COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn serve as an excellent example of the importance of future-proofing your business. While the virus was impossible to foresee, being cognizant of both internal and external threats is essential for an industry’s sustained growth. To persevere through unexpected or turbulent times -- and thrive once the new normal gets established -- , organizations must think holistically about their operations and execute a plan detailing what to do when these risks threaten critical business functions.
Around 40% of businesses affected by a disaster will not survive because they do not have a recovery plan in place. Therefore, it is imperative companies take a long-term view that extends beyond past fixes and short-term dilemmas. This idea of preparing for the future means looking beyond your own company and your industry’s complete ecosystem. By keeping your core business offerings and readjusting additional services, businesses can nurture innovation and potentially gain clients in a low-competition market. Digitizing and backing up your assets, creating continuity plans, and improving customer experiences are just some of our recommendations for future-proofing your business.
Digitizing Your Assets
Bringing your business online is pivotal, and the first step in weathering economic uncertainty. Backing up your data and hosting it on a secure cloud system is what many consider an essential business practice. And it is, especially during a pandemic. We agree that having quick and easy access to documentation and business processes will make the transition to working remotely nearly painless for your employees. But digitizing your assets goes beyond merely remote collaboration.
Virtually linking job sites, and creating a defined system of record for your operations maintains a sense of normalcy for your workers and a clear path to resuming standard operations. With DroneDeploy, workers can fly their worksites, document every single one of their assets, ensure work has been completed up-to-date, and guarantee that everything is in its proper place when operations get back underway. If a disaster forces a construction site to shut down, those that have created a digital asset of their site will have a competitive edge over those who haven’t, potentially saving thousands of dollars, significantly reducing budget waste.
As we’ve seen firsthand, supply chain disruptions are among the most common inconveniences organizations experience after a disaster or global event. To prevent this from becoming a larger issue, consider planning for alternate locations and service providers if your supply chain encounters challenges. Having this kind of continuity plan will help prevent long-term damage and ideally result in less time needed for recovery.
In line with this is creating new standard operating procedures (SOPs). While not necessary for every organization, businesses not used to working online or remotely can benefit from explicit guidelines for this type of work, especially when handling sensitive information. Implementing these SOPs is similar to continuity planning, in that having clear expectations of one’s employees from the start of a recovery period can slow the time in it.
Improving Customer Experiences
In an interview with Forbes, real estate mogul and business expert, Barbara Corcoran, stressed the importance of reinventing your non-physical space. By bringing your business online, organizations can sustain relevance with their clientele and potentially offer a service that their competitors aren’t. Corcoran goes on to say, “You have to size up where your business was before, what you’re going to lose, and how you’re going to replace it.” Repurposing your essential business functions and helping clients in similar sectors not usually served by your organization are excellent ways to continue serving your client group and attract new customers with minimal effort.
At DroneDeploy, we’ve increased our output during shelter-in-place by hosting 19 webinars this quarter, focused on a variety of industries including construction, agriculture, and facilities management. And we doubled engagement with our customers. Additionally, we’ve partnered with various customers, drone manufacturers, and drone service providers to continue giving our users relevant content during quarantine. This year, DroneDeploy Conference will be completely virtual, as well. Your organization might find that holding digital events or live streams is beneficial in staying connected with your base -- and growing it.
While we can’t always anticipate natural disasters or economic downturns, we can prepare for them. Future-proofing is another level of insurance all companies need as a way to be proactive rather than reactive. It’s better to be prepared for a disaster now than wonder how you can prepare in the future.
Focusing on customer retention while driving new acquisitions, moving your business online, and creating a fool-proof continuity plan are proven steps to survive a pandemic of this scale. At the bare minimum, maintaining communication and providing updates to your employees and customers is a necessary task that all organizations should follow.