How do you run a business during COVID-19? Coronavirus is an unprecedented global pandemic, the likes of what we have never seen before. It has been affecting millions of people worldwide. With over $15 trillion withdrawn from the global economy, it has never been a more crucial time for businesses to change their practices. As a business owner, it’s the right time for you to cut costs, focus on the essentials, and think outside the box. If you want your business to survive during these tough times, you will have to change your thinking.
In the spirit of soldiering on during these trying times, here are 8 things you can do to run your business differently during COVID-19.
8 Ways to Run Your Business During COVID-19
✔ Run Risk Assessments
As a general rule, businesses should conduct risk assessments. Running risk assessments for COVID-19 is essential right now. Your current estimates are quite useless unless you were already running them to include pandemic. You need to focus on hygiene, cleanliness and safety measures to safeguard your employees, finances, and tech. You need to make sure that your operations run as smoothly as ever.
✔ Run Operational Scenarios
You need to assess your operations for risks as well as your employees. Sure, hygiene and cleanliness are essential. However, you need to ensure that your premises are cleaned and decontaminated regularly. You also need to ensure that there are operational procedures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace. These should include wearing face masks and gloves, regular washing of hands, and scrubbing surfaces.
✔ Reassure Your Customers of Your Presence
During this time, there’s a lot of confusion about what will stay open and which business will shut its doors. Assure your customers with messages and emails that you’re still there for them. This assurance will not only improve your customers’ trust in you but will also place you in their subconscious. When they need your services, they’ll automatically remember that you’re open and won’t think twice about calling or messaging.
✔ Reach Out to Lenders for Short-Term Relief
You could either ask them to defer payments or extend credit lines. During this time, creditors and banks are offering a lot of loans and packages for businesses. Even the government has several programs in place to help small business owners. Find out if you qualify and then apply for these loans and grants. Apply for relief, apply for extensions; do everything in your power to stay afloat.
✔ Ensure Your Supply Will Not be Disrupted
A lot of operations have been disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, running your business in COVID-19 requires that your supply chains remain active. Hence, you should reach out to your vendors and partners to see how their schedules have been affected. With that information, you can agree with them to continue your relationship. If that isn’t possible, look for an alternative immediately. Your vendor may have stopped delivering or supplying, but your customers have not stopped relying on your products and services.
✔ Offer Discounts on Your Services/Products
You can’t go wrong with discounts right now. With everyone trying to save money, you can reduce the prices of your most popular services and products. Even a small cut like 5% or 10% will go a long way. If your services are what people depend on, this will be significant plus point for them. Also, it’ll earn you high satisfaction points with your customers.
✔ Reduce Employee Hours
Your employees are just as scared of the COVID-19 virus spreading as you are. Don’t be a heartless boss right now, show them you care. Reduce hours or make sure they can work from home. Put them out of harm’s way and only have essential personnel on the work premises.
Also, talk to your employees about their financial situation. See if there is any way you can help them out during this trying time. Whatever the case may be, they will probably be worse off than you at this point. Most of them will be working to support their families and to run their households. You are fortunate enough to run a business and earn direct profits.
This is not to say that you don’t stand to lose from this pandemic. However, you should empathize with your employees the most during this time. They will not only appreciate you for this but realize that they’re lucky to have a job like this. During the coronavirus, run your business like the best boss.
✔ Make the Most of Downtime
This is the most downtime that you’re ever going to get in your entire life as a professional. The world is never going to stop any time again soon, and thank God for that. You should make the most of downtime by productively using it to run scenarios. You should also make sure to invest time in developing new ideas for your services or products.
You can learn a lot from this downtime, including which services or products are still selling. You can also learn a lot from people’s behavior in general during the pandemic. So if an emergency ever occurs again, though hopefully not as big, you will have contingency plans.
Finally, you can also galvanize your staff to make them more productive during this time. Surely, they too have also been rattled by this emergency. So you need to keep engaging with them, so they remain vigilant and productive. In the long run, this is better for the business and the employees. The more successful the business is, the better they will be paid.
Looking for help to run your business during COVID-19? Contact Us today to discuss your business needs and how we can help you. Read more about how an Online Business Manager can help you during these times.