It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves at Trinity U, and a question that millions of business owners all over the world will be asking themselves as well, as we navigate our various road maps out of lockdown, and away from the most challenging year or so in recent history.
Whether or not we’re fed up of them (and we are by the way…) we’ve all had to get used to Zoom meetings, Teams meetings and operating in a virtual world.
We’ve been faces on a screen for some time now, but what happens next?
Are you intending to go back to ‘normal’, whatever that was?
Meetings in coffee shops, networking at events, pitching to funders in person.
Or, are you planning to keep it as it is, at least for a little while longer?
You might have found that this way of working is something that actually works in your favour.
You might have made savings on fuel, transport and eating out.
You might have been able to spend more time at home, with your loved ones, and less time on the road.
But time on the road can be time well spent for many, especially if it’s spent on the road to making relationships.
And relationships via a virtual connection, are nowhere near as strong as those we used to prefer. Those we should all start getting back to.
With face to face encounters, comes a much easier way of establishing trust.
For a start, you can be absolutely assured that the person you’re speaking to is wearing pants, and that’s always a bonus.
The accountability that comes with meeting people ‘in the flesh’ as it were, is also something worth noting, and we would rather spend one hour in a face to face meeting, than four hours on Zoom, for lots of different reasons.
Fair enough, we do still need to be understanding and accepting of what other people decide to do ‘after covid’, but we think it’s about time we got back to building relationships, in person.
One person’s success story, where they’ve made a brand new business really work for them over lockdown, will be something that contrasts hugely with the story of how, let’s say, a long established business has struggled or even closed, as a direct result of lockdown.
It could also be the anomaly as well, with the latter being more of the trend we’ve seen from March 2020 right through to now.
No two stories will be the same of course, which is why Trinity U is working with our clients on a daily basis, to establish their own, individual plans of action.
We’re finding that creating bespoke and personal plans for businesses and business owners, has to be the best route forward, as their difficulties and challenges vary significantly across all industries and niches.
They all feature one common theme though, getting up off your backside and getting back out there, into the real world.
It’ll be daunting of course, but with Trinity U in your corner, there is no doubt that things will be so much easier.
It’s about seeking that external help, with a level of experience and knowledge that can only serve to bring clarity to the next few months, to the next few weeks even.
As things open up again and our daily practices evolve once more, we’ll find that we either stick to the ways of the pandemic, with its online meetings and accidentally unmuted embarrassing moments, or that we revert to real life relationship building.
And who’s to say which is right?
Us, that’s who.
And here’s a clue – it’s reverting back to real life relationship building that will make the difference.
It is within your remit, your control and your best interests, to find out (and find out fairly quickly) which combination of pre pandemic and post pandemic practices you’re going to employ and which you’re going to ditch, for good.
A mix up might just be the best bet, for now, but for how long?
Get back out there, when you feel that the time is right.
Be aware of the lingering anxieties that other people may be experiencing and don’t go charging in like a bull in a china shop.
If a supplier, a customer, a partner or a colleague still wish to utilise the convenience of the virtual world, then be accepting of that, but don’t you dare go back into hiding. You’ve done enough of that.
Taking the kids to school was an added bonus of working from home. Working out is something you may or may not have done. Eating and cooking more healthily. Yeah, right. Practicing mindfulness and establishing a good mental health regime. Well, we hope you’ve at least given it a go.
These are some of the things that many people have managed to build on during lockdown, and could be reasons why they’d rather stick to this ‘new normal’.
But, guess what?
If you get business right, you can do all of these things anyway. Many successful business owners have been doing these things and running their businesses perfectly well, long before the arrival of coronavirus.
And what about the downsides of working from home and doing business in a virtual world?
There are plenty…
Guilt. The fear of missing out. Social anxiety. A lack of productivity. Isolation. A decline in health.
These are also some of the things that many people have had to deal with during lockdown.
Do we want to keep ourselves trapped in this cycle for much longer?
It’s not going to be easy, getting back to the old way of doing things, and it’s important that we’re patient with ourselves and with everyone we come into contact with.
But for the sake of relationships and business success, we have to get back out there.
By working with Trinity U, you could arm yourself with the right advice and the right support to be able to work things out for you, for the best, for the long-term success of your business, but also for yourself in every other area of your life.
What happens after covid, then?
Well, it’s up to you. Just as it’s up to us and everyone else, to decide what happens after covid, but they needn’t make these decisions on their own. You don’t need to do it on your own.
Let’s build relationships in person, just like we used to.
Let’s practice patience, let’s understand each other. Let’s see body language and facial expressions and hear the tone of someone’s voice.
Let’s make the right first impression and then reinforce that impression at every subsequent meeting.
Let’s not just be tolerant, let’s proactively engage with everyone we speak to, offering our support as and when it’s needed.
That’s what Trinity U offers our users.
Support, advice, success.
It’s time to stop hiding behind the screen. Get back out there and make some relationships.
You can always claim expenses on the fuel and the meals out.