The COVID-19 has caused a world-wide pandemic, with new updates coming in every minute. As the situation evolves, many small business owners are not certain of the steps to take to mitigate risk, protect employees and support customers. On that note, we have put together these to-do pointers to help you and your business stakeholders remain safe in this time.
You need to establish a remote work option
In Nigeria, people are already self-isolating by working remotely or working from home. As a business owner, this is when you have to implement a remote work policy that covers when you expect your team to be online or available, how to communicate (via email or video call, for instance) and what deliverables each team member is responsible for completing.
Working from home keeps opportunities for exposure to the virus at a minimum. Postpone team meetings or as a better option, hold them virtually. Skip any conferences or other planned business travel. If your workers get sick because of travel or meetings, you could have a liability issue to deal with and even low to no productivity.
Transparent Communication with your customers
Everyone, including your customers, is facing this crisis. So your business trying to look immune to the situation might not cut it. As a business owner, you need to be transparent about what your business is going through.
According to Harvard Business Review reports, “When customers are separated from the work that’s being done behind the scenes to serve them, they appreciate the service less and then they value the service less.”
Let your customers or clients know the steps you’re taking to mitigate risk. This doesn’t make you less of a good entrepreneur in anyway. If anything, it shows how well you’re able to manage crisis.
Be all about hygiene
World Health Organization (WHO) has given ways on how to stop the virus from spreading. No handshakes; use a non-contact method for greetings. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use alcohol based hand sanitizers. Encourage employees to wash their hands frequently throughout the day, try not to touch your face, and remind employees to do the same, constantly and regularly disinfect surfaces, such as tables and desks and keep your employees and your customers safe by being as proactive as possible about cleanliness.
Shift your sales strategy to online
Your business space may have shut down with workers working from home, so it’s advisable for business owners to shift their sales strategy to avoid heavy losses.
If your office or store is closed, your team should take to digital platforms to engage customers virtually and increase online sales. This will go a long way to stabilise sales. Also, this will keep your employees earning a paycheck by selling on social media while utilising a video tool to reach new leads.
Plan for the long term
Speak to your suppliers, investors and partners on a daily basis to learn how you can start to implement safeguards that will help you stay above water while officials around the world work to contain COVID-19. You may also want to consider insurance policies to cover future unexpected major events that can cause huge business losses. If you have an insurance plan already in this area, great, but if you don’t, you can check what it takes to be qualified for such insurance policy so you’ll be better prepared next time. We hope this helps, stay safe and remain a SmartPreneur!