In this chaotic situation created by the coronavirus pandemic, below are few tips to help you protect your business and employees and avoid risk.
Prepare BCP Plan
Prepare a business continuity plan (BCP) that will help from drowning in the coronavirus crisis and will outline processes and systems to help you avoid and recover from damages to your business. The plan will make sure your employees and assets are protected and they recover in no time, in case of a disaster.
The coronavirus pandemic has created havoc globally that has affected businesses all over. In such cases, a BCP plan is a must for any size of business. Especially for small and medium-sized businesses where they are most likely to face the consequences of the crisis.
A well planned BCP will help you in the following ways :
- The plan will make sure your business operations are running without any hurdles
- The plan will shield your employees and their jobs
- It will ensure that you are ready, in case any of your employees are quarantined or infected.
- Reduce the risk of your store/office spreading the coronavirus
- It will also help your customers trust in you
- The plan will ensure that you are ready, in case any of your employees are quarantined or infected
- Will protect you from any kind of big loss
Business Interruption Insurance
It is always safe to have a business interruption insurance in place, in case you haven’t opted for one. Not just the businesses but also the major events that are organized at a global level also have these insurances that take care of the expenses in case of cancellations.
In the coronavirus outbreak situation, clarify with your insurance broker, as to what kind of losses can be covered. However, looking at the sudden spread of the virus all over the world it may not cover this emergency. But this is good to have a thing so that the next time your business faces such as a situation you are well prepared.
Look for SBA Disaster Assistance loan
The SBA Disaster Assistance loan is a benefit to small businesses from the Small Business Administration. According to the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response, Supplemental Appropriations Act passed on March 6, 2020, US government will provide $20 million for the SBA to leverage $7 billion in low-interest disaster assistance loans to small businesses.
Keep a close eye on such initiatives by the government that will provide economic relief to your business impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
In this way, you just don’t have a plan in place to protect yourself, but also all the employees you care and customers you care for.
Revisit Product/ Service Portfolio
This is the right time for you to revisit your products and services portfolio. Make sure you concentrate on the need of the hour. While people are avoiding gatherings and practicing social distancing, ensure you add more online services to your portfolio to serve your customers well.
To add new services to the offerings you can:
- Communicate with your existing customers
- Understand their needs at the moment, as the needs can differ as compared to the earlier pandemic situation.
Once you have added online services to your offerings list, focus on planning how to deliver those. Have a plan for the least contact delivery. For example, Domino’s Pizza is providing zero contact delivery as customers are avoiding physical contact with any outsider as a safety measure due to coronavirus.
Don’t Sell- Be Helpful
We understand that the sales are low and everyone is worried about their revenue. However, the situation now is to understand your customers first. Being a responsible decision-maker don’t try and sell or make plans to sell.
People across the world are in a panic situation and are looking for satisfying their basic needs. So in case you deal with the least necessary products or services and if you try to run a campaign to sell that it would just irritate the customers resulting in a bad impression of the brand.
Instead, do things that can comfort the customers:
For example, if you deal with a subscription business model, don’t haunt the customer if the expiration date is nearing, or just don’t suddenly end the services. Talk to them and extend their renewal date. This will comfort them and also build trust with your brand.
In case you do not act empathetic to your customers’ situation , it is easy for them to find another service provider, but at the same time difficult for you to convince a new customer!
Focus on your existing customers because all the new initiatives are being put on hold for the moment. Big or small businesses, no one is willing to invest in something whose future is uncertain.
The Coronavirus pandemic has turned the global economy upside down. So, decision-makers, there is absolutely no reason to panic. And this is the time to think wisely and plan better for the future.
Plan better, protect your employees and operations, and stay safe!