The coronavirus pandemic has brought devastating effects on the global economy affecting all businesses, both big and small.
Social distancing has proved to be the most effective way to slow the spread of the virus, but as a result, our economy has been severely affected by people staying at home.
According to the United States Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, one in four small businesses have shut down temporarily in response to the COVID-19. For companies that are still struggling, 40 % are likely to shut down in a few weeks.
During this pandemic period, you need to adjust your business operations to stay afloat. Here are some tips you can employ in your business.
1- Maintain Personal Hygiene
As a business, you need to have your employee’s best interest at heart because they are the front-line heroes of your company. Without them, your business stops to function.
You need to ensure that they feel safe when at the workplace for them to come to work.
According to the World Health Organization, the most effective way of preventing coronavirus infection is through personal hygiene. As a business owner, make sure to provide your employees with enough soap, hand sanitizers, and running water for frequent hand washing.
Hand washing should be done frequently, and in the event soap and water are not available, hand sanitizers should be used.
2- Maintain Social Distancing
The virus does not spread by itself but through close human to human contact. It is prudent to maintain social distance in the workplace by reducing the number of staff coming to work regularly. You can distribute your workforce into different shifts for your business to stay operational.
You can also spread out the sitting arrangement, for example, a desk that usually operates with four personnel operates with only two. Also, encourage your employees to work from home if their roles allow them to do so.
We are in a digital world; remote jobs are increasing. Try if it works out for your business. Remote working can save you a lot of money that you would otherwise spend on electricity, the internet, and other bills.
During this time, make sure your employees don’t shake hands, hug, or engage in any other form of physical contact. Also, advise them not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth and maintain at least two meters distance from each other.
3- Encourage Employees to Wear Face Masks
Coronavirus pandemic spreads through cough droplets of an infected person. At first, there was some confusion about who should wear facemasks. Recently, the WHO advised that everybody should wear facemasks to limit the spread of the virus.
You can even provide facemasks for your employees free of charge, as this will demonstrate your care for their wellbeing. Here are some best facemasks for COVID-19 protection.
4- Have Regular Temperature Checks
One of the main symptoms of the virus is high temperatures. To ensure that your business stays operational, you need to take care of all your employees by having regular temperature checks when they report to duty in the day as they leave work.
Temperature checks will enable you to identify staff that might be infected to stop them from infecting others. You can also learn other ways of staying healthy, primarily how to safeguard mental health during a pandemic.
5- Learn from The Pandemic
The pandemic has been devastating, but at the same time, has brought new insights on changes that need to be made. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing repetitively and expecting different results.
Currently, this pandemic needs to enlighten you on what future changes need to be done so your business can stay operative (even in times of crisis).
For example, if you don’t have an online presence, it’s high time to create a website and build your presence on the internet. If your staff can perform exceptionally well from home, why not let them work remotely even after the pandemic.
6- Minimize Unnecessary Business Costs to Better Manage Finances
Sales are down during this pandemic, and your financials must be well monitored. Consider pausing some benefits that you were offering to your team, such as overtime allowance as they will not be working overtime and also reduce the amount of money spent on non-essential business expenses.
Here are six ways to minimize business costs during a time of crisis like COVID-19.
- Eliminate discretionary spending: If you were looking to hire more employees or revamp your office, it’s best to postpone these things for the future. If you have already made a contractual commitment to spend money, contact the opposite party and try to negotiate the terms or delay the payment date.
- Limit your buying: Every business buy things and services. Your office rent, phone bill, internet connection, electricity, janitorial services, stationery products (printing papers, pens, etc.), and payments to independent contractors, all fall under this category. Check where you can reduce or eliminate the cost. Try to convince your landlord to lower the rent. Many landlords are willing to negotiate the payment terms (temporarily) during the pandemic. Temporarily suspend the internet connection, if all your employees are working from home.
- Cut the work week: If you don’t have enough projects in hand, it’s best to cut the work week to save money. Even if you reduce the work week from five to four days a week, you will save around 20% of payroll. Explain your current financial situation to your employees and make them understand why it’s necessary, so they don’t quit immediately.
7- If You’re Still Struggling, Cut Your Personal Finances
With the unemployment rate increasing to 9.5% by the end of 2020, the Federal Reserve leaders predict a slow recovery for the U.S economy.
Therefore, in these uncertain times, it’s imperative that company owners don’t just look at their businesses but their personal finances too.
Here are three great ways to cut or reduce your personal finances:
- Negotiate recurring bills: Recurring bills take away a major part of income every month. By negotiating with the service providers, you can save a ton of money. Contact your cable, cell phone, internet, and auto insurance providers. Explain to them how COVID-19 has impacted your income and that you want them to reduce the premium amount until things recover. If they don’t agree to decrease the premium, look for providers who are offering their services for less than what your current supplier is charging during COVID-19. Here are some car insurance companies that are offering premium relief plans. Many broadband and telephone service providers have also pledged to keep Americans connected during the coronavirus pandemic even if they can’t pay the premium. Check if your provider has pledged, if not, try switching to a company that has.
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions: As mentioned above, recurring payments cost a lot of money every month. Go through all the services you currently subscribe to and cancel the ones you can live without temporarily. If you don’t remember what you signed up for, check your credit card statement or the email account (that you normally use when subscribing to services).
- Limit online spending: It is crucial to limit your spending. With so many ecommerce stores delivering products within a few days, it’s really tempting not to shop online. One of the ways to limit online spending is by deleting your payment information from your favorite ecommerce stores. This makes it tougher for you to spend. Another way to restrict online spending is by creating a monthly shopping budget and sticking to that.
We are all currently living in a time when the economy has been affected badly. People are stuck between choosing their lives or their livelihoods.
Since we all need to eat to survive, it is essential to maintain our livelihoods and work in a safe environment to prevent contamination and spread of the virus. Make necessary changes as mentioned above to keep your business running amid the coronavirus pandemic.