2020 has been ravaged by the COVID-19 virus. Every passing minute, there are updates of new infections and deaths because of the virus. Many small businesses are unaware of what to do to mitigate risk amid the pandemic. They are looking for ways to support their customers and protect employees.
Here are the things small business owners should consider:
1. Have Transparent Communication With Your Customers
Business advisors at Max Funding say, “This pandemic is being faced by the whole world and is affecting the health of the public and impacting the economy.” They recommend, “you need to be transparent with your customers and tell them what your business is going through. Clients are ready to empathise with business suffering from a crisis but you need to be transparent about it.”
Remember, if customers don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes, they are going to appreciate the business less. You should be open about the steps you are pursuing to diminish the risk. Also, you should be open about what you are doing to help the community in this time of need.
Don’t forget to keep your customers and employees safe by being as proactive as possible about cleanliness.
2. Establish A Work-From-Home Policy
Currently, a lot of people are working from home. Therefore, business owners can take advantage of these free tools to keep in touch with their employees. As the business owner, you need to create a remote work policy.
It should cover when your team should be available or online. Also, there should be suggestions on how to communicate using tools such as video calls, Slack or emails. Finally, the remote work policy should have deliverables for each team member to complete effortlessly.
3. Be Flexible with Your Employees’ Time
Across the country, offices, commercial centres, schools, stores and businesses have closed down. The whole country is moving to complete lockdown. As a business owner, you need to consider employees’ flexibility.
You should expect some of your employees to be unavailable because they don’t have day-care options. Others might have their children home from school and unable to get to work. You need to be very understanding when something comes up. There should be a contingency plan in place if you are short-staffed.
4. Limit Meetings And Travel
You need to reduce avenues of exposure. If there are any meetings scheduled, you can postpone them or hold them using your computer. Skip any business travels and conferences.
Note that, if your employees become sick because of meetings or travel, you are accountable for it. For instance, you will need to manage sick leave requests or low morale.
5. Bring Your Sales Strategy Online
If you have to close your store, look for ways to keep your employees safe with a paycheque. You can also sell on social media, or even better, you can use a video tool to get to new leads.
A study shows that 7 in 10 buyers watch a video sometime during their buying process. Use that to your advantage, and send them a customized video.
6. Be Prepared For The Long-term
China and other economies are already beginning to recover. However, the pandemic is still affecting other parts of the world. Contact your investors, suppliers, partners, and authorities in your area every day. Find out how to implement safeguards to help you stay afloat as the pandemic is contained. It will be a while before things get back to normal.