The coronavirus hit us hard. No one can really predict how much its impact is going be on the global economy.
In any case, this article won’t aim to envisage that. Rather, it will give you some ideas on how to stabilize your business during times of crisis.
The #coronavirus has demonstrated to many businesses worldwide how unprepared how they are for a disaster of this magnitude. The good news is that it’s not too late for you if you act quickly.
I’ve prepared a checklist with suggestions to help you take all the needed steps to stabilize your business before the worst hits.
1. Prepare Your Team to Work Remotely.
If your business is mostly digital, and your employees can already work from the comfort of their home, you don’t have to worry a lot. If that’s not the case, though, you have some work to do.
First of all, think what activities can be done online, have all the needed devices updated, and the required VPN servers (if needed).
Secondly, ensure you communicate what duties should be your employees’ top priority in times of crisis.
Third of all, be prepared to consistently train them on productivity, time management, and other things that are crucial for remote teams. After all, some might have never worked from home and they can get easily distracted.
2. Make Sure to Take Care of Your Team in Turbulent Times.
Besides their salaries, think of other benefits that can keep your employees safe, stable, and secure.
For examples, you can arrange “crisis packages”. These could be travel or medical insurances for remote workers.
Another idea is to create an “emergency crisis fund”. Big airline companies, for instance, are reducing the wages of executives, cutting down various extras, and keeping costs to a minimum.
Asking your employees to continue working without paying them is not acceptable. If you take care of your team, they’ll go above and beyond to help your business get out of the crisis.
3. Back Up Your Supply Chain.
If your business is product-based, there’s a high chance you’re sourcing products from various suppliers.
In turbulent times, the storm can hit your suppliers even before you. Thus, you must have a back-up plan. Or a couple of them.
For instance, Plan B could be having another (trustworthy) supplier. Make sure it can handle big orders.
Plan C could be relying on several smaller suppliers. Yes, this can reduce your margin but can still save you time and money if the “big fish” suddenly shuts down.
4. Create a Crisis Plan That You Can Enforce Immediately.
When you’ve taken care of fixing the most crucial elements of your business, it’s time to sit down and come up with a crisis plan if you don’t have already.
A crisis plan includes:
- “If X happens, then what?” scenarios;
- Who makes decisions in the different departments (and to what extent)?
- Who is responsible for certain tasks, duties, and reports?
- Who initiates the crisis plan?
The crisis plan should not be anything complex, everybody should understand it clearly, and every single employee should have access to it at any time.
Crises might be daunting to deal with, especially when they hit unexpectedly as this one. But they are a good opportunity to innovate your business.
Have a virtual meeting with your team, and think how and which of your products or services you can offer online.
When people are stuck at home, the majority of them will be on their computers, laptops, and tablets.
If you can place your core offer online for people to consume, you’ll be able to make profits.
However, if that’s not possible at all, there are some other options. Let’s say you’re running a dental clinic. A good idea is to inform your patients that your clinic is being disinfected every single day, after each patient, and you only allow one person at a time in the building.
Now that you know these five ways to stabilize your business during crisis, it’s time to put them into effect.
“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.”― John F. Kennedy