Many businesses are greatly affected by the lockdown. Some, however, seem to be doing well
despite the current situation. If you are a business owner, then the current lockdown due to the
pandemic should not mean the death of your company. Instead of becoming desperate, you
should ask what measures have companies taken to keep working during the lockdown? You
can also do the same for your business.
Many companies have taken the lockdown as an opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation of their operations since most employees are forced to work from their homes.
Business activities such as meetings and even interviews are conducted via online video conferencing. Companies who are thriving during this pandemic are those who were able to set up an efficient work-from-home policy and a reliable communication system.
It is easy to have loopholes when most of your employees are working remotely. But if a good communication system is in place, you can avoid problems. You need to deal with data security if your company is going to implement a work-from-home policy. You need to have an effective system that can battle both internal and external threats. Internal threats include data leaks while external threats refer to cyber-attacks such as those perpetrated by hackers.
To ensure your system’s security, you need to keep your company’s anti-malware software updated. Ideally, you should also set up a 24-hour IT hotline to make sure that your work is not disrupted.
Protect the Employees
You should protect your employees not only from the coronavirus but also from the possible economic impact of the pandemic and the lockdown. Make sure that they are always safe. You need to keep in mind that employees are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, your company will not be where it is today. The best thing to do is to implement a work-from-home policy for most if not all of your employees. This minimizes the risk of being exposed to the virus.
You should make sure that your employees will be able to work from home comfortably and efficiently and that their productivity will not get affected. If you can provide for their Wi-Fi facilities during this time then it is recommended that you do so. This is to ensure that they will always be online during work hours. Keep in mind that not everyone has the same Internet speed at home, some may not even have Wi-Fi connections.
Regularly check the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees. Make sure that they are getting proper nutrition and enough exercise even while working at home. The current situation can also cause added stress to many people. If you can provide online counseling for your employees then that can help in ensuring their psychological welfare during this time.
You should maintain constant communication with all the stakeholders in the business. These should include your employees, suppliers, financiers, and of course your customers. For your team, you can hold regular online meetings where you can discuss the challenges of working while in lockdown. It is also recommended that you use project management software to make sure that everyone is updated with each other’s tasks. Such software can also help in keeping your employees productive even while working from home.
You can keep the other stakeholders in your business updated through your website, social media channels, and company newsletter. We are living in uncertain times and changes occur almost every moment so you always need to keep your stakeholders informed about developments in your company. By doing so, you will be able to keep their confidence in your company and you will be able to allay whatever fears they may be having. Your lines should also be open in case
someone needs to ask questions or to clarify some information. If you own a retail business or a restaurant, then you need to inform your customers on ways they can still order from your store. You can publish clear guidelines on how to order to minimize the need for you to entertain redundant questions.
Innovation is the Key
In order to succeed, a business needs to constantly innovate. Being in a lockdown is not an excuse for businesses to stop trying out new things. Businesses that are still thriving these days are those that continue to implement changes for the overall improvement of their companies. The changes need not be big. For example, you can use this time to update your website or to write blogs and create content for your social media accounts. The future is not certain and nobody really knows when things will go back to normal or if things will ever go back to normal again. So you can use this time to draft a plan on how your business can adapt to the “new normal.” You can re-adjust your business to make it less dependent on having a physical location.
However, you should still exercise prudence when it comes to implementing changes in your business. It might be tempting to diversify now but you need to be sure that all of your actions are still backed by careful planning and study. You should avoid knee-jerk reactions that you may regret in the future.
Enhance the Value of the Brand
Some businesses have used this time to enhance their brand value so should you. One of the best ways to do this is through content marketing. You can use this time to develop high-value content for your website and your social media accounts. To be able to do this, you need to know the specific interest of your target audience and then create content based on this knowledge. This is much better than publishing generic content that your audience may find boring.
Content that is tailor-fitted to your target audience can definitely boost the value of your brand, which in turn can translate to more traffic to your site and an increase in conversions. If you are not a good writer then you can always hire a professional to do content marketing for you. It will probably be the best investment that you can make during the lockdown period.
Many of the companies who are still doing well despite the lockdown can do so because they have started to implement austerity measures. Even if you are still in operation and most of your staff are still working, you should expect your revenue to decrease during this period.
This is why you need to save as much money as you can. This is the time for you to be conservative as far as finances are concerned. Maybe you can stop buying supplies in bulk for a while.
If you own a physical store, then you can try to save money by cutting spending on utilities. You can turn off some of your air conditioning or lights, especially if you are re-focusing your business to operate mostly online. Little ways of saving money can go a long way. These are just some of the things that companies have done to keep working during the lockdown.
By applying some or all of these measures in your own business, you will have a better chance to survive or even thrive during this time and maybe even beyond. This lockdown can also be an opportunity to expand and learn new things when it comes to your business. Take a leap of faith and do things you considered risks, the things you never did before could be the things your business needs the most right now.