The coronavirus situation has the entire world on edge and anticipating their next move. The world economy is taking a significant hit, and governments are concerned about their solvency.
With people now confined to their homes and religiously practicing social distancing, small business owners are worried about the decline in foot traffic and sales during the quarantine. So what can they do? Business owners must be willing to implement some practices that can effectively protect the future of their business and employees. To help you out, we’ve outlined five approaches for small business owners to save money during the pandemic.
Create a Crisis Management Plan
If you’re worried about not having prepared for a crisis of this scale, then it’s time to prepare one now. A crisis or disaster management plan will outline the most critical components about operating the business, such as remote work, insurance, and financing. Having a plan on hand keeps business owners on track and prevents things from going out of hand.
A crisis management plan or contingency plan acts as a guide for business officials during an unpredictable predicament such as the Coronavirus. If businesses have a plan laid out, they can save valuable time and resources by putting it into action immediately.
It helps to have a documented plan to come back to so you can tackle issues effectively, even if you take a hit to your bottom line. More than 80% of small and medium enterprises reported a lack of crisis management plan, this affected the ability of the companies to efficiently respond to the changing business situation.
Hence, if you did not have a crisis management plan before, make one now.
Reach Out To Customers Online
Naturally, as people are advised to stay at home, they aren’t going out to shop anymore. Everyday routines have been disrupted; people don’t go to their favorite coffee shop to buy their morning coffee, they are not visiting their favorite eating spots or visiting their favored entertainment venues.
The business to consumer connection has been broken, which is a big concern for small businesses as they rely on customer loyalty & repeat purchases. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot reach out to your customers at all. Now is the best time to develop strong and lasting relationships with your clients by showing them that you are with them in this challenging time.
Engage with your consumers on social media; share valuable information with them, and create special offers, discounts, deals, and delivery services so customers can still enjoy your products and services while in quarantine. Find out the safest way to cater to your customers and ensure that their products are delivered to them while following the instructions laid out by the CDC.
Keeping followers informed about special services during lockdown will gain their attention and show them that their favorite businesses are still working to provide them the best service. While you might not generate revenue at the same rate as before, you will still bring in sales and generate buzz when customers tell others about your business.
If Possible, Instate Remote Work
With Coronavirus invading every nation, more and more businesses are closing offices and shifting to work from home. This is a safer alternative for businesses that can manage work assignments from home and not suffer from loss by completely closing down. While it depends on the kind of business you run, if it’s manageable to allow employees to work from home, it’s definitely worth a shot.
Business owners can draft some basic guidelines and instructions for remote work, so employees have the chance to set up a proper workplace for themselves. Then, navigate a flexible work schedule with your staff and remember to be considerate with those who are looking after their families.
Keep Employees Posted
Coronavirus has not only caused fear, but it has also created widespread uncertainty. As small businesses remain closed, employees are worried about their job safety. Therefore, it is critical to keep them in the loop and communicate business policy and direction clearly. It is possible that you may have to downsize to cut costs; you may send your employees on an unpaid furlough instead of firing them altogether. Whichever decision you make, it is essential to keep your employees informed.
Secondly, engage with your employees to let them know what’s happening with work during Coronavirus. Send out emails, memos, notices, or personalized texts, but keep your employees posted on all coronavirus updates and any operational changes, so they’re aware of the ongoings of the business. Updating employees regularly reduces the possibility of panic in the workplace and maintains transparency at all levels.
Adopt Religious Cleaning Procedures
This tip might be obvious, but it could decide the future of your business. Sanitation is a must if your business is still up-and-running during the pandemic. Disinfecting your work premise not only secures good health, but it also ensures financial security.
Not cleaning your premises thoroughly can cost you if your employees fall sick due to Coronavirus, or your delivered products give the virus to a customer. In essence, your business will lose a lot of consumers and may even have to shut down permanently as people won’t buy from a place that is infected with the virus.
This is especially serious for small food businesses that are delivering meals to people in different areas. Take note of how often your business office is cleaned, and whatever your normal schedule is, amplify it to ensure you’re fully equipped to battle the virus.
So, to make sure that your business remains solvent, invest in a professional cleaning service that disinfects and cleans the workspace regularly. Many commercial cleaners are offering government-approved cleaning surfaces. Carpet Cleaning London has great reviews for being immaculate. You can reach out to them to have your office cleaned as well.
Apart from professional cleaners, businesses can adopt the following sanitation guidelines:
- Check the temperature of employees before letting them inside the office every day.
- Instruct employees to use hand sanitizers, face masks, and gloves religiously while working and disinfect their work stations regularly.
- Stock up on cleaning supplies, antibacterial soaps, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizers.
- Encourage staff to wash their hands properly and frequently.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you’re providing a safe and hygienic work environment for your workers. This will not only benefit them but the business as well by decreasing absenteeism and sick employees. Additionally, workers will appreciate you more during these trying times, knowing you’re putting in the extra effort to ensure their well-being.
In a nutshell: It is safe to assume that the bottom line of big and small businesses will suffer in 2020. Small businesses are more vulnerable because they don’t have enough resources to see their business through for months. Although it is a gloomy outlook, small businesses can live to see another day if they cut their costs. Whether you carry on working remotely or keep doors open for business, being proactive and strategic will ensure you get past this. Just remember to keep employees in the loop, monitor your funds and profits effectively, and draft a plan to thoroughly manage all business operations from wherever you can.