Six Tips for Your Business to Survive COVID-19
Looking for tips for your business to survive COVID-19? Here are six tips to keep your doors open in the face of this crisis.
1. Shift Your Focus
The need for COVID-19 supplies is steadily growing. Consider ways that you can shift your focus to developing supplies, services or products currently needed by healthcare facilities.
Empire State Development, for instance, has issued a request across New York State for businesses to start manufacturing:
- Nasal swabs for COVID-19 testing kits
- Personal protective equipment, including masks, eye shields, goggles, gowns and gloves
- Biohazard bags
- Needle safety boxes (sharps containers)
If you aren’t in the manufacturing industry, consider ways your business can provide necessary services. Restaurants can offer to deliver heavily discounted meals to fire houses or health care facilities, with no delivery fees or minimum orders. Legal firms may be able to advise companies who are shifting their efforts to COVID-19 related products on ways to protect themselves legally. IT firms can consider giving healthcare facilities heavily discounted services to keep them protected and functional during this period of high demand.
You may be able to take advantage of government incentives, including grants, for shifting your focus to COVID-19 concerns.
2. Audit Your Business for Free Offer Opportunities
Every business should take an audit and find ways to provide free or heavily discounted products or services. Your focus may not be on sales right now; it should be on retaining your current client-base and keeping yourself aligned as one of the “good guys” after the crisis.
Iconic IT, for example, has provided an upgrade to its antivirus platform available to all existing customers. The upgrade would normally mean an increase in price, but the IT managed services provider has chosen to absorb the costs internally for sixty days.
Restaurants and carry-outs are providing heavily discounted meals, BOGO offers, and free delivery services. Subway is a great example, with their “buy two, get one free” foot-long sandwich promotion.
Online stores are offering remarkable discounts, free shipping and more. Amazon is offering no-cost virtual classrooms for students and teachers and has donated Kindle Kids editions and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots to ensure kids can stay connected with their classes.
Find some segment of your business that you can use for a free or heavily discounted offer. You will be putting yourself in the position of leadership within your industry, and consumers who are taking advantage of your free services will most likely become loyal customers after the crisis is over.
3. Take Advantage of Emergency Funding
With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security act (CARES), many businesses can find funding to keep doors open. Many of these offers are meant to keep your employees working and pay your operating expenses. They feature low, in some cases 0%, interest, long repayment terms, and payment deferrals.
Grants are another way to access emergency funding and are offered by many sources including corporations, states, and charities.
In addition, your business can always start a CrowdFunding or GoFundMe page, especially if your business is well-established in your community. Peer-to-Peer lending platforms may