Many SMEs around the world have been facing fear and uncertainty due to the global pandemic of COVID-19
Believe it or not, because of such drastic changes, there has been a national economic impact.
Small and medium businesses are victims to this. Like headless chickens, they are all fearing for the sake of their business.
So if your business is suffering, here’s exactly how you can ensure your business stays afloat.
1. Maximize Remote Work
Working from home can be dire. Especially for businesses that require a lot of handiwork.
Keeping in touch with colleagues is a challenge in itself. As the boss, you should utilize any possible relevant resources so everyone can keep working productively.
Remote work resources to help your business:
2. Avoid In-person Meetings
Social distance is of vital importance in this trying time. So avoid any risks that can lead to virus exposure.
Any team meetings should either be postponed or virtually held to minimize the possible spread of the deadly virus.
The same should be applied for any pre-planned meetings with clients/customers. If either your workers or clients fall sick, you could have a legal issue on your hands.
3. Workable Flexibility
To counter the spread of the virus, the government has taken action to close all non-essential brick and mortar businesses, even schools.
As we’re nearing the possibility of a total lock down, workers need flexible hours to work with their new schedule.
Some employees may have to work around childcare since all daycare establishments must close.
They need employers who are understanding and empathetic towards their situation.
It’s also added assurance if you prepare a contingency plan in case you suddenly become short-staffed.
4. Be Transparent
We all know how the pandemic affects everyone. Your clients and customers are more understanding of this than you think.
They value honesty, especially from businesses they are loyal to. So be transparent with them, tell them what your business is going through.
Let them know an alternative means for them to buy your products or services and the steps you are taking to help them manage.
5. Practice Good Hygiene
If your business is under essential organizations, ensure you and your employees follow the safety practices that have been set by the Ministry of Health.
Some of them include no contact greetings, sanitize regularly, disinfect surfaces and to always check everyone’s temperature before entering the workspace.
Be proactive about cleanliness and urge your employees to do the same.
6. Go Online
Other countries have seen an example of how businesses in China were affected due to COVID-19. There was only one place to go for brick and mortar stores, online.
Virtually engage with your customers to increase online sales. They are also looking for another way to access your services and products.
Some businesses are lucky enough to already have online stores. So make good use of it.
Your sales team is left with no job since your store has temporarily closed down. It’s best you delegate online tasks to your fellow workers so they can work from home while generating leads.
7. Financial relief
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has taken the initiative to cushion the blow on COVID-19 for SMEs across the nation.
They have increased their allocation of facilities to up to RM13.1 billion so SMEs can peacefully maintain their business operations and most importantly, preserve jobs.
Read the full press release: Additional Measures to Further Support SMEs and Individuals Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak
8. Long Term Plan
Other countries such as China may be starting to recover their nation’s economy, but we have not seen the end of the coronavirus throughout the world.
There’s still a risk of the virus spreading and we may never know the possibility of another pandemic similar to its effect. Be prepared!
Plan safeguard measures with your partners, suppliers and investors regularly so you can survive the horrid COVID-19 and its aftermath. This can be your safe line should you face a similar business dilemma.
It’s Do or Die
Emergency planning is necessary for your business.
The COVID-19 will certainly pass (if everyone follows the MCO measures) as the Ebola, Zika, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) viruses have previously.
However, they are unforeseen and creating vaccines for them isn’t easy. We recommend you to follow these tips so you can survive the next possible outbreak.