Comeback Tips for Businesses for the “New Normal”- Charlotte De Ridder- MD Yusudi

Charlotte De Ridder- Managing Director YUSUDI

Working from home was almost never heard of or practiced in Kenya and suddenly because of COVID-19 there was need to make big adjustments. All the skills and training of working at the office are now being tested both for the employer and employees. Crossover Kenya’s Harleen Jabbal had a chat with Charlotte De Ridder– Managing Director Yusudi on her recommended five comeback tips for business as we get to a “new normal”.
1. Adapt, fast, often
Not all services are relevant in these days, the only way you will make it is by keeping really close to the market realities and shifting your business based on that. Make sure you note which industries are still growing and get your sales team to focus on those. Make change in your product or service to adapt to the new needs that Businesses have. At Yusudi, within a few weeks, we moved our sales Bootcamp fully virtual, we then realised that SME’s didn’t need to hire people anymore but still wanted sales support so we created our sales outsourcing program and a market research service to help other companies define the new needs of their market. We could only do that because we were hyper-focused on connecting with our target market. Calling every single one of our clients and keeping a close eye on the industry trends.
2. Take this time to clean house
This crisis is a great time to reflect and change the elements of your business that you have been meaning to. There is no set standard on how to operate so you can create your own playing field and press the reset button. Change the team structure, change your business focus, change offices. There is a lot of stress on getting revenues but there is also a space to build a strong foundation to hit the ground running once things get better.
3. Do your tech learning 
Virtual working changes a lot about the way that teams operate, there isn’t such a thing as management by walking around anymore. Leadership and management needs to be intentional and using technology is important to make that happen. How well are you capitalising on conference call tools? Do you use online documents to do collaborative work? If you do your homework, this new knowledge will not just help you during this time, it will drive your organisation further even after.
4. Keep a close eye on your budget
It’s important to build scenario’s of your business’s finances to ensure that you have a plan of action for the best, average and worst-case situation. It will enable you to plan ahead and avoid making the hard decisions about the future of the company when things get tough but implement what you had previously decided. Check your budget to be on top of your finances at all times and take action as soon as needed.
5. Empathise with others
Business is hard in these times, not just for you, it’s hard for a lot of people. People are losing money, people are losing jobs and the stress levels are really high. Your employees need you as a model for support and inspiration. How are you showing up in this crisis? Have a conversation with your staff about their emotional wellbeing. Talk to your suppliers and clients and see how you can best support each other. Think about how you can show up to your community to help, doing that will help your team’s morale but also help build a brand for yourself. Yusudi started doing youth webinars to support all the young people that have been unemployed. This was a great motivation for the team, they felt like they were not just showing up at work to help the company but were helping their communities. Last week, we ran a webinar with business owners on their strategies to show up, some of them mentioned they had wellness sessions with their teams, team dinners and happy hours which brought them closer together.

Yusudi is an award-winning, NITA certified social enterprise that focuses on delivering high quality, holistic learning experiences that achieve behavioural change. We have trained over 2000 youth through our core programs with an 87% employment rate.