From a loss of business to remote working, how we do business is definitely shifting fast during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, forcing businesses to adapt. Protecting your business during this fast-moving pandemic means a lot more than just giving it a good scrubbing. You need to prepare for the worst and keep staff and customers well-informed…
The following are some things to concentrate on that will help you survive this challenging time.
This step is obvious if you’ve been watching the news, but it needs to be mentioned. Keep your employees and customers safe by being proactive about sanitizing and cleanliness. Focus on how you can strengthen your cleaning strategies to safeguard your business. Here are some steps to follow.
Increase how often your business is sanitized
Stock up on COVID-19 fighting disinfectants, soap and hand sanitizer
Have employees disinfect their workspaces every day
Ask sick and at-risk employees to stay home
Don’t shake hands. Only use no-contact options for greetings
Don’t touch your face or rub your eyes and remind your employees to do the same
Aside from yourself, encourage staff to avoid large crowds and stay 6 feet away from others.
Frequently disinfect surfaces, including doorknobs, handrails, POS systems, phones, tables, desks, etc.
Strongly encourage staff to wash their hands often, including when they arrive at work and regularly throughout the day.
Offer customers the choice to place orders online or by phone for curbside pickup or delivery.
Communicate with Your Customers & Suppliers
Be transparent about what’s going on with your business because your customers will more than likely be able to empathize with what you’re going through if you openly communicate with them. Let’s face it, we’re all in this together which builds a sense of camaraderie. Also, keep in touch with suppliers – communicating with suppliers will ensure that you are notified of any problems immediately.
“Work from Home” Plan
This is a lot easier to do today because so many are already doing it. There are also a lot of free tools available to business owners and employees that can help you keep in touch during the workday (video chats like Zoon, Google docs, etc.).
Outsourcing is a familiar option for a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs who routinely outsource important tasks. During a pandemic, outsourcing is a great choice, sometimes the only choice. The following are a few of the key benefits of outsourcing.
Concentrate on your Core Business
Most small businesses and startups have limited resources and not enough time on their hands, especially during a crisis. Outsourcing can help small business owners shift their focus from activities that eat of time that is better used to continue to build their businesses and serve the needs of their customers.
Business owners who try to do everything themselves have much higher marketing, development and distribution expenses, all that need to be passed on to their customers. Outsourcing these tasks can give your business a significant competitive advantage.
Hiring and training employees for peripheral projects or short term employment can be expensive, and unfortunately, temporary employees don’t always meet expectations. Outsourcing with a professional resource makes it possible for businesses to focus their efforts where it’s most needed, with the added benefit of saving labor costs and time.
Start New Projects
A reputable outsourcing company will have the resources necessary to start projects immediately with specific instructions from you. Managing the same project in-house could end up taking weeks or even months to find the right people, provide training and any support they might need.
Helps Level the Playing Field
Most small businesses can’t afford to have the same in-house support that large companies can maintain. Outsourcing can help small businesses act “big” by providing them with access to the same level of expertise and efficiency that larger firms enjoy.
Working Online Efficiently
Working online is the new norm and doing so efficiently will better prepare you for a future crisis. Use this time to shift your sales strategies online, grow e-commerce sales and be ready for online orders to increase. If you have an email list (you should), put it to good use and use social media as a sales strategy as well.
Panic is Contagious
When it comes to media (including social media), or well-meaning friends, don’t pay attention to info unless it comes from a non-biased expert/experts and sites like World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/). Just stick with the facts. Don’t dwell on viable sites or news channels either – we all have better ways to use our time like maintaining, and even better, growing our businesses. It’s also important to make time to relax and exercise to destress.
Plan for the Long Term
Most pandemics have a severe spike that is followed by a decreased incidence of disease. The populace ends up building up immunity that helps prevent the virus from spreading. That said, in some cases, pandemics flare up a second time. When it comes to the corona virus, uncertainty reigns because there just isn’t enough known about it. This means it’s more important than ever to plan for the long term.
Take Advantage of the tips listed above and consider this . . . A lot of people, including business owners, are giving in to the panic the corona virus has caused. It’s true, the pandemic has profoundly affected all of us and everything suddenly seems precarious – even for those that design and produce t-shirts. Many have stopped promoting their businesses, running ads or researching ways to survive during this trying time. Don’t fall into this hole. Instead, find ways to survive and even thrive during challenging times (how about creating t-shirts focused on COVID-19 – they could end up being collector’s items). This will help you weather the storm of future crises that may occur.
As always, we are here for you!
The SpeedySep Crew