As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen, communities observe complete lockdown. People are canceling trips, night outs, and all social interactions, which is leading to a strain on the country’s economic conditions.
Businesses face the ultimate challenge as they question whether to continue operations or prioritize their employees’ health. Small businesses are at risk of falling into a financial rut as their sales drop and expenses increase. Shutting down production could be detrimental to a company’s growth.
Corona virus may not cause a recession, but the economic disruption will be significant. Thus, here are some tips for entrepreneurs and store owners to survive these difficult times.
Learn how to leverage social lockdown to your advantage and navigate your employees and consumers.
(For more information on COVID-19, please visit the World Health Organization website.)
Communicating with Clients
Your clients and customers are the sources of your income and the reason for your successful business. Therefore, keeping the communication open with your clients is a necessity, not just for uncertain times, but during usual days as well.
Here’s how you can help your consumers during these difficult times:
• Maintain Your Business Profile on Google - Your business profile is the official channel where your target market can access your information. So, keep it updated with details like change in hours of operation to let them know when they can get in touch.
• Use Your Profile for Announcements - Much like your social accounts, you can use your Google Business Profile for announcements or updates. If you’ve got a new promotional offer, product launches, and more, post an update on your profile and keep your consumers informed.
• Handle FAQs - With everything on lockdown, communication is primarily through digital channels. It means answering frequently asked questions repeatedly is troublesome. So, consider setting email auto-replies to take over the task for you.
Communicating with Employees
Your employees are as valuable as your clientele. They are the powerhouse of your company operations. So, communicate frequently and fervently with your employees to ensure a smooth workflow and prevent any hiccups in production.
Here’s what you should do to help your employees feel at ease:
• Contact Information – When you are working in-house, you don’t feel the need to put everything online and accessible. But at times, when social interactions are banned, keep details like contact information for employees, merchants, and clients, available to everyone from anywhere.
• Business Continuity Plan – A business continuity plan tells your staff members what to do at times of natural disasters, health hazards, and more, including pandemics, hurricanes, accidents, and power outages. Make your plan that fits your needs and share it with your employees where they can access it remotely.
• Give Authority to Local Managers – With offices in more than location, let your resident managers decide what to do based on their local conditions.
Social distancing means remote operations. Here’s what you can do to keep your business open from home:
• Work from Home – Nobody likes to take work home, but such is the case at present. With governments around the globe issuing lockdown, allow your employees to bring their laptops home. They can access all information and continue working remotely.
• Tools and Software – For effective remote operations, open communication is essential. There are plenty of devices and software available that allow constant contact and file sharing with all employees, like Skype, Slack, and more.
• Common Share – Remotely working would’ve been a challenge if not for tools like Skype, Cloud, and more. So, collaborate with your team using shared documents, conference calls, email lists, or a chat room.
Modifying Your Advertising (if needed)
Advertisements are one of the best ways to deliver a message to your target market. Whether it’s an announcement about your business or new services, modify your advertising and marketing to fit as needed.
Here are some steps you can take:
• Edit Ads – Edit your running ad campaigns to let your consumers know your operation hours, or whether you are closed. And, if you are offering new, helpful services during the current pandemic, use your adverts to spread the message.
• Pause Campaigns – With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading, some locations are worse off than others. So, if there’s a shortage in product supply and problems with the delivery, then pause your ad campaigns to control the supply and demand gap.
• Change Priority Locations – If the majority of your target market is in areas where the spread of the virus is worse, then prioritize your ad budget to other locations.
Are You Ready to Lead Your Small Business Through Uncertainty?
I hope the article helps you navigate these trying times and emerge victorious on the other side. For more information on how to best control the pandemic, refer to CDC’s guidance for businesses.
Cubix is going remote to show its support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, you too, stay safe and healthy!