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Today in this Covid 19 situation, you must be getting several news reports from different sources on several topics. But I want to highlight some of the important points which need some attention when the lockdown gets lifted. During the pandemic, the situation around was so terrible that there was a challenge to fix even the most basic things. Away from office routine work there were certainly many changes in your personal and professional life. Things were not going to be easy and also getting stable in routine work required some time.
In this lockdown, most of them were working from home and some were able to adapt and didn’t face any issues. But this was again for some businesses and specific employee category. Businesses which didn’t fall in this category, struggled to work and some with no technology, failed in this lockdown situation.
The best way to work effectively post the lockdown is by not regretting the past or constantly thinking about what went wrong. After lockdown you need to work on where you lacked.
One of the most important questions which is going to be always in front of you after lockdown is lifted is “ARE YOU READY?” There will be many difficulties and new challenges where you will be faced by this question.
Let us understand this in detail and see Are you Ready for:
New Safety Guidelines
Covid 19 is contagious and so do not forget the safety guidelines & social distancing. People coming to office or going out of office/factory need to follow safety guidelines. Courier boys, executives or any related person coming to office need to follow safety norms. Desk, phone & mobile, computer, keyboard & mouse, door handles, chairs etc. to be sanitized every day. Meeting and sitting arrangements will be part of safety guidelines. Please read safety guidelines issued by Indian government for more information.
Safety Transportation Services
Transportation will be playing a major role in reaching office and client’s place. Public transport is essential to get back employees/workers back on the job. Transport services have to take care of the safety norms and follow them, diligently. Self-transportation will be recommended to maintain social distancing.
New Working Style & Culture in Office
Working style and culture in company will change as things may not work the way they did earlier. Need to adapt new working style and culture based on the line of business, type of industry etc. Covid-19 is all about maintaining social distancing and also following safety norms to prevent the spread. Employees should take the responsibility to maintain the office culture positive. Even eating habits of people have changed. Having lunch together should be avoided, and home cooked hygienic food will take more preference than food from restaurants. Cleanliness at eating table also needs to be maintained with stringent rules and regulations to be followed.
Restarting Business Operations
The main challenge will be restarting business operations, which were stopped during the lockdown. Recollecting and revising all the previous discussions and pending work will be impacting the business operations and this will take a huge amount of time. So, need to have proper planning and execution to bring business operations on track.
Speeding Up Things with Less Employees
During lockdown, many employees have gone to their native places. Coming back to work immediately will be difficult, as the restrictions are subject to respective area authorities. This is going to make a big impact on businesses. There may be situations where some of employees may face issues coming to office due to various reasons. So, keeping this in mind you need to plan your operations, to speed up the work.
Sales Recovering and Opportunities
Market was down even before the Covid-19 came in India. Sales was low also opportunities were not getting closed easily. After lockdown previous & current sales and outstanding recovery will be very difficult. Pending opportunities need to be followed up and there will also be challenges for generating new sales & opportunities. Target for sales need to be planned, considering various parameters.
Other than restarting business operations, the main challenge will be clearing the huge backlog that was during pandemic lockdown. Backlog will be of before lockdown and during lockdown. There will be a situation where you will be working on backlogs and also on current work. You need to streamline and delegate the work systematically.
GST, TDS, PT etc. Payment and Return Filings
Not only backlog you need to work on GST, TDS, PT etc. payments and returns. While payment and return filing dates may get changed, but you should be ready as this is also a backlog and has to be done someday.
Closing of Books for Previous Financial Year
Closing of books may still be pending, and this is also a backlog which has to be done with current work. After opening of lockdown, accounts team will also focus on closing of books with their regular activities.
Less Business Meetings with Customers or Suppliers
Many of the customers or suppliers will avoid meeting at their office. This will lead to delay in understanding the requirements as compared to past. So, need to have video, verbal or email source to work in this situation. Proper customer relation management (CRM) software to be used to record customers’ history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.
Sell & Service in Less Time
As discussed earlier, selling will be tough compared to normal situation. We need to develop a system to make sales in less time and provide great customer service in quick time. Avoiding long and unwanted conversations or discussions will be key to sell fast. Service deliveries need to speed up due to less resource at both the end.
Selling Genuine Products and Services
Many customers will have less time to negotiate and also the buying capacity will be low. In this case selling genuine services and products will create a trust to give repeat orders and increase the selling capacity of the sales team. Avoiding or minimizing complaints and grievance from customers will help focus on selling.
New Way of Employee Hiring
In the coming months, hiring new employees will be difficult as large number of candidates will be coming to office for interviews. There will be a question of safety of candidates and hiring companies during interviews. Thus, companies need to plan alternate ways to conduct interviews to avoid crowding in the reception area. Also joining of new employees will have to follow safety norms as per the guidelines. Employees working in offices should also work responsibly to avoid worsening of things.
New Growing Technology
In this pandemic, technology has played a vital role during lockdown. It may be webinars, working from home, working on the internet, using different software etc., technology was the key to stay connected with each other. Now the future of business will depend on using robust technology such as, Artificial Intelligence, Automated Machines, Virtual Monitoring etc. There is a huge range of technology, but you need to adapt as per the requirements of line of business and type of industry. Many businesses may struggle to implement new technology due to various reasons. But eventually best and right technology is the key to compete in new market.
Building Right System
I always believe that two things are essential for any business, one of them is Team and other is System. System is very essential for business so that the team of right people are working smoothly. If system and team are not in place, then none of them will perform. System may be software, processes or profiles etc. Many businesses are using multiple software and so need multiple employees or multiple level of checking to get proper data and reports.
Building Right Team
Team of right employees will help businesses grow at an exponential level. Teams should be committed to take responsibility, generate sales and increase productivity. With right system, efficiency of team can be measured and also can be increased. Combination of both the right team and right system will help in going a long way.
New Spending Habits
We don’t know for how long this pandemic situation will last. Right now, only essential things are allowed to sell by the government. But after lockdown is over businesses should only buy the items which are very much essential to run their business. List of essential items and budget to control the same should be prepared, diligently.
Fear of Coming Back of Corona Pandemic
Thinking of corona resurfacing is one of the main fears. Now, maintaining safety and hygiene will be part of our everyday routine. But one should not make the situation worse with the negative imagination that is fear.
There will be some points which I may have missed above. You can list it down and start working towards the growth of your organisation.
Be positive and fight back with full energy and strength. Everything is temporary and these days will also go away. Be motivated and keep on learning new things and educate people around us.
Finally, if you are in business of essential services or products you will not face sales issues but still things will not be easy. But businesses of non-essentials will struggle and would need to start working on new marketing strategies or developing new line of business. For example, today Roll Royce is making honey instead of cars.
About the author
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Re: Cognizance for Extension of Limitation [Suo Moto W.P. (C) No. 3/2020 dated on July 10, 2020] w.r.t. I.A. No. 48461/2020 observed that service of notices
In its commitment to bring transparency and digitization in the entire nation, Government has published norms for generating E-invoice i.e. In simple terms Invoice whose details are authenticated