COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly around the world. Almost every country has reported cases. The outbreak is already having a damaging economic impact on businesses, affecting everything from tourism to the supply of parts to the automotive and technology industries. Whether the pandemic ends within a month or two or stretches into the long-term, business owners need to be ready to reassess and make changes to their business strategy in order to adapt to the current situation and keep their business going.
The changes you face will vary depending on the nature of your business, and so your solutions will vary too. Below are some examples of how you might approach problem-solving.
Having an emergency remote working plan is critical to keep employees safe and keep your business operating with minimal disruptions during this difficult time.
First of all, if people are already working remotely, it’s important for the business to proactively keep everyone connected and on the same page and ensure that the business is moving forward as best it can.
Nowadays, working remotely is far easier than in the past, with so many systems now accessible through the cloud. For example, you can use Zoom, Microsoft Team or GoToMeeting for online videoconferencing and you have plenty of choices for both doing work and communicating with your team. Google Doc and Microsoft OneNote are another great Web-based applications in which documents and spreadsheets can be created, edited and stored online.
These tools will stay helpful even if you choose to go back to the office when everything is back to normal.
The second thing is, make sure you stay in contact and maintain relationships with customers, clients and partners. You can use various communication channels, such as your website, social media platforms or the above mentioned web-based applications, just to chat and show that you are responding to the situation. Clients need to know that in spite of this temporary situation, the company is still in business and you are ready to help and answer any questions.
Have you thought about setting up an online store? Due to the current situation, many businesses are moving their products and services online. This is a great option and a great opportunity; customers can browse and shop whenever they like. If you haven’t been selling online, now is the best time to start. Setting up an online store is super easy, and doing so will expand your business beyond your doorstep.
The final thing I will suggest is that you encourage employees to develop a personal regime where they regularly exercise at home, find a hobby to keep themselves occupied and reach out and talk to people, even if that socialisation takes place virtually. We have to make sure employees are happy, mentally relaxed and productive to the extent that they can.
Here at Oxford Safety we are still fully operational. With the help of Microsoft Teams, customers can live chat with us regarding any questions or orders. Microsoft Teams also helps us to keep in touch with the rest of the group and with the assistance of Zoom we can maintain our in-house training.
If people are sensible, follow precautions and manage risks there is every reason to be confident that business can get back on its feet again soon!
Good luck and stay safe.