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6 Steps to a productive workforce management strategy

While the world awaits a vaccine, there is every chance the coronavirus outbreak may occur wherever people congregate. Readjusting strategic workforce planning to focus on potential future scenarios and steps towards recovery is crucial to navigating business’ new normal.

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In the face of coronavirus, organizations need to rapidly assess their current situation, implement change, adapt, and enable their workforce to work remotely if they’re going to make it through to the other side of this worldwide crisis. 

Servcorp shares tips on how to readjust organizations’ existing workforce management strategy to reduce the effect of sweeping crises on their business.

Fortunately, planning ahead is something global workspace providers, like Australian industry pioneer Servcorp, can help with, whatever the new normal looks like. Flexible, instantly scalable, plug and play serviced, coworking and virtual office solutions means organisations can not only have space, but also have team support and IT and telephony infrastructure up and running same day, on a month to month basis.

While the world awaits a vaccine, there is every chance the coronavirus outbreak may occur wherever people congregate. Readjusting strategic workforce planning to focus on potential future scenarios and steps towards recovery is crucial to navigating business’ new normal.

Here is Servcorp’s guide to updating and executing organisations’ workforce plan in the time of COVID-19:

1. Rethink and reboot. 

Use recent lockdown and work from home changes as a chance to reflect on what you have learnt and how your organization will react to change in the future. What has evolved in the way your people work, and how can you help them do better? How can you realign your HR and executive teams to focus on the most pressing business priorities now? Can you reconfigure your workforce and workplace to match evolving business needs? Deloitte has put together a useful workbook to help.

2. Focus on safety. 

Commit to workforce safety by refocusing on their physical, mental and financial wellbeing. Questions to ask include:

  • How can you reconfigure the workplace to adapt to the new imperatives on hygiene, social distancing, and ensuring unwell employees stay home?
  • What new technologies can you employ to further this end (e.g. no-touch doors, hand sanitiser, remote logins, desk shields)?
  • How can you foster collaboration amongst remote teams?
  • What can you do to make remote working more inclusive and productive?

3. Functional flexibility. 

With work from home arrangements now looking like the new norm for the foreseeable future, many organizations have had to undertake a crash course in managing their teams remotely, but thankfully it is not all bad news. Work from home arrangements can represent significant savings in office rents – the key is to make sure your people can access the tools they need to get their jobs done well. Coworking spaces can deliver flexibility and access to essential tools when required, without the hefty overhead costs.

4. Lead the way in what you say. 

Organizational cultures suffer as social distancing and remote working disrupt traditional efforts to align teams. Clear, empathetic, supportive and timely communication is imperative to stemming the disconnect. What strategies do you have in place to communicate with your people regularly? How can you foster connection and collaboration between physically distant workers? What policies and procedures guide respectful online interactions? Keeping your people on point is crucial for a triumphant return to the workplace.

5. Find the gaps. 

It’s the perfect time to identify any gaps in your workforce and fully understand the vital skills your business will need in the future to survive. What might happen if specific roles in your organization were suddenly impaired by illness? What contingencies do you have in place to ensure critical operations continue to run smoothly? Could a job mentoring program share key skills across multiple employees?

6. Train for the future of work. 

This report from McKinsey argues that adapting your workforce strategy to post-pandemic ways of working is “crucial to building operating-model resilience.” The pandemic has fast-tracked digital transformation, but it’s more than just remote working or automation – staying resilient during and post-COVID means reskilling or upskilling your people to maximize productivity and deliver new, more agile business models.

If there is one lesson that 2020 is teaching us, it is to expect the unexpected. Do not hesitate. Act immediately to draft a workforce plan that encompasses as many potentialities about what comes next as possible. Doing so is key to future-proofing your business and keeping your people safe to do their best work yet.

Strategies

4 Keys to a successful side hustle

Most part-time small business owners get started because they want extra income, low-risk wages, flexibility and the opportunity to contribute to the common good. However, these benefits are not enjoyed evenly across the many different types of businesses you may be considering.

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Photo by Annie Spratt from Unsplash.com

Deciding to join the leagues of entrepreneurs launching a part-time small business can be a major personal and professional step. It’s a way to stretch your creative muscles, build new skills, earn extra income from home and potentially unlock additional possibilities for you and your family in the future. It’s also a significant investment of your time and talents, which is why it’s important to choose the right “side hustle” for you.

Most part-time small business owners get started because they want extra income, low-risk wages, flexibility and the opportunity to contribute to the common good. However, these benefits are not enjoyed evenly across the many different types of businesses you may be considering.

Learn to ask smarter questions about these highly sought-after benefits to make sure you find the right fit for you and your family:

1. Extra income.

Many people seek a side job with a specific, money-oriented goal in mind. That can be increasing the monthly household income, saving toward a down payment for a new home or going on a vacation. In order to make the income you want, it’s important to look at how much you can expect to earn on an ongoing basis. Look for a side gig that solves daily problems around necessities like cooking or eating to ensure your services are in-demand year-round.

