The world is in a current state of unknown due to the effects of the coronavirus.
No matter the type of business, size of the business or industry, it is clear all businesses will be impacted by this worldwide epidemic in some way. As the corona virus continues to develop, business owners are understandably seeking ways to protect their business during these uncertain times.
How can you protect your business from the effects of the coronavirus?
Read on to learn more including:
- Keep Staff Informed and Up To Date
- Communicate with Your Customers
- Back Up Your Business
- Review Your Risk Management Plan
- Sell Your Products Online
- Operate Face to Face Or In Smaller Numbers
Keep Staff Informed And Up To Date
We all know how important communication is in all relationships, both professional and personal. In times of business uncertainty, communication becomes critical to keep staff well informed and up to date. Employees will be concerned about their health and their family’s health, plus the potential financial impact on their daily lives if their work situation forcibly changes.
Keep staff updated with any business changes, while being conscious to not spark ‘fear’.
Use channels such as email, an internal intranet, slack or a closed Facebook group to update employees and be sure to keep communication positive and reassuring. Ensure support services available for employees are also communicated.
Communicate With Your Customers
A business can never place too much emphasis on its customers. After all, they are the reason businesses exist. In the same way keeping staff informed and up to date is crucial, so is communicating with your customers. In regards to the corona virus, the media are bombarding people with information. It is important customers learn the impact from the corona virus on your business direct from a reliable and trustworthy source such as the business owner or manager.
Keep communication positive and consider the most commonly asked questions from customers and how you can communicate these to keep customers well informed (and save you answering the same question over and over again!).
Social media is a great way to communicate with customers with videos proven to be one of the most effective tools. An update on your business website homepage with a link to information regarding the effects of coronavirus or a frequently asked question page is a great idea.
Virtual Meetings / Teleconferring can be done via Zoom or other website software with free options available.
Back Up Your Business
For adequate data protection, you need to ensure your business not only has an adequate data backup system, but this system is used regularly. In these times of uncertainty, increase the frequency of backing up your business data.
- Ensure backups are done on reliable media or utilise the use of cloud based backups. Depending on your skills, budget and time, it may be best for you and your business to outsource this task to ensure it is done correctly and you are using the best method of data protection for your businesses needs. Dropbox is a great option and has a free options
Review your Risk Management Plan
While most businesses have a succession plan in place, many haven’t planned for a potential crisis of this scale. If you haven’t already, now is the time to be pro-active and ensure your businesses risk management plan is documented, accessible and adequate.
For a risk management plan to be effective it should detail strategies and procedures to continue ‘business as usual’ where possible. These procedures should include the logistics for this to occur and the resources that will be required plus how to manage staff. Financially, it’s important to ensure insurances are up to date and adequate and cash flow is managed.
An example of this is employees working from home. Most people’s homes have a phone, a computer and an internet connection but what other tools would be required?
- Could internal computer systems still be accessed?
- Would Wi-Fi signals be secure?
- Communication – something like Slack or Skype would be required
Sell Your Products Online
The corona virus will no doubt effect the bottom line of most small and medium sized businesses. With technology continuing to advance and predicted to become relied on more than ever before, it is imperative to ensure your website is up to date and operating on the best platform.
Consider the sales industry and owning a retail store within a shopping centre. If this was forced to close how you can still sell products? Consider offering a home delivery service where customers can order online and have products delivered to their door.
- Do you have the knowledge to build an online store into your website?
- Do you have time to commit to maintaining your website?
- How will you attract Google and potential customers to your website?
Employ the services of a specialised web developer to assist and ensure your website is driving your business forward.
If setting up an online shop on your website isn’t in your capacity, utilise email. Email software can be a useful tool by having a specific email address where customers can email orders.
“The Money is in the list”, let your customers know that you can help them and how to contact you.
Social media is another good place to sell online. If you don’t have a social media presence or it’s limited, consider opening more social media platforms to increase your potential audience reach. If you don’t have the knowledge or skills in using social media to drive your business, employ the services of a digital marketing expert. The investment you make to do so is more than likely to be exceeded in sales.
Operate Face To Face Or In Smaller Numbers
The current Australian Government recommendation is for gatherings of more than 500 to be cancelled. This advice is already affecting many businesses.
Now is the time to put a plan in place so that if this recommendation remains or the number is reduced you can you continue to operate.
For those in the service industry this may be of greater relevance. You may own a gym offering personal training plus group fitness classes. If the gym was forced to close, can you still service your customers? Consider your staff making home visit to client’s homes to run their personal training sessions and offering a video link for group fitness classes.
If your service involves facilitating to groups of people, consider operating your service to smaller numbers. While your business may be used to catering to larger groups, it may be necessary to diversify or reconsider your target audience numbers so you can still operate.
Cathy at CATCO Enterprises is The Attraction Maven helping businesses with their online presence to attract their dream customers easily online
Cathy Smith has run the same Marketing Agency for more than 18 years and has helped hundreds of business owners achieve their marketing goals. A diamond member of Business Women Australia (BWA) Cathy’s passion and knowledge for digital marketing has helped thousands of businesses reach their dream customers easily online.
Need help with your digital presence?
If you want to
- build your social media channels
- update or rebuild your website
- sell your products online
- increase traffic to your website
- develop a digital marketing strategy for your business
Call Cathy on 0409 489 464 today.
This Information in this article is general information only and is the personal opinions and recommendations of Cathy Smith. It is no way endorsed or takes the place of advice from lawyers, doctors or government officials.
For more detailed advice regarding the coronavirus and its impact please refer to www.health.gov.au.