The COVID-19 pandemic is devastating to small businesses in a variety of ways. From the loss of business to remote work, things are changing fast during this outbreak, and small businesses are forced to adapt. That’s why I’m providing these summarized resources and suggestions to help your business navigate this challenging time.
Keeping Employees Safe
- If an employee’s job tasks can be completed remotely, encourage them to work from home.
- Make sure that sick leave policies are following public health guidelines and that employees understand these policies.
- Keep office spaces clean and have employee’s workstations at least six feet apart.
- If one or more employees show symptoms, inform all employees of their possible exposure to the virus, and encourage remote work if possible.
Managing an Online Team
- Maintain clear communication with employees regarding job tasks and deadlines. Recommendations include daily emails and weekly video conferences.
- Work hours, appropriate communication, safety protocols, and workflow logistics should be coordinated with employees.
- Encourage employees to use this time to learn about leadership and relevant job skills that will improve work performance.
Communicating with Customers
- Update customers about any possible delays that could result from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Maintain public relations and customer support by being clear about how your business is handling COVID-19 on your homepage, social media, and via email.
- If appointments or shipments are delayed, let customers know promptly and thank them for their patience.
Preparing for Reduced Profits
- Run financial models with assumed low profits to make sure your business is prepared.
- Consider applying for government programs and non-government grants for additional financial support.
- Try to avoid layoffs and openly communicate with employees about any new developments.
- Determine how to reduce unnecessary costs and consider temporarily decreasing work hours for some or all employees.
We will get through this crisis. The damages so many business owners and employees are suffering right now is real and very scary. I hope is that this short guide will help your business find and make the right decisions to survive the coming months and years.