Can your business survive the current climate?

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Date: 23 April 2020

Silhouette of a businessman holding an umbrella against a stormy sky

There's no doubt, this is a worrying time for many businesses. The last couple of months have turned the world upside down. Few would have anticipated a global pandemic where we'd be told to stay home and work from home where possible, to avoid socialising with friends and family that don't live with you and generally isolate ourselves. But this is how things have panned out. Now it's up to us to make the best of a bad situation and to try to keep things ticking over.

If you're a business owner, there's almost certainly troubling times ahead. You will have to figure out your company can operate while maintaining social distancing measures. You will also need to work out how you can encourage consumers to keep spending with you when many are unwilling to buy anything non-essential.

The following article should help you to determine whether your business can survive these unprecedented events.

Can your business operate online?

Luckily, many businesses operate online in some capacity already. The rise of ecommerce has many perks, including lower operational costs, greater reach and the ability for customers to make purchases around the clock from anywhere with an internet connection. This means that many businesses can continue operations as usual. You just need the best quality IT Support to prevent any hiccups that could result in your site going down or your data being compromised

If your business largely operates on an in-person basis - perhaps you carry out home renovations, are a plumber or electrician, or run a construction business - chances are you'll simply have to let operations lie low for a while. If this is the case, take a look at what government support is available to you. The UK Government has introduced a scheme where you can furlough your staff and the government will cover 80% of employees' pay so you don't have to lay anyone off. You may also qualify for welfare support to cover your bills until you can start operations again.

Can you keep your remote staff productive?

If your staff can work from home, this is great news. You can continue operations. You just need to focus on keeping your remote workers productive. Those who have always worked remotely, such as freelance contractors, tend to work on a commission or pay-by-project basis, so stay productive of their own accord. However, you may notice that salaried staff begin to slack when working remotely as their pay isn't affected by reduced effort. Therefore, it's essential to keep staff motivated. A good idea is to set KPIs and targets for each individual staff member. This will make sure that they work to a sufficient standard and that they are generating income for the business.

Can you protect warehouse staff?

If you're selling products, you will inevitably have some staff working who must work as normal to get products ready and shipped. It's essential you protect these individuals and make sure the workplace is as safe as possible. You may need to limit the number of staff working and contact between them. This can mean orders take longer than usual to pack and dispatch, but customers are generally understanding in the current climate.

Send a note when customers place an order to inform them that shipping may take longer than usual in order to protect your staff. You may also want to put a limit on the number of orders that are processed each day to reduce pressure on your staff.

This will certainly be a difficult time for many businesses, but it will pass eventually. Taking a few simple measures that protect your employees and which aim to keep your business afloat can make all the difference.

Perhaps the most important thing to do right now is to try to maintain a positive attitude. You're not alone in this experience and your team will be able to support you through it. Sure, it may not be your most profitable year. But hopefully, your company can make it to the other side!

Copyright 2020. Article was made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler

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