[This article was written by Samantha Higgins.]
If you’re running a business and having to think twice now that we’re facing uncertain times during COVID-19, you are not alone. Many business owners are worried about staying afloat and wondering what the best steps are to take during the pandemic. There are three things you should consider, say the experts. Lessen the risk, protect your workers, and support your customers. Here are our business survival tips in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
Establish A Remote Policy
It doesn’t matter if you run a small business or a large one, you need a strategy for creating an emergency work-from-home policy. This will ensure that your employees can still get their jobs done if telecommuting becomes the safest option.
Implement communication methods for staying in touch via video calls, emails, etc. Make sure that your employees have the right equipment to keep your business humming along. For example, laptops, chargers, headsets, monitors, phones, and printers are just some of the components that every company requires to be working and available, especially when operations are off-site if needed.
Move Sales To Digital Platform
If you have had to shut the physical doors to your company to protect workers and customers during a city lockdown measure, there are ways around it. Develop an online plan to keep things running smoothly and your business in the public eye.
Take advantage of social media as it is surging during these uncertain times. Advertising experts recommend that businesses stay in the game. Do not pause, and keep running your ad campaigns on social media such as Facebook, for example.
Many Chinese businesses moved their sales online when the coronavirus spread across the country. A cosmetics brand known as Lin Qingxuan had to close 40 percent of its beauty stores and decided to engage with customers through various digital platforms.
The Harvard Business Review reported that Lin Qingxuan soared in popularity as its sales in Wuhan reached a 200 percent growth compared to the prior year’s sales.
In other words, maintain brand awareness.
Get Behind Your Employees
Managing a business during these very fluid times of COVID-19 means that companies should meet their workers half-way and offer flexibility. Times are tough, everyone is trying to stay safe and healthy, and most children are out of school and remote-learning from home.
Prepare for the short staff. It can happen during a lockdown. Parents may have students home from college early, or the daycare where they drop their little one off is now closed, etc. Telecommuting isn’t so easy when you have a full house and not many alternatives at the moment.
Consider Your Shipping Options
Manufacturers, suppliers, and logistics companies are experiencing disruptions to their operations during COVID-19, but the flow of services and goods continues worldwide.
Shipping companies are doing their best as network planning and operations teams adapt to changing conditions. Most shippers are developing contingency plans to address potential sources of disruption in their air and ground networks.
Meantime, a digital freight forwarder is a modern option that uses automated and integrated platforms, reduces layoffs and maintains cost control and can reach all kinds of customers.
In It For The Long Term
Companies of all sizes are having to adjust the way they do business at the moment. The pandemic and its ripple effect will continue for some time as more countries grapple with rising outbreaks and try to contain the coronavirus.
SmallBizTrends.com reports that one survey showed 52 percent of business owners are taking measures to prepare for an economic slowdown. They are “increasing pricing, changing suppliers, decreasing operational costs or protecting cash flow.”
The survey from Veem indicated that 27 percent of businesses expect COVID-19 to have a moderate to high impact on their revenue. Another 30 percent expect COVID-19 to have a moderate to high impact on their supply chain.
If you’re running a company and have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, you have options in protecting your business, employees, and customers. Do not pause, stay in the present and consider the safety guidelines available. Be transparent in communicating with both your employees and customers. Everyone is facing this pandemic together.
Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.