We’re washing our hands, keeping our distance, and sanitising frequently to protect ourselves from the coronavirus. While that’s an effective method on an individual level, business owners still have to think about how to shield their organisation and their employees from the far-reaching impact of the global crisis.
Here are some ways to proactively manage your business operations while helping keep everyone under you safe during the pandemic.
Check your financial plan options
Every business, no matter the industry, incurs the same key expenses to run: employee compensation, office space rent, and related utility bills. Additional expenses will come from their specific industry, too.
Open a conversation with your suppliers about the payment options available to you. Given that we’re all affected by the crisis, there’s a high chance that they will be more understanding of your situation and be willing to be more flexible about their terms — they might even already have options in place.
Any leeway they can give you means a little more breathing room for your company to regain its footing.
If they agree to a more workable payment schedule, return the courtesy. Make sure that the plan is fair to both parties as they are a business that has people depending on its continuity, same as you. We’re all in this together, so it’s more critical than ever to come together as a community that looks out for one another.
Protip: Examine your business’ finances and identify areas that you can cut or defer to preserve your budget without compromising the quality of your service. You can inject that budget into customer-generating endeavours, such as optimising your UK website for search engines.
Communicate with your stakeholders
“Communication” — frequent and in-depth, at that — is the star of the show while the crisis continues. From your suppliers to your customers, and your creditors to your investors, transparent and up-to-date information regarding the status of your business and how you are addressing concerns is necessary.
External stakeholders. You can try to get overdue payments from your debtors, but remember to exercise compassion. Given the circumstances, you may need to negotiate your terms with them. Communicate with your business’ creditors, too. They may be open to you deferring your payments.
Internal stakeholders. Make sure that your employees, from your managers and supervisors to your rank and file staff are kept abreast of coronavirus developments and policy changes that would affect the business and their jobs.
Use clear and calm messaging to disseminate your information. Memos or office emails should suffice for regular reporting and guidelines, while a mandatory company meeting (through an online channel, naturally) would be more appropriate for when you want real-time interactions.
Keeping your stakeholders informed makes them feel more in control of the situation so you can minimise the rate of partners pulling out and reduce workplace panic. Also, only use trusted sources for your information, or be vigilant about verifying data you come across on the latest news on the global crisis.
Tap into federal relief and institutional support
For the most part, governments have been proactive about creating initiatives to help tide smaller businesses through the crisis. Check out whether your business is eligible for any of the support programs available in your area.
Governments, large institutions, and social entrepreneurs are also refining the assistance programs as the situation evolves. Stay informed about initiatives that can help you minimise the pandemic’s impact on your operations. Moreover, if you are registered in multiple countries, you can check if other support options may apply to you as well.
Realign your business model
Though the situation that led to this point is awful, business owners should still take this as an opportunity to reevaluate their business processes. A major factor to take note of is if the current model is agile enough to last the company through the pandemic and allow for a relatively quick recovery afterwards.
Some things to consider:
- How the global crisis has affected consumer behaviour
- How you can stay relevant by adapting to the changing needs of this new breed of customer
- If you can digitise your processes, products, or services and how soon can you start offering them online
Upskill staff for higher efficiency
With everything that’s going on, training and upskilling your staff may be the farthest thing from your mind. Answering the question of whether you’ll be able to keep your staff on by staying afloat might be a more pressing concern, after all.
But don’t let the sudden changes affect your ability to make decisions that could make the future of your company better. Train your staff, especially the ones whose departments have taken a significant hit right now and can’t operate on full capacity, on extra non-core skills.
The move has the benefit of making your employees more agile, productive, and efficient. You’ll also be able to avoid taking on more staff at the moment. This plan is not without weaknesses, however. While you can quickly train your existing staff on the basics, you can’t expect them to start specialising.
For these situations, it might be better to find a strategic partner to deliver specialised support solutions, at a fraction of the cost of a new hire.
Axadra is a B2B content marketing agency committed to delivering world-class digital marketing solutions, including SEO services for clients in the United Kingdom. With our expertise, you can expect more website traffic and high-quality leads that could help you counter the impact of the crisis.
Learn more about how our support can help you keep your business’ doors open today.