2. Low-risk wages. 

The ideal side job is easy to start without heavy investment or training. An independent consultant business, for example, can provide low start-up costs, easy ways to join and the built-in appeal of an already established brand, so you can get to earning extra income faster. Before jumping on board, take time to learn the start-up costs associated with any part-time gig and how long it will take you to learn the necessary skills to recoup your investment.
“Starting a business can be a very expensive thing,” Pampered Chef consultant Rachel Hanson said. “I was looking for something that was affordable and gave me everything I needed to get started.”

3. Flexibility and family time.

Being your own boss allows you to decide when you will work and when you won’t, but some side gigs require work during “high-traffic” times that can detract from the freedom you are seeking. Be sure to pick a side hustle that fits your schedule and can be done at any time – or even from the comfort of your own home – if flexibility is important to you.

4. Work with purpose.

If you get your drive from a powerful sense of purpose, like improving people’s health or bringing families together, a side job that makes an impact is likely to give you the job satisfaction you need to succeed long-term. There are many franchise and direct-sales businesses that have strong charitable partnerships so you can give back locally while you earn extra cash. Beyond charitable work, look for roles where you are teaching important skills or solving common problems for your customers, beyond simply selling products.

Learn more about opportunities for creating your own part-time business at pamperedchef.com/be-a-consultant.

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Strategies

Considering franchising to open your biz

Opening a franchise allows you to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of making your own business decisions and being your own boss, while working toward your goals of personal and financial independence at your own pace.

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Creating a business from the ground up is no small endeavor. From planning to financing to putting standard business services in place, there’s a lot to tackle. All of that is in addition to operating the day-to-day business.

To overcome these obstacles, franchising is an ideal solution for many aspiring business owners. It provides the advantages of business ownership, but with the added support of a recognized brand and an established method of doing business. Partnering with a franchise like The UPS Store offers numerous benefits.

Flexibility.

Opening a franchise allows you to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of making your own business decisions and being your own boss, while working toward your goals of personal and financial independence at your own pace.

Start-up resources.

Getting a new business off the ground requires a wide range of activity, from site selection and lease negotiation to hiring and training staff. A franchise can help you navigate these early decisions and needs with a deep pool of experience and knowledge to help overcome the hurdles you may encounter.

Training. Even a well-educated business owner has room to learn. With a franchise, you have the opportunity to receive in-depth training in areas such as business operations, technical systems, human resources, marketing and financial management.

Networking opportunities.

Connecting with other franchisees at area meetings, regional conferences and national conventions helps you stay informed of industry trends, discover new tools and resources, and develop lasting relationships with fellow franchisees. The result is a peer group that has intimate knowledge of your business model that can serve as a valuable resource as your business grows.

Product development.

Part of developing your business is understanding your customers’ needs and introducing new products and solutions. As a franchise owner, you can contribute insight to the process but focus on running your business while development experts dedicate themselves to researching and innovating new products and services that can help you better serve your customers.

Marketing support.

Many franchises conduct national advertising campaigns to build brand awareness, while regional efforts and local store marketing can build excitement in your market. A layered marketing plan extends the reach of your marketing budget and lends credibility to your business.

Financing assistance.

Funding your franchise according to your unique goals and background can help eliminate many of the financial pitfalls that those without experience or industry expertise may encounter.

Learn more about franchising and the options available to aspiring small business owners at TheUPSStoreFranchise.com.

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Strategies

5 Tips for creating a business plan

Once you’ve settled on a business model that meets your needs, developing a business plan is an essential next step.

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Once you’ve settled on a business model that meets your needs, developing a business plan is an essential next step.

These five tips can help you get started:

1. Think long-term.

A solid business plan should account for your start-up, of course, but also the longer range future of your operations. Consider how you want your business to look five years down the road. Create goals and build in milestones to chart your progress on that long-term path.

2. Write it yourself.

No one can embrace your vision as completely as you can and developing the plan yourself gives you a deep understanding of every aspect of the business, which is essential for good management. Even if you hand over certain responsibilities down the road, being aware of each aspect of your business can make you a stronger, more successful leader.

3. Review the plan over time.

Know that time brings change. The business climate and other variables that influenced your original plan will likely shift over the course of your ownership. That’s why it’s important to revisit your plan at least annually to ensure your original roadmap is still on the right track strategically.

4. Share your plan with others.

Inviting input from an adviser or experienced friend or colleague is a great way to spur new ideas and identify potential problem areas. Be sure you’re prepared to accept constructive criticism to help shape the best possible business plan.

5. Stick to it.

After all the sweat equity you invest in creating your business plan, the worst thing you can do is allow it to collect dust on a shelf. Use the plan to guide you in launching and growing your business. When business is booming and you’re too busy to think strategically, you’ll be grateful to have a well-conceived plan to rely upon.

Learn more about franchising and the options available to aspiring small business owners at TheUPSStoreFranchise.com.

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