The 2020 coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has posed a serious threat to many businesses in many fields of specialism. If your business is still managing to stay afloat, you need to keep up the hard work.
There are a number of things you can do to help your business to succeed and make a profit in spite of the pandemic. Here are a few areas you can focus on to maximize your chances of success going forward!
Let’s focus on safety first. Safety should always be top of your priorities, but during the pandemic, this is particularly true.
Safety is important from all different perspectives. First, you have a moral responsibility to care for your staff, customers and anyone else who comes into contact with your business or brand.
You need to ensure that they aren’t harmed from any contact with you. You don’t want anyone to become ill at your hands.
Secondly, making sure your staff are safe is important for your business. Right now, staff showing symptoms of Covid have to isolate themselves for two weeks and the virus could easily spread through your whole workforce if you’re not careful.
This could massively reduce productivity and see your business struggle.
Here are a few steps you should take to make sure everyone’s as safe as possible and to keep your business in good reputation and up and running.
Adapt Your Commercial Premises
You’re going to have to make some adaptations to your commercial premises.
If your store has to stay open, you need to make sure that your premises are safe for anyone entering it or spending time in it. Some common changes to make right now include:
- Limiting the number of people allowed in your commercial premises, ensuring that you only let enough people in to allow everyone in store to maintain a two metre gap between one another
- Creating a queueing system to get into the store. If the area outside your store isn’t sheltered, you may want to invest in branded umbrellas to ensure people aren’t turned away by rain or other adverse weather.
- Providing hand sanitiser near your store entrance and other key points around the store
- Placing social distancing stickers on the floor where people may queue, to ensure that people know and remember how much space they should be leaving between themselves and others
- Fitting screens in areas where people may come into closer contact (for example, between check out staff and customers on the other side of the counter or desk)
Adapt Operations in Your Commercial Premises
You may also need to adapt the way that your commercial premises are run. Some common changes in this respect include:
- Ensuring that all of your staff members wear face masks or face visors (unless they are medically exempt)
- Ensuring that customers and others entering the premises are wearing face masks or face visors (unless they are medically exempt)
- Closing earlier to ensure that your store can be thoroughly cleaned each night
- Carrying out deep cleans more regularly
Move to Remote Working
The above steps are ideal if your business has to work on a face to face basis to be successful and should be followed by businesses like cafes, restaurants or bars.
However, if your business can operate on a remote basis, it’s absolutely essential that you do shift it to remote operations wherever possible.
Remote working is safest for staff right now. Not only do they avoid contact with others from different households within the workplace, but they don’t have to commute to work using public transport, meaning they avoid a whole host of other people who could transmit the virus too.
Moving to remote working will require adaptation and you may need to implement a few changes, highlighted below, to ensure that your business continues operations as usual and as smoothly as possible.
- Ensure remote staff are cyber security trained – remote staff will be working from laptops and computers in their own homes.
This means they may be more prone to cyber attack, as cyber criminals see them as a great opportunity to scam, create data breaches, or pose other problems.
Make sure that you train all of your staff in cyber security so they are more aware of the threats that face them.
- Provide a VPN – you don’t want your staff to connect to any old network while they work from home. Set up a VPN (or “virtual private network”) and ensure that they work from this at all times.
- Support your staff emotionally – times are difficult right now.
People are already commonly feeling isolated, so a shift to remote working can make some staff feel even more alone – particularly staff who live on their own.
Make sure to check your staff members’ wellbeing. See if they need any support.
- Support your staff professionally.
Speaking to one another in an office space is simple. Communication between people in multiple different locations can be a little more difficult.
Make sure to maintain communications and a sense of team spirit between staff to boost productivity. Hold regular meetings. Set KPIs and check in on performance.
- Be flexible and compassionate – we’re living through pretty difficult times.
Remember that some staff may not have the best conditions for working at home.
Some may have kids off school. Some may be trying to support elderly, vulnerable or sick loved ones. Some may not have a home office or other space to work from.
Be as flexible and understanding as possible at all times.
Selling non-essential goods or services right now is proving more difficult than many of us have ever experienced.
Sure, in previous months or years, we may well have complained about the market being saturated. But generally speaking, there have always been willing buyers – it’s just been a matter of catching their attention.
Now, buyers are actually pretty reluctant to spend. Many people are facing financial insecurity and instability as a result of the pandemic.
And most will want to keep as much money behind them as possible in case:
- the companies they work for collapse
- they are made redundant
- they are asked to reduce their working hours
- or in case they are asked to accept reduced pay.
Pushing sales right now is difficult. But in some cases, it is possible.
Focus on Marketing
Sure, businesses tend to want to cut costs wherever possible. But make sure to continue to invest in marketing.
Using a digital marketing agency can help you to make your products and services as desirable as possible to your target audience or anyone else who may be interested in buying.
Consider Alternative Sales Tactics
Many businesses have benefited by considering selling their goods in a different way.
Let’s take restaurants as an example. Many are now delivering food to their customers in a bid to maintain sales, even when customers are reluctant to come in store where they may be in contact with others.
If you need immediate funding, there are lenders who can help with your finances by providing easy online application so you can get the money fast.
2020 really has been a difficult year for us all. But if your business is still going, you’re in luck.
Hopefully, some of the above information, advice, tips and tricks will help to keep you going in the right direction! Many of the steps are pretty easy to implement and can make all the difference when it comes to your business’ continued success, so they’re more than worth a try!