COVID-19 pandemic has a major impact on everyday life around the world. If you were a small business owner, it's hard to imagine these events would have prepared you for anything.
Since the situation appears to change more than once a day, you may be concerned about what the future holds for your business. While it is impossible to predict how and when things will return to normal, there are things you can do to protect your company and COVID-19 resources.
When the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, having a plan means protecting your startup or small business. Take advantage of these 5 informal and business planning tips to keep your company healthy during the coronavirus outbreak and stay in the best position for success when it ends.
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If you are a sole proprietor, reduce your travel, increase communication with your home office and collaboration equipment, and prioritize your health first.
1. Stay safe and healthy
If you have employees, then employee health and well-being should be a priority at this time. Tell them about travel restrictions and government rules, and offer them work from home if possible. Ensure that you have hygiene policies in the workplace and communicate with employees that they should not come to work if they feel unwell. Take time to educate employees about what they can do, either in the workplace or outside of it to prevent infection.
If this is not practical and your business deems it necessary, It is also wise to put take steps to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to your workplace. These include social distancing, zoning shifts, and regular hygiene and in place procedures for reporting employees to feel sick.
2. Impact assessment on activities
Check the good and bad situations during this crisis and make contingency plans for each. Include time limits in your assessment to look at the consequences of a pandemic that becomes a problem for either a short time or a long time.
For example, if serious employees get sick or look after family members, how will your business deal with these changes? Try to identify retirees, family members, or others who can learn important jobs, such as self-employed and freelancers.
If your customers are out of business for a few weeks or months, what effect does this have on the revenue forecast and the sales cycle? Likewise, if government authorities ask you to stop or amend your activities, what adjustments can you make to protect employees, make a living, and continue serving customers?
Telework has risen during this crisis, and this should be taken into account in your plan. Implement work from home policies and technologies that support home collaboration and safe work (home networks and equipment are vulnerable to security vulnerabilities). This Guide from Small Business Administration (SBA) helps you assess your cyber risks and take steps to improve your security.
Create a communication plan to communicate with customers, partners, distributors, investors, and other partners. Track your business policies now, or any changes in operations, or new methods that you can serve or collaborate with.
4. Be prepared to adapt
COVID-19 is changing our lives in so many ways, to an extent that we cannot even imagine. The business plan you had 90 days ago isn't what it is today. At every stage of this crisis, you need a plan to adapt and restructure your business. If this is a short-term problem, then variable costs such as cost-cutting, marketing, new hires, and travel will help.
If your business has an immediate impact, find ways to support the needs of your customers or diversify your products and services during this time. For example, dog walking companies are saving revenue creatively. Some run groceries to help customers in the most vulnerable age and health groups. Others quickly find new clients in at-risk groups or families with home-schooled children who need a dog walker.
It's hard to look at and plan too much. However, if the epidemic and lockdowns last for months to a year, you need another contingency plan; One is reviewing fixed costs, which even looks at interest cuts and decoupling.
5. Evaluate your finances
Companies need to take advantage of various financial sources as they are vulnerable to recession. Review the current income of your business, your financial liabilities, and your level of liquidity. If things go wrong, you may want to consider taking out a small business loan. There are also resources from SBA aimed at helping small businesses with coronavirus.
Any contingency plan or contingency plan should lead to financial risks and consequences. Update and track cash flow forecasts regularly and look for opportunities to reduce non-critical expenditures. Also, review your acceptable accounts and assess any credit risk.