At the end of last year, no one would have imagined that we would be fighting a novel coronavirus pandemic. Almost all industries have been affected, with more countries in lockdown and we’re all in panic mode. It’s an incredibly difficult time for companies, as most don’t have a business pandemic response plan in place, especially smaller, local businesses.
COVID-19 will determine the direction your business will take in the next few months. It’s advisable to adjust your daily operations to navigate the current business environment. Here’s what you need to do.
How Your Business Can Mitigate the Risk During The Pandemic
Stay Put! Avoid Meetings and Travel as Little as Possible
The new coronavirus is rapidly spreading to other parts of the world. Most countries are applying measures such as social distancing to reduce infections, with some countries implementing more extreme cases, including a full lockdown. Avoiding meetings and travel will minimise exposure — the last thing you want is to have some of your staff infected.
If employees test positive, they’ll have to go on leave, which leads to slower operations at the workplace. If you have remote teams, you can conduct video conferencing instead of hosting in-person meetings. A significant number of things can be done online, so make the internet work for you.
Home Sweet Home: Encourage Staff to Work From Home
Some businesses are already allowing their workers to do their jobs remotely. You’ll realize that there is a wide array of tasks that employees can do at the comfort of their homes. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools and platforms to help you run or operate your business remotely.
For instance, you can use Slack to manage your team’s communication. Zoom is another popular communication platform as you can host online meetings. This way, your operation workflow can continue to work smoothly even if your business is not used to working remotely.
Strive to Prevent Spread of The Virus
The global pandemic spreads fast and doesn’t discriminate. As we had mentioned before, infected employees will become a liability and your businesses will slow down for a month — after all, no one really knows how long this pandemic will last. What we know for certain is that there are some preventive measures we can take:
- Avoid touching your face.
- Discarding any used tissue in a waste bin and wash your hands properly (with soap and for 20 seconds) afterwards.
- Regularly disinfect surfaces to kill the virus. These include handrails, chairs, desks and doorknobs.
- Avoiding handshake or any form of contact while greeting. Use your elbow instead!
- Thorough washing of hands when the staff enter and leave the workspace, and regularly throughout the day.
If an employee displays symptoms of the virus, get in touch with medical practitioners and get tested. They will need to self-isolate at home for a minimum of 14 days to ensure they do not spread the virus.
Be More Flexible
These are stressful and unsettling times, but we are all in this together. We’re all battling this pandemic. This is the time to relax certain work rules to let employees have a peace of mind. As countries implement emergency protocols, almost everything is closed and many businesses are finding it difficult to achieve their daily goals.
If an employee has an emergency, let them attend to it. Arrange for someone else take over their duties for the period they will be away. You can even allow some members to work remotely if they are unable to report to the workstation.
How Your Online Channels Can Help Your Local Business Respond During the Pandemic
Don’t Forget About Your Local Business Listings
If you own a local business, you’ll want to update your profile on platforms such as Bing places and Google My Business. That’s probably the first thing your customers will see when they search for your services or products online.
Update the profiles to reflect what’s happening as the country fights the pandemic. Let them know what you are doing to adjust. Things such as changes in store hours should be clearly stated.
Work on Your Website and Social Media Pages
The coronavirus business impact is huge. People will be staying at their homes and only go out when absolutely necessary. As a result, more of their time will be spent on the internet. Do you have an FAQ section on your website? If yes, include questions and answers that your consumers may have about your response to the pandemic and how it will affect operations.
In addition to that, you can create new pages dedicated to updating your audience about the disease and how you are coping, or changes they should expect. Also, don’t forget about your social media pages. This is the time to increase engagement on social networks as you update your target audience on how they should acquire your products or services.
During such trying times, online channels are the solution to boosting your dwindling sales and generating more leads. But then, you may be too busy handling other things. Contact a digital marketing agency to help you craft a COVID-19 business continuity plan.