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3 Tips to Keep New Revenue Streams in a Post-Pandemic World

3 Tips to Keep New Revenue Streams in a Post-Pandemic World

3 Tips to Keep New Revenue Streams in a Post-Pandemic World

Since the coronavirus outbreak first began, your business may have had to explore new revenue streams or ways of meeting customer demands and fulfilling orders. Business owners with a physical location were forced to closed doors to the public and many started offering at-home services for the first time. In response to the shifting situation, many businesses created or expanded a fleet of vehicles to start delivering purchases directly to their customer’s homes or offices.

While your business may be thriving now that it has adapted to the coronavirus crisis, more changes are often warranted as the U.S. economy continues to adjust. For instance, developing a strong supply chain management system, learning how to efficiently manage company vehicles, and finding ways to boost customer retention can all help keep your business going strong. For some tips on adapting to these changes and making the most of new revenue streams, read on.

1. Develop or Strengthen Supply Chain Management Systems

A strong supply chain management system is vital as your business adapts to the next new normal. As The Houston Chronicle points out, by developing an effective supply chain management (SCM) system, you’ll eliminate many quality-control issues, reduce overhead costs, and make smarter, more efficient decisions overall. Additionally, you’ll be better able to stay on top of your orders and consumer demands.

Like most things, however, supply chain management has its share of challenges. To overcome some of these challenges, communicate with your partners and suppliers on a regular basis — as this will help to mitigate potential delays along the supply chain. Additionally, automating your data and supply chain processes can help your business to mitigate delays. Even proper shift scheduling can make an impact. By keeping staff and management on the same page, you ensure smoother sailing. Explore every angle for best results

2. Manage Your Fleet of Vehicles

In order to meet customer demands during the pandemic, you might have created a bigger fleet on the fly — maybe even for the first time if your business wasn’t already offering delivery or other at-home services. While this may have helped your business stay afloat during local stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, you need to ensure that your vehicles don’t turn into money pits now that restrictions are loosening throughout the U.S.

Comvoy recommends investing in GPS fleet tracking software if you haven’t already done so. These tracking systems are essential to monitoring the activity of your drivers, improving fleet productivity and efficiency, and protecting your vehicles and assets from thefts and other potential losses. Additionally, performing preventative maintenance on each fleet vehicle will help to keep mechanic bills and other unexpected costs down.

You can better track maintenance tasks by investing in computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). When choosing CMMS software, be sure to account for usability and the company’s reputation, and check that it’s compatible with the asset tags used by your company.

3. Retain Your Online Customers After the Pandemic Ends

Acquiring a new customer costs five times more than retaining existing customers, and this still rings true in the age of the coronavirus. As such, retaining the customers you’ve acquired and served during the pandemic will be vital in keeping costs down in the long term.

To retain customers in a post-pandemic world, PracticalEcommerce offers the following tips:

  • Remain upfront about inventory counts and lead times, and avoid order cancelations whenever possible
  • Provide customers with tracking information immediately after orders ship
  • Personalize your communication with customers by sending follow-up emails and updates about order statuses
  • Extend your company’s exchange and return period, as most customers cannot mail or ship items as quickly as they once could
  • Aim to assist as many customers as possible, even those placing small orders

The Bottom Line

To keep your new potential revenue streams from turning into money pits as your business adapts to post-pandemic life, you’ll need to strengthen your supply chain management system, manage your fleets appropriately, and make an effort to retain your existing customers as stay-at-home restrictions loosen and in-person shopping and ordering resumes. You’ll likely face a few challenges as your business adapts to the next new normal, but these tips will help you keep operating costs down while fulfilling orders and meeting changing consumer demands.

Looking for ideas, information, and inspiration? Tap into the Executive Advisory Group, where leaders connect for solutions.

2020 Kick-off meeting

Make a Bigger Impact at Your 2020 Kick-Off Meeting

Make a Bigger Impact at Your 2020 Kick-Off Meeting

2020 Kick-off meeting

Most CEOs and business leaders have their business plans complete well ahead of the next operating year, let alone their kick-off meeting. However, planning is just one part. You can probably agree that the best-laid strategies of any organization are useless without proper implementation. 

How Will Your Company Make a Bigger Impact?

That being said, strategies are often far from straightforward, because a corporate strategy is by its nature conceptual and often complex. In a recent study from the Economist Intelligence Unit sponsored by the Project Management Institute, 61% of respondents acknowledge that their firms often struggle to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and day-to-day implementation. Moreover, in the last three years, an average of just 56% of strategic initiatives have been successful. Such poor implementation means that a company’s stated strategy fails to shape what happens in practice: only a small minority of respondents say that their business model is extremely well aligned with strategy. Not surprisingly, companies that are poorly aligned with their strategy also report weaker financial results than their peers.

Most companies have likely already had a 2020 kick-off meeting, but now is an important step. Following up, and following through with the plans you laid out.

Best Practices to Help Us Stay on Track

Stay engaged:

Survey respondents say the number-one reason for the success of strategic initiatives at their organization is leadership buy-in and support. Yet 50% of people who participated in the PMI study said that strategy implementation does not receive C-suite attention. 

Focus:

Rather than micromanaging, C-suite executives should identify and focus on the key initiatives and projects that are strategically relevant.  Let your assigned team members focus on the details.

Infrastructure:

Ensure you have the infrastructure to support the implementation of your key initiatives. This may mean hiring the right staff, or perhaps hiring an interim executive(s) who have the specific skills or leadership ability you need and who will provide the focused energy to implement your strategic initiatives.

Feedback:

Incorporate feedback mechanisms along the way. That way, you know you are on track with the initiatives being implemented and can monitor your progress.

See Your Plan Through

If you can keep these best practices in place throughout the year, you can prepare to reap the rewards.  Of the companies that implement these best practices, 65% also report much better financial performance than their peers.  Don’t be the 18% that doesn’t!

Implementing Organizational Change

Implementing Organizational Change With The Brain In Mind

Implementing Organizational Change With The Brain In Mind

Implementing Organizational Change

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein

Think about where your business was five years ago, what has changed? In retrospect, what was the impact of the changes on your organization?  The pace and structure of our lives and the business world today is fast and continually moving. The more changes we institute the easier it is to either forget, ignore or get lazy about managing change down to the individual level where it happens.

We recently had Kristin Evenson from Junctures speak to us at EAG about the brain and change. The main message of her talk was how the brain organizes everything by threat or reward, even change! Things that are perceived as threat literally reduce our brain’s processing capacity and ability to respond. She explains how as leaders we have the opportunity to change and manage these perceptions to the greater good of the individuals and the organization as a whole. 

How the Brain Reacts to Change

First, it’s about being aware of the social threats—SCARF threats, as defined by David Rock of the NeuroLeadership Institute—that govern the brain.

The five SCARF threats are:

  • Status – feeling less than or better than others
  • Certainty – ability to predict outcomes
  • Autonomy – sense of control
  • Relatedness – in-group or out-of-group
  • Fairness – perception of fair exchange

Organizational change initiatives—whether large or small—can trigger any and all of these threats!  So how can we as leaders help mitigate and better manage these while keeping our employee’s minds open, positive and creative?

How to Implement Organizational Change

The most productive way to implement change is by thinking of each SCARF threat and be realistic with what will happen with change.

    • Status – “How will this impact my job, title, team, influence?”
      • Ask people’s opinion and seek their advice
      • Listen and demonstrate empathy
      • Include and show appreciation
      • Be transparent with what you do know
    • Certainty – “How will this all shake out?”
      • Refocus on what is certain
      • Be open about what you ARE certain about
      • Set goals & expectations and stay the course
      • Communicate often and with transparency
    • Autonomy – “Do I lose control over my work?”
      • Delegate clearly and co-decide on tasks
      • Coach and encourage self-directed learning
      • Allow the team to make their own decisions
      • Pay attention to when directive is needed
    • Relatedness – “Does my role change or might I lose my job and therefore all my colleagues at work?”
      • Find things everyone has in common
      • Get to know what motivates people
      • Encourage everyone’s input & team cohesion
      • Listen, coach and mentor
    • Fairness – “Will everyone be treated equally?”
      • Ensure everyone has access to information
      • Acknowledge emotions and show empathy
      • Understand that fair does not mean equal
      • Don’t shy away from behavioral issues

Our goal as leaders is to not only introduce and lead change but to also increase our people’s capacity to navigate and execute it.  Being proactive to address SCARF threats is a critical investment in ensuring needed change actually happens, and that your people are able to respond at their fullest capacity—able to think creatively and courageously about what’s next.

Meeting Business Milestones

Leverage Project Plans to Meet Your Business Milestones

Leverage Project Plans to Meet Your Business Milestones

Meeting Business Milestones

Milestones are applicable to any business as well as your clients. They can even be applied to your personal life, but we’d guess that there might be an argument on who the project manager is!  A practical way to manage and adhere to these business milestones is by creating a project plan. A successful project plan is simple, straightforward and should be tied to your business plan.

“Life is like a grindstone whether it grinds us down or polishes us, depends on what you’re made of.”—Jacob M. Braude

Starting Your Project Plan

The components should include concrete terms, budgets, deadlines, and management responsibilities. Tasks associated with the plan should also be integrated into your project management platform – to ensure that the tasks are being completed and that people are accountable for the plan.  We recommend that you assign a project manager to oversee the plan. This can be a good training step for an emerging leader within your organization. Or, assign a team leader to schedule meetings regularly (bi-monthly or monthly) whereby each responsible party presents a progress report. There are also milestone tracking apps that can be integrated into your project management platform.

Here is a link to five project milestone tracking apps: https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-apps-for-tracking-project-milestones/.

Choosing Your Business Milestones

It’s a good idea to incorporate some bite into your plan and management by listing specific actions to be taken. Each action becomes a milestone. This is where a business plan becomes a real plan, with specific and measurable activities, instead of just a document.

A go-no-go back up plan should also be a consideration as well and be incorporated into key decision points.  Let’s say your plan includes adding a new location and you are unable to do that from a financial perspective, bear in mind not all milestones are realistic. 

In a recent study that featured companies “reasons for success” (see the Startup Genome report). They found 14 indicators that may resonate with you, and that tie back to the rationale behind creating and monitoring milestones:

  1. Founders are driven by impact, resulting in passion and commitment
  2. Commitment to stay the course and stick with a chosen path
  3. Willingness to adjust, but not constantly adjusting
  4. Patience and persistence due to the timing mismatch of expectations and reality
  5. Willingness to observe, listen and learn
  6. Develop the right mentoring relationships
  7. Leadership with general and domain-specific business knowledge
  8. Implementing “Lean Startup” principles: Raising just enough money in a funding round to hit the next set of key milestones
  9. Balance of technical and business knowledge, with necessary technical expertise in product development

On a final note: “Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” –Nelson Mandela