It's no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges in our world.
From millions of people being quarantined at home, children unable to attend school, to hospitals struggling to care for patients that have contracted an unfamiliar virus.
The pandemic has also made it difficult for many businesses to stay afloat. As the world now attempts to begin to slowly go back to normal, you're likely looking for tips for managing your business while keeping employees and customers as safe as possible.
This article takes a look at tips for talking to staff, working at home, and different forms of delivery that will enable you to keep your business operational during this difficult time.
1. Focus On Safety First
Everyone is anxious to get back to work. After all, the entire economy has taken a major hit. But that's no reason to get careless.
When you are ready to re-open your doors to customers, your primary focus should be the safety of both your customers and employees.
This means enforcing proper social distancing, thoroughly cleaning every surface inside your business, as well as establishing policies that will help minimize the need for physical interaction.
Placing safety before commerce won't be easy, but there's no excuse to not go to great lengths to keep everyone as healthy as possible.
2. Change Your Business Hours
As the economy slowly gears up for a return to normalcy, it's important to realize things won't go back to business as usual overnight.
This is going to take time. Meaning that you'll likely need to limit your business hours, at least for now.
After all, the general public needs to stay home as much as possible in order to limit possible expose and spread of the virus.
Every business will need to proceed in different ways. Some will need to accept customers by appointment only. Some will operate with normal store hours, but only allow a limited number of customers inside at a time. While other businesses will need to drastically shorten their business hours until further notice.
The key is to remain flexible, monitor the flow of customers, and to be constantly updating your employees regarding new policies and safety measures so that everyone feels safe while also being productive.
3. Maintain Communication With Customers
Customers are the heartbeat of any business. After all, they are the only reason your business even exists.
It's important to keep in mind that everyone is struggling during this unprecedented period of time. You need to keep your business open and operating in order to survive fiscally, and your customers need the products and services that you have to offer.
That's why it's crucial to maintain open lines of communication with your customers. Especially now. In fact, you need to enable them to be able to reach you day and night with questions and to place orders.
This is definitely not the time to give them a reason to go to a competitor.
You need to maintain a quality website with easy-to-follow instructions for contacting a customer service representative and ensure that someone reaches out to them with a response as soon as possible.
Great communication now won't be forgotten down the road.
4. Maximize Your Online and Social Media Presence
Millions of people are currently stuck at home twenty-four hours a day. But they still need products and services. This is your chance to stand out from the competition by engaging with them by any means possible.
If you haven't already invested in a professional website, now is the time. In fact, there's no excuse for any business to not own a quality web presence where customers can learn more about your company, get a clear understanding of your products and services, and engage with you by email or chat.
Social media has completely changed the way companies are able to engage with the general public. In fact, social media is the most powerful marketing tool ever created. And during this time of social distancing, you should take advantage of the ability to engage with customers one on one so that you can learn how to serve them better.
Take the time to experiment with the various platforms to understand what is most effective for your business and begin demonstrating to follows the roll you play in supporting the community.
5. Be Constantly Adapting
As a business owner, it's never good to be stubborn. Especially not in the current business climate. COVID-19 has changed everything. During these turbulent times, you've got to be able to adapt.
That means adapting to your customers' needs, helping your employees perform jobs remotely whenever possible, and tackling challenging in new and exciting ways.
This crisis can actually be turned into an opportunity for massive positive changes for companies willing to embrace the need to adapt rather than resist it.
6. Empower Your Team
Don't be afraid to let the members of your team make decisions on the fly. Empowering them to act without needing approval will speed up business and help keep customers happy.
This is where good recruiting and training come in. Hire the right people and then give them to tools and power they need to keep the machine running optimally.
Most employees tend to flourish when given extra responsibility. Because it shows you trust them and respect their decision-making ability. Thus it's important to learn to delegate as much as possible.
Keep in mind that each individual member of your team is an invaluable asset, capable of assessing situations and issuing directives with the need for constant handholding.
7. Stay Positive
One of the biggest gifts you can give your employees and customers is a positive attitude. After all, we are all in this together.
This pandemic won't last forever, thus it's crucial to keep smiling and to focus on the good in day to day operations and to celebrate even the smallest victories.
Positive energy produces a positive atmosphere that will greatly influence employees and customers alike, providing everyone with much-needed confidence during this very troubling time.
In other words, a positive attitude can go a long way toward making everyone around you feel safe and secure when it's needed most.
A Guide to Managing Your Business During COVID-19
Running a business is more challenging today than ever before. Hopefully some of these tips will provide some help make managing your business during COVID-19 a little less stressful. Remember to stay positive, be creative, and focus on unity within your team.
If you'd like to learn some of the methods that The Wagner Agency is leveraging for its clients during this unpredictable time, please click below.