As we emerge from our 2020-induced business coma, business confidence and normality are starting to return. Borders are going up less, the national conversation isn’t just about the virus, and the vaccine is slowly rolling out.
So, with business returning to normal, it’s time to drop some of the bad business habits that were developed during the pandemic.
Picking someone else’s brain
During the pandemic, people were being far more generous with their time and intellectual property, donating hours and advisory services to those who were immediately affected by the crisis. Expectations on our time and intellectual property need to return to pre-pandemic levels, where they are respected and valued.
Photographer Paul Pichugin says: “stop asking creatives (photographers, graphic designers etc) for project proposals and quotes that you have little to no intention of hiring them for”.
“I’m really sick of putting time and effort into a really well thought out project, only for it to be taken “in house” or passed to someone cheaper/related/connected who doesn’t have to come up with the idea or recover their time costs. My time is my most valuable asset, please do not waste it.”
Liz Del Borrello, a chief reputation officer, shares the frustration of this bad business habit.
“The thing that grinds my gears is scope creep – then expecting me to “squeeze it” into the quote. My rate reflects more than two decades of experience that you’re accessing,” she says.
Speaking at events free-of-charge
This has been going on long before the pandemic, but this is the moment to draw a line in the sand and put this bad business habit to an end.
The speakers’ industry was decimated last March when borders and restrictions fell into place. How can anyone honestly ask you to speak for free in the current climate? Particularly if the event is a fee-paying event.
As a business, find a budget to pay your speakers.
“If you are a for-profit business – especially a big one – you do not ask small businesses to deliver their products and services for free. Not in return for exposure. Not on the promise of further work. Not ever,” says Lacey Filipich, speaker and author of Money School.
Don’t overcharge for an online event
Online events are far less expensive without the cost of venue hire, support staff, travel, accommodation and so forth. The savings should be passed on to the attendees and those who help make these events come together — the sponsors.
We will see a lot more online events, presentations, conventions and the like because they are now far more possible than they were 12 months ago. And, as in-person events start to come back, we need to price the online option accordingly.
Flexible work without the extra communication
There were enormous changes to workplaces and management styles in 2020. And, while some of them were positive — I personally felt a lot closer to both interstate and office team mates thanks to regular and scheduled zoom meets — we need to make sure we’re not running meetings for the sake of it now that we are returning to normal.
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We all became very entrepreneurial in our own way and there wasn’t a problem we couldn’t fix internally or externally. We found something unique in our staff and we need to embrace that moving forward instead of just returning to the old desk hours equation of productivity.
However, this means it’s also time to drop the extra zoom meetings and return to phone calls and email when they will suffice.
“I feel like there were too many meetings that could have been an email….now that we are back in office — let’s make sure that we are only holding the must have meetings for maximum productivity,” says Tammy Wayne-Elliot, a public relations and communications expert.
“Stop treating your employees like “they should be lucky they have a job”. Start creating amazing employee experiences that attracts top talent. Stop being a boss and start being a coach,” adds Dave Clare, a purpose first leadership trainer.