When it comes to the Covid-19 crisis, or the coronavirus, the most important consideration on everyone’s mind should be how the disease can be contained. For many small businesses, however, it can be difficult to know how to do that while also remaining open for business.
While major corporations around the globe are dealing with economic worries and falling stock prices, small businesses are feeling the impact, as well, in the form of nervous customers, canceled conferences and other unforeseen interruptions in day-to-day activities.
Further, while companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft have large crisis management teams in place to protect their employees and business interests in times like these, small businesses simply don’t have the same resources. If you are a small business owner who is unsure how to proceed in the face of this crisis, you are not alone.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have a plan in place. The following checklist will help you to formulate a plan for your particular situation.
- Implement a strict sick policy. Without exception, if an employee feels sick they need to stay at home. Many times employees will come to work even if they aren’t feeling well because they fear retribution. Make sure your employees know that coming to work when they have a cold – or any other symptoms – will not be tolerated. Any employees who have traveled to a high-risk area or who have had contact with an individual infected with the coronavirus need to stay home for at least 14 days while their risk level is evaluated.
- Encourage employees to wash their hands often. Health experts all agree that washing your hands or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you are unable to wash your hands, is the best defense. Make sure your employees are reminded of this fact and that your office is well stocked with soap and hand sanitizer.
- Consider allowing employees to work from home. While not all small businesses have this option, if possible, it is something to consider for the time being. It also is important to put clear expectations for working at home in place. In other words, make sure that employees do not see this as a paid vacation.
- Postpone non-essential business travel. If you or your employees have business travel scheduled, consider postponing if at all possible.
Finally, as a small business owner, your employees will look to you as a source of information so it is important that you communicate the latest news and any changes in internal policies promptly, clearly and in a no-nonsense manner.
It also is important to stress that while Covid-19 and its impact on the global and local economy is out of your hands, employees still have control over how they react. And while they may have to abandon some tasks or do them differently, they still can be productive and rise to the occasion.
While trade shows and events are being cancelled, consider shifting resources to outbound campaigns. We can help with a list of businesses to reach by mail, email or phone. Give us a call at (402) 334-1824 or visit us online at goleads.com. Follow our blog if you liked this article!