Are You Ready for the Unexpected? 5 Ideas to Help You Prepare
Ah, winter in the country. Blue skies, fresh air, and inches of fresh snow on the ground. How relaxing.
Until your water well stops working. On the coldest day of the season. That was my Thursday and Friday last week.
It’s interesting how much we take for granted on a daily basis.
Things happen, in our personal life.
Things happen, in our business life.
No matter how well planned, organized, and focused you are, situations come up. Changes in your team, your company, the economy, and even pandemics.
These unforeseen events can impact your day, your week and yes, your year. Limit exposure during a sudden event by reviewing these five areas.
Like a solid financial portfolio, your business should look for customers in a variety of markets to serve. A great way to start this is by researching similar businesses that buy your current offerings. We heard countless stories about the increase in wide-format printing soon after the pandemic started. It seemed that all industries needed signage. Perhaps you create onboarding materials, there is a need to help new employees learn company processes, again across many industries. And once we return to work, dine in at restaurants and attend live events, there will be a dramatic need to communicate marketing messages for these customers.
2. Your team
How often have you heard, “I didn’t see that coming. I thought they were happy here.” Don’t leave yourself and your team shorthanded when a staff member decides to move on to a new business or career. You have simple tools to stay connected with your team and potential staff members. Continue to check in with every member of the team throughout the year. This is one way to help you avoid surprise departures. Communication creates alignment and provides a forum to share opportunities.
3. Team projects
Since your staff are in the print shop, the office and/or working from home, the best way to ensure that you communicate effectively is to keep information in one easy to access area. Depending on your department’s needs you may need to invest in a few resources. TrustRadius.com provides a list of collaboration tools for each type: communications, project, and task management, as well as file sharing and management. Stop worrying about project process while people are on vacation, have unexpected sick days or are not available.
4. Customer communications
I’ve been a believer in personalized communications since the early 2000s. To effectively communicate we need to understand our audience and create personas. Then develop appropriate messaging. Unfortunately, when COVID-19 hit in March and print businesses were closing down, I was shocked to receive emails from OEMs that said, “best deal of the year” “don’t miss out.” Someone in corporate didn’t review their Marketo campaign or update the messaging based on the changing environment and their customer’s situation. Review all your programs throughout the process.
5. What the future holds
Review 2020. Are there takeaways from the changes you made? Can you point to any areas where you should prepare for the unexpected?
Think about these five areas to ensure you can tackle change.
Was I prepared for the lack of water? We keep large bottles of fresh water in the house. And luckily, it snowed the day before so I was able to thaw snow in pots on the stove!
How do you prepare for the unexpected? Leave a comment, share the post, visit my website, KimberlyMeyers.com or call me direct 646.320.8854 for more information. Let’s connect.
Kimberly Meyers is the principal at Kimberly Meyers & Associates, a marketing consulting firm. Kimberly is a Marketing VP for hire. She develops marketing solutions based on strategic assessment of her client’s business, sales and marketing requirements. She lives by the philosophy of ensuring the appropriate message and content is delivered to the target audience – always, focusing on customer needs and satisfaction. Kimberly welcomes your connection at firstname.lastname@example.org.