and it will also help you to avoid the UK government’s plastic tax. It’s also worth noting that most customers and clients will be looking for businesses that have a clear green strategy. Focusing on this area will mean that you are doing your bit for the future and the planet and that you will be giving your customers what they want.
Keep Your Staff Engaged While Working Remotely
There are a lot of benefits to working remotely. Your staff can enjoy flexible hours so that they can take care of their personal commitments without worrying. You can find the best employees from around the country instead of relying on a talent pool within commuting distance. You can save on office rental costs, and your team doesn’t have to worry about a long and expensive commute. However, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is staying motivated and engaged. There is something impersonal about virtual meetings, and it’s so easy for people to start to drift off, especially if there’s a long presentation. The good news is that there are lots of ways that you can keep your team engaged.
One of the most effective ways is with audience polling. A live audience poll will give you the chance to put a question to everyone in the meeting, whether that’s asking them to vote on the time for the next meeting or just asking what they had for breakfast. It can be as serious or as silly as you want, but the important thing is that it gives engagement a huge boost. If you want to learn more about how live polls work and what they can do for your business, talk to the team at Vevox. Their Vevox app is used by huge companies as a trusted tool, and they have plenty of options to suit your needs.
Cybersecurity Is Still A Must
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could stop worrying about cybercrime for a bit? Ransomware attacks and other cybercrime activity has dominated the headlines for so long that it feels like cybersecurity experts must have caught up by now. But the fact is that for every step forward that security software takes, the criminals are right behind them. You can’t afford to make any mistakes with your security because it’s not just your own finances and information that you’re risking. You are also gambling with the money and data of your customers and clients.
They are going to be just as aware of the risks as you are, and they are going to want to know that you are doing everything that you can to protect them. So, talk to IT experts about the areas where your business may be at risk. Make sure that you’re investing in good security software. You should also think about paying for an expert to talk to your employees about simple security essentials, such as using two-factor authentication and random password generators, not to mention avoiding any suspicious links. It only takes one slip-up for something to go seriously wrong.
Keep Your Online Presence Busy
It can be very easy to leave your online duties until the end of the day. You’re never going to be short of items on your to-do list, and if the website isn’t broken, then it can be tempting to leave it for another time. But you can’t underestimate how competitive the marketplace is now. Everyone is fighting tooth and nail to stay ahead. Your website is one of the best tools that you have at your disposal to stand out from the crowd. It should also be giving you a big boost in Google’s search rankings. Look at the latest updates that the search engine giant has made if you haven’t updated your site in a while. Google is placing more and more importance on user experience, which means that your content needs to be well-written and informative as well as loaded with keywords.
You should also think about installing an AI chatbot to greet visitors to your homepage and answer any frequently asked questions. These chatbots can help to keep people on your site for longer and will help them find what they are looking for. And make sure that your social media channels are doing more than just posting generic memes at random intervals throughout the week. This is a direct line to potential customers, so don’t be afraid to show some personality.
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