Things to consider and proactive measures to take for businesses operating during the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic brings with it unprecedented changes for businesses. Many won’t survive this period of the pandemic, but some will. It’s those businesses that react swiftly to change that will come out the other side of this relatively unscathed.
6 tips for businesses surviving COVID-19
- Outline a plan and prioritise action items
- Stay up-to-date with the latest developments
- Adopt a customer-first mindset
- Check for closures/cancellations that could affect your operations
- Communicate, collaborate, connect
- Brainstorm diversification opportunities
- Train your employees
1. Outline a plan and prioritise action items
Before you do anything, make a plan. Review your current business operations to make a list of all recurring fees and outgoings. It’s important that you prioritise these so you know where you can cut costs.
Employee salaries are going to be one of your biggest outgoings – if not the biggest – but instead of losing employees, can you consider temporarily cutting salaries by x%? The same goes for hours. If you have a fantastic team, this is surely preferable to losing anybody.
Now you’ve assessed the most imminent threats, it’s time to look at opportunities. Are there any old client relationships you can revitalise, new services you can offer, or other markets you can investigate in order to generate additional revenue?
While you’re doing that, it’s important that you don’t forget your existing customers. In fact, now is the time to over-service them. You need their loyalty at the moment.
2. Stay up-to-date with latest developments
Watch every single government announcement about the coronavirus (COVID-19). You need to be on the front foot. Regularly check your state government website for updates and information about business stimulus packages or financial assistance. Read/watch the news, but be careful which news sources you select. Try The Guardian’s live coronavirus update feed or the ABC. Make sure you understand your rights and obligations as an employer.
3. Adopt a customer-first mindset
It’s never been more important to nurture your existing customers. Show them how much you appreciate their support. Think about how they’re being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. How can you help?
For example, in an effort to help restaurants, Uber Eats is waiving their delivery fee “for the more than 100,000 independent restaurants across US & Canada on Uber Eats.”
Likewise, some businesses are offering free and freemium services. Zoom, for example, has lifted the 40 minute limit on free accounts for schools affected by the coronavirus.
4. Check for closures or cancellations that could affect your business
For example, how will everybody working from home impact doggy daycare businesses? Or how will school closures impact childcare providers? It’s really important to try and think two steps ahead.
5. Communicate, collaborate and connect
Virtual collaboration and online communication tools and skills are all of a sudden a necessity. If your business is largely offline, you might need to upskill your team, specifically in digital communication methods. There are multiple free courses and informative content out there to help. You can also invest in tailor-made virtual communication skills training with providers such as Colin James Method. Whatever you do, it’s essential that your business is as productive as it can be while working remotely – be sure to share our working from home tips with your colleagues.
Reach out to your customers. Reach out to your staff members. Make sure that you stay connected. Let them know how they can get support during this difficult time.
- If you have a Google My Business page, update it so your customers know whether you’re open or not.
- Make sure the phone number listed is the best way to get in contact during this time.
- You might also set up email or messenger auto-replies so customers can get answers quickly.
- Remember to edit your online advertising, if you have any.
- Use Dropbox or Google Drive to ensure employees have easy access to documents.
Consider measures that will boost people’s morale. Be as transparent as you can be. Detail the changes you’re making; let people know how they can get in touch with you; reassure them of your commitment; thank them for their support.
6. Brainstorm diversification opportunities
Now’s the time to get creative. What aspects of your business can be converted into online components? With your customer-first mindset, you need to think outside the box in terms of what problems you can solve for them via virtual means.
Is there helpful content you can deliver to them in digital formats? Can you offer to conduct video meetings instead of physical ones? No idea is a bad idea. Get your thinking cap on.
7. Train your employees
There are organisations offering free training right now for businesses having stand down employees. Find out more on our virtual and online training page.
If you have any questions about how we can help you and your business during these times, please reach out. We’re in this together.