There are many lessons to learn during the recent COVID-19 crisis, but topping the list is probably business efficiency. This was also true in 2018, and true in any market downturn. Unfortunately, we learn, but then we typically all go back to our old ways. What did we at Fruchtman learn from this disaster? We learned working remotely was easy and yes, efficient. We became paperless which was another objective we, for whatever reason, could not get away from when we were physically in our offices. So, we became “greener”. Not so bad.
We learned that communicating internally by phone or with video Google Hangouts was pretty darn easy. Staying connected with each other was not so bad. Staying at home helped get work done in a much timelier fashion without constant office interruptions. Not so bad.
Our staff liked having more time at home. They personally could get things done at home they typically couldn’t do before. Things like getting dinner prepped early as an example. Which, in turn, turned out to be a good thing for them. Turns out, it is a large employee benefit to work remotely. Not so bad. By not being in the office, we saved on utilities, cleaning, and other typical expenses. Not so bad. We all come away from these situations with a new, and perhaps, more efficient way of doing things.
So, the question is, have you?
At Fruchtman Marketing, we needed the number of staff to remain the same as our workload. With the constant changes and weekly new ideas we were sharing with clients, it was necessary. But, as we all know, aside from inventory in the retail space, employees and staff are considered the top expense for most businesses. Many of you are coming back with limited and staggered shift staff. Is that a more efficient way overall to do business? Do you need to work and be open 7 days a week? Should you be looking at traffic counts and sales by days of the week? Aside from personal burn-out, is keeping the doors open during your current hours, and paying for staff and other overhead costs, efficient for your business? What is the exact ROI to keep those doors open?
Some of you have employees who are not vital to the success of your business. It’s true. It is nice to have them gainfully employed, but is there a more efficient way to run the business? Is it time to look at outsourcing specific areas of your business? Recently we have seen a surge of larger retailers contacting us who currently have in-house marketing teams. Is that business efficient? Or is it simply convenient? Is there a true need there? One of the things we always tell clients and prospects (and have forever) is what an outside firm brings to the table is far more efficient and cost-effective. Not just us. Many outside firms. They bring experience and a fresh perspective to this new, complicated marketing world we live in. Know what else they do not bring? Health insurance costs, employee taxes, and other unnecessary and inefficient overhead.
This is the time to take a deep dive into ways you can become as productive as before but with less overhead. That includes everything. From staff to yes, inventory. You are always hearing about “best-sellers”; carrying items your buyers want, not what you want. Be more efficient with your inventory. Especially if any sort of disaster happens again. And, it undoubtedly will.
What we learned from these last few months is that there are some forces outside our control that are unpredictable. How we face those forces is the tell-tale sign of how astute you are in business. What you learn from business challenges should not only be acted upon swiftly but something you don’t forget just because things appear to be better.
Be efficient. Make more money. What is so disastrous about that?
Looking to be more efficient? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and see how we can help you save money and increase productivity!