The current coronavirus outbreak causes the business owner to worry about a myriad of situations they have to handle. The prudent entrepreneur makes fast, decisive, and effective decisions. However, it can be hard to have the right answer for this extraordinary situation. Especially for start-up founders who are still solving initial issues like finding their ideal marketing strategy, finding clients, and establishing protection against property damage or cyber-attacks.
The global economy without a doubt is starting to get affected as the new coronavirus spreads. However, focusing on finding a solution for this unforeseen challenge and its risks should be the core of the actions taken. The business will cut through these circumstances by delivering a clear message to suppliers, clients, and employees. The goal is not to panic, and to effectively lead the business through the economic recession this outbreak might bring.
A conscious leader ought to make sure its business is prepared and properly positioned for any impact. By following these 5 steps, you can start safeguarding your business during this crisis.
1. Communication is crucial
Effective communication is the bridge between failure and success. Whether the virus affects your business directly or indirectly, implementing a multi-channel communication strategy will reduce impact.
Firstly, talk to your employees and managers. As a leader, they will want to know your suggestions on how to face this situation. A great idea to reduce anxiety is to prepare an instructional guide and a daily news bulletin for employees with information about the Coronavirus outbreak and which will be the approach of the business towards it. Make sure that the information comes from credible and verified sources, such as the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) or the WHO (World’s Health Organization) website. From posters to emails, any method you use will work if it keeps your staff well informed.
Likewise, it is essential to maintain direct and forthright communication with your suppliers. Present your priorities within your supply chain and work together in a solution for minimizing the production disruptions. If possible, suggest solutions for the different scenarios. Your supplier will appreciate your efforts in making your circumstances easier.
Finally, it is a crucial part of the communication to let your clients know what is going on. Use social media to share information about the outbreak and let them know what actions you may be taking to help within the crisis. Also, let them know what to expect from your product or services, and their orders.
2. Getting loans: Payday loans or cash advances
Dealing with worried employees is not the only thing to do. In this situation it is imperative to keep cash flow under control. Small businesses usually take some of the hit under economic recession, so take some precautionary measures.
Although the government is offering certain help, some businesses are already struggling to cover expenses due to the outbreak. The government is already taking measures trying to pass legislation with low-interest federal disaster loans for payroll expenses, backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Also, a federal income tax deferment and employer tax credit will allow business owners to use income tax liability to cover expenses.
However, tax returns should be filed in a few weeks. This is why it can be convenient to search for other financing options like payday loans and cash advances. This type of loan can be especially useful when there is an urgency for finding the funds. Available through some easy online steps for quick and safe applications.
Try to anticipate expenses your business might have, like a trip cancellation or a supply chain alternative. Furthermore, try to cut down unnecessary expenses. It can be useful to start making a budget for weekly expenses. Remember to include insurance coverage quotes. Losing insurance cover during this crisis can lead to bankruptcy.
3. Flexible Working Arrangements or remote work
The new virus strain has made this a time of adjustment for all of us. To reduce the transmission rates, and for safeguarding your employees’ health, it might be wise to establish part-time schedules or transition to work-from-home (WFH) setups. This is especially good if you think your production will significantly slow down.
Today’s technologies can make avoiding exposure and remote projects much easier. However, keep in mind that vague work from home policies can be risky. You must set guidelines and rules to keep your production engine running as smooth as possible.
This can become a completely new ballgame for production but it does not necessarily imply it will go wrong.
Since communication plays the lead role, actively engage in conversations with your employees. Through platforms like Skype or Google Hangouts, you can both set video conferencing or chats as much as needed. Since transformational leadership demands creativity, take advantage of platforms that allow real-time collaboration such as Collabedit or Microsoft Teams to work as closely as on-site meetings.
You can also use direct part of your efforts to gaining some benefit out of this situation and optimizing your online presence. There is a marketing strategy for every opportunity and reinforcing your brand’s presence while everyone is constantly checking on socials networks can be a clever call. It can also become a great opportunity for innovating your product. Focus on your product or service; analyze its reviews via surveys and social feedback. Gather some new ideas on how to boost your customer experience or its features. Take everything into consideration and take advantage of your resources even while working from home.
A significant part of the strategy is keeping track of the work. Project management dashboards software like Smartsheet can help you do this. If after implementing your online and remote work strategy you are getting high results, you might even consider temporarily closing the physical location or downscaling the office.
4. Working in a safe environment.
While working from home can be a solution for some, other employee’s obligations do not allow them to apply this measure. When remote work is not possible or your type of business does not allow it, it is smart to implement the following hygiene measures to reduce exposure to the virus.
· Extraordinary cleaning standards. Schedule more cleaning hours or sessions if needed. Senior management should make rounds to make sure everything is neat and are implementing basic recommendations. Give cleaning weapons to your employees. Non-invasive implements such as disinfectants, soap, hand sanitizer, and facemasks are necessary for them to keep everything they use free from virus particles and lower their risk of infection.
· Encourage personal hygiene. Posters on how to wash hands and with virus information could help your workforce to remember keeping their hands clean and their desks clean. Sending messages alerts or scheduling cleaning exercises could also work. Teach them to keep their workspace and home clean and free of the virus particles.
· If you have any symptomatic employees, even if it is not confirmed yet, request them to stay at home. This should be mandatory and your employees should be informed of this early on.
· Temperature taking. Many businesses are already implementing taking their staff’s temperature as a strategy to lower fear among staff.
· Avoid the presence of your employees in crowded areas. Lunch and breaks can be scheduled and even be catered to lessen exposure.
5. Reconsider Leave Policies
Uncommon scenarios lead to special resolutions. Providing benefits through leave policies is not legally forced for businesses to offer. The continued pay and leave usage can raise business expenditures and leads to an ethical dilemma. However, your long-term corporate reputation or your employer brand after the outbreak passes can be on the line here. Companies like Microsoft and Facebook continue to pay their hourly workers as usual, even if COVID19 has affected them. Other organizations like Uber implemented limited emergency sick payments. Consider all options needed to protect your brand while choosing what will be the business behavior upon this crisis.
6. Exploit your resources
If you have created strong connections through networking, relay on your friends and acquaintances to gather information. From alternative suppliers, production options, and even strategies they have set into motion at their own business, you will need all the information you can gather to make a successful strategy.
Keep up to date with news and use verified sources. Anything, from novel Coronavirus outbreak information to new economic measures taken by the government can completely change the strategy your business needs.
Empowering your employees and asking them to make suggestions can provide you with high-quality insights. This will finally improve the remote production structure and all the measures are taken. Try to make constant adjustments to your strategy for protecting your business from the economic recession this virus can be starting. It will take some time for the economy to fully recover from this situation, but it will eventually pass.
Numerous situations are coming ahead and things can become difficult or tricky. Nonetheless, by focusing on solving a specific situation at this time, you make efficient and objective decisions. Be confident in your workforce, keep them informed and try to make plans that steer your business to safer seas.