Running a business can be terrifying even when things are running smoothly on a global scale. Now, add to the equation a scenario where there are a pandemic and a looming recession going on at the same time. What you get is all but reassuring. Still, even against such odds, numerous enterprises are managing to make their stand. How? Well, with the right mindset, organization and strategy. Needless to say, this is something that even the smallest of enterprises can embrace. Here are several tips that you can use in order to save your local business in the chaos of the ongoing pandemic.
1. Form an online workgroup
Forming an online workgroup is not that hard with all the tools at your disposal. First of all, you need a suitable collaboration tool. It is also a good idea to include a communication tool here, as well. For those who want to check just how hard their staff is working (provided that they have actual work hours and no deadlines), getting an employee monitoring platform is also an option. Keep in mind, however, that the productivity of your team might not remain the same. So, in order to help them out, offer them some guidelines on how to stay productive while telecommuting. Until they grasp these basics, you should try to show some tolerance and be as understanding as possible.
2. On-site work
Even though you would, ideally, let people work from home, sometimes, this is not an option. In that case, you need to ensure that your employees have all the necessary conditions. For those who need some basic guidelines, it might be a good idea to follow the rules for preparing a workplace for an influenza pandemic. What you need to do is keep the place clean, provide enough disinfectant for everyone and try to increase the amount of space between employees. Traditionally, each worker has about 11 square feet of personal space. Here, you might want to further increase this number. This is why, even if you do plan to keep your office running, you need to consider letting at least some of your employees to work from home.
3. Invest in marketing
Just because some businesses and industries are undergoing a downscale, it doesn’t mean that this will be true in your case. Online businesses are actually seeing an increase in revenue, which is why it’s only logical that their marketing spending should increase, as well. Due to the fact that their marketing budget is determined by their average annual revenue. Also, keep in mind that due to the increase in demand, competitiveness is getting higher as well. Even some hardcore brick and mortar retailers are now forced to look towards e-commerce.
Seeing as how the majority of these e-commerce businesses are mostly locally available, it would be a good idea to invest in SEO. This is because one’s SERPs can seriously impact both their traffic and revenue. International trade (export/import) is seriously endangered, due to the fact that a lot of countries have closed their borders. Other than this, people are placing online orders for essentials that they expect to receive in a matter of days (even hours). This is why your digital marketing campaign needs to be localized, as well. For instance, in the case of the above-mentioned SEO, a company from NSW should look for professionals like SEO Company from Sydney.
4. Employee management
It goes without saying that during this pandemic, some of your employees may catch the contagious disease. So, what you need to do is figure out how to handle your ill employees. Your company needs to start with a clear policy and procedures for the prevention of the spread of illness. Still, there’s no way to protect people with 100 per cent certainty. All you can do is actively encourage sick employees to remain at home. Also, companies that don’t have paid sick leave are more likely to have employees who ignore these guidelines. Therefore, being fair towards your employees increases odds of them being fair towards you and their coworkers, as well.
5. Be there for your team
Remember that not everyone handles moments of crisis the same. This is why you need to understand the importance of being there for your team. A drop in productivity for people working from home for the first time is a normal and expected thing. Moreover, people paralyzed by fear who refuse to come to the office should be allowed to work from home. Even if the danger is relatively low, you should never force your employees to choose between their health and their job. Being there for your employees in their time of need will ensure a growing employee loyalty trend.
6. Plan for the long-run
A lot of businesses are making cuts in order to survive these troubled times, however, they often shoot themselves in the leg with this practice. Businesses who cut too much during the recession, usually tend to have a harder time coming back. This is because making cuts often means reducing the quality and capacity of your enterprise. You see, if you decide to fire 5 employees and then hire 5 people when the crisis is over, you haven’t exactly replenished your manpower. What you’ve done is lost 5 veterans, people who were already trained and experienced in your line of work and replaced them with 5 newcomers. Reducing the quality of your products in order to reduce the overhead (in terms of manufacturing time or supplies) is an even worse idea.
The very last thing worth mentioning is the fact that the businesses that are the most adaptable have the biggest chance of surviving any crisis. So, don’t try hard to stick to your business model and try being flexible with as many aspects of your businesses as possible. Who knows, some of these trends and practices you may keep even after the crisis is over. Also, since there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that you can resort to, you will have to develop a custom-made business strategy for your enterprise.
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