The world is in a difficult place currently due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Keeping your business afloat and running smoothly during such a hard time is definitely challenging. With a lot of people panicking about this spread, almost every business is witnessing a substantial decline in sales and traffic.
What’s also noteworthy is the shocking rise in the number of businesses shutting down.
So as a business owner, what should you do now? Freak out? No. Create a strategy? Yes!
Every business is different and has its own risks and rewards. You cannot just copy another company’s strategies for your own business as it makes it unrealistic. Still, there are a few general strategies that you can follow as business owners to start helping you and your business. Read this article to get amazing tips on how to ensure smooth business during a pandemic.
1. Devise A Solid Plan
COVID-19 is continuously spreading which is why businesses are trying to take preventive measures to protect the company and its employees. The most important advice to ensure smooth business during a pandemic is to create or revamp an emergency preparedness plan. If you haven’t done it yet, then what are you waiting for? It will help you outline the plans for your company if this outbreak impacts it in the coming few months. Also, it helps prepare a list of measures you should take to protect the business and the employees before a huge disaster strikes you. Try to answer some questions such as:
- What are my responsibilities towards my employees at this point?
- What should I do if there’s a covid outbreak at my company?
- How can I help my employees and/or their families during an emergency?
- How will the business be affected if this outbreak impacts us?
2. If Possible, Establish A Work From Home Policy
The second piece of advice for small business owners is to add a Work From Home (aka WFH) policy. Businesses are continuously trying to find alternative work arrangements to help employees avoid contact. Depending on your industry, business, and type of work, you can try to include work from the home policy in a way that suits you and those you work with.
It might feel tough at the start, but like most other businesses, everyone will get used to it eventually. The fact that this arrangement helps businesses run despite the dire times is what makes this the most viable thing to do for now.
Include things such as new work from home guidelines, employee eligibility, and some remote procedures. You can also include some rules for temporary remote work while creating your policy. This will greatly make sure that your business is running smoothly even during this pandemic.
3. Take Cues From Your Competition
Quite evidently, almost every business is dealing with its own set of problems. Try to study your competitors- learn about how they are making it through this crisis and what it is they’re doing differently.
This will help you devise techniques to deal with problems you might face and help you prepare beforehand.
This is another important tip for small business owners to ensure business growth during COVID-19. To do this, you can look at direct as well as indirect competitors; understand what they are doing, which strategies they are working on, and the ones that could be effective for your business. There are innumerable opportunities for you to adjust the positioning and strategy of your business to outshine your competition. If you have understood their plans for during and after the crisis then you are already one step ahead of them.
4. Keep your workforce in the loop
Nobody likes to be left out in a business they are working for, whether he is a manager in the company or an employee. Your workforce is an inevitable part of your business and they are the key to run your business smoothly during a pandemic. This is why you need to communicate with everyone and try to keep them up to date to ensure smooth business during a pandemic.
Do your research, check the websites for updates, and don’t forget to check your local news for details about the spread of the virus. Communicate with them about the spread of the virus via memos, emails, or company meetings. Once you are done with that, transfer that information to the managers and supervisors. Also, talk about what precautionary measures they can take so that they can be safe and work better for the company. Filling in the staff with appropriate information will not only keep them posted with the policies but will also reduce workplace panic. The more they know the better.
This will help them stay up to speed about the company’s situation and where it stands.
5. Hunt For Government Support
Asking for help during a crisis is not something to be ashamed of. It is rather what a responsible business owner should do to ensure smooth business during the pandemic. As the COVID-19 outbreak has become a global issue, the government and several organisations are offering help. They might have come up with a few programs, projects, and loan schemes to support your business and employees. Research about them and proactively seek out ways to help your business. This support might help you cover your expenses if your revenue seems to be frozen, you have to pay funds or your employees are on sick leave. These offers can vary from tax relief through loans to paying out without the need for returning the capital.
6. Don’t Compromise With Quality, Cut Down Expenses and Stay Positive
It is crucial to keep a handle on costs in your organisation. You need to make several changes to cut the costs and get your employees on board with them. But, you need to keep in mind not to degrade the quality of your services to ensure smooth business during the pandemics. You can make acceptable changes to your key components to improve your profit margin. Remember, the solution is to make costs and other cuts without compromising the quality of your finished goods because a dissatisfied customer can be the reason for your downfall. Additionally, keep an open mind and try to stay positive. Things will get better, but until then, keep your chin up and keep working for the better.
To protect your business and employees amidst a pandemic, you need to take several precautionary measures to minimise its detrimental consequences. The spread of this COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world of business for quite a few months now. However, this doesn’t mean that the business has to suffer the consequences in the distant duration. By following the practical solutions mentioned above and being transparent with your customers, your small business will survive the pandemic and thrive to the fullest.
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Q. What can you do about our mid-term strategies once things are back to normal?
Ans. During the pandemic, you need to strategise your business operations for ensuring smooth running. However, you also need to evaluate all the assumptions that you have made in your mid-term strategies. Consider whether the traditional business models will make sense or not. Understand which one holds true and how you will have to adjust once everything is back to normal.
Q. How can you keep our employees safe?
Ans. One important step to continuous business growth during a pandemic is to keep your employees safe and healthy. Try to create a written document – a prevention policy that outlines the steps a business and its employees should follow in order to be safe and sound.
Q. What small things should one keep in mind to run our business smoothly during a pandemic?
Ans. To make sure that your business runs smoothly during COVID-19, you need to go through your quarterly expense line, refrain from ineffective advertising practices, follow business best practices, and make sure employees are working fine.
Q. What are the key points one needs to remember to keep our small businesses running smoothly during pandemics?
Ans. You need to look at the big picture, make sure your business has ready access to cash, avoid the sacrifice of quality, adapt current marketing trends, and create a long-term solid plan.