Everyone talks about the importance of recovering from a crisis, whether it’s a war, pandemic, or natural disaster. Part of that recovery is bringing back small businesses and nonprofit organizations that were hit hardest by the disaster. While the crisis is ongoing, it’s recommended that every organization start rebuilding and reinventing everything from their brand to their assets.

Reevaluate the Audience

During a crisis, people’s needs and attitudes change. They may either decide to quit using certain products or services, switch to a new provider or continue with business as usual. Customers may realize that they can receive the same product purchased online and delivered, without having to deal with traditional retail traffic. The same customers that were loyal before may feel insecure and decide to switch teams. In real estate, people who may not have previously been interested in buying or selling their home may reconsider adapting to changing norms or take advantage of the market. The first step is to know the people who have been lost, those who are still loyal, and those who will become new clients.

Review Changes in Laws

During a crisis, the first changes happen to local, state, and federal laws. The next step is to understand significant law changes and how they affect the organization and its industry. Reviewing these laws is necessary when creating new policies and procedures that everyone must follow. Depending upon the locality, the government may have instituted procedures for showing properties safely or put restrictions on home inspections. It’s important to be aware of all regulations to ensure that your employees and clients feel safe. 

Furthermore, there are many federal and local assistance programs, especially for retailers hard hit by COVID. It is important to understand if you qualify, deadlines, and what you will need to submit to take advantage of these programs. 

Hire New and Improved Employees

During a crisis, most employers know which employees are valuable assets and which ones are incompetent workers who need to be released from their duties. New and improved employees need to be added to the staff. They include professionals with specialized skills and knowledge that are required to improve the organization. When hiring, consider the need for new, specialized skills like proficiency in conducting virtual tours and working independently from home. It is also important that employers find new ways to keep employees engaged and committed since many will have flexible working arrangements. 

Rebuild the Marketing Campaign

Once the new audience is chosen, the next step is to rebuild a marketing campaign from the ground up. Different clients have different habits and interests that must be known. It’s also important to know which type of advertising method they would prefer when being contacted by a business or organization. Research different types of advertising strategies to maximize your marketing effectiveness in the moment; for example, consider taking advantage of social media’s prevalence to launch a campaign there or consider email campaigns in lieu of tactics like traditional signage.

Prioritize Your Team

Your team is the most vital asset. Make sure you keep them apprised of any changes you decide to institute, including emergency furloughs or moving to remote work. They are also a valuable resource in helping you make adjustments to your policies quickly, as they are on the ground and can generate innovative solutions you may not have considered. If you treat your employees with respect and kindness throughout a crisis, they can be the deciding factor in helping your company survive and grow despite overwhelming odds.  Loyalty goes a long way in maintaining a committed workforce.

Focus on Past Mistakes

A crisis exposes the past mistakes that managers have made, which have led to current misfortunes and setbacks. This is the perfect time to focus on these mistakes and strive to make changes for now and the future. During a crisis it is easier to see the many mistakes that were made by the management team. However, it’s the perfect time to make changes that will reorganize, restore and renew an organization.

About David Joseph Simard in Vancouver, Canada