We are in hard times. Times that are unprecedented. Time when everyone is uncertain about their future and they are living in anxiety no matter whether they are in a developed or developing country.
Most businesses have closed down while a good chunk of employees have had to do with pay cuts and others have been completely laid off. It is at times like this when we all need to look for solutions.
As a contributor for Thrive Global which is owned by Arianna Huffington, towards the end of the week, we were asked to write about one moment in the past where resilience saw us through. Apparently when you are facing hard times and you remind yourself of another equally difficult moment when you exercised bravado. You are highly likely to find the strength to beat the current one.
Even business leaders can do the same exercise and find the strength to wither this storm. As a business founder, think of those difficult moments in your organization when you had to fight with so many odds. It could be when you were starting out and trying to establish a market in a new field or that time when the local authorities were on your case and you somehow made it strong on the other end. As you do so, you will find the courage and the strength to smile saying that this too is just but a passing cloud that needs not deter you.
In this post I look at ways in which businesses can witness the storm and come out better and stronger even after the COVID-19 scare.
- Now more than ever you need to move online
Whether you are trading in goods or service you need an online presence. Set up a good website as well as social media handles where clients can find you. If you are not good at search engine optimization and social media management you can always look out for digital consulting services that are going to handle that for you at a small fee.
The reason why ecommerce giants like Amazon are still operational today is because they have a good online presence and one does not need to go to their physical stores to buy anything. Copy this style and make sure to have your customers get word that they can still access your products and services on the Internet.
- Apply for a loan moratorium with your bank
If you have a loan but because of how thick things are right now, you will not be able finance it, you can always talk to your bank reps about your inability to pay in time. Banks also know that things are tough and they really care about your being able to weather this storm. I was listening to one of the CEOs of a leading bank in my country and he had this to say we care that our businesses come out healthy after this corona virus pandemic. Talk to us to have a loan repayment moratorium. There is a difference between being unable to pay and lacking a will to pay.
- Care for your employees now
Now more than ever, most people are working from home. But businesses in the informal sector cannot work out that way. They have had to close. Maybe yours is one of the informal ones that have had to completely shut down. As an employer, find ways to care for your employees. They have always taken care of your business for dog years. It is time to pay back. If you can find ways to still pay a percentage of their salaries without going under, then kindly do it.
In some countries, business operations are going on. But for the employees to work in such businesses, they are being asked to have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPEs) so that they do not get into contact with surfaces that have the virus. It is your role as an employer to ensure that your workers have this equipment at all times. Also make sure that there is enough soap and water for hand hygiene.
- Outsource to cut on costs
For startups, this is the best time to outsource tasks from remote freelancers in order to cut costs. The good thing with hiring freelancers is that you are saved so many overhead costs such as health cover of the employee, commuter and house allowances as well as setting up their pension plans. With freelancers, all you pay is for the work due and nothing else on top of it.
- Show care to your customers
It is high time to know how your customers are doing. Send them messages of good health and wish them the best despite everything that is happening.
If you can give them goods on credit, do not decline to do so when they come with such requests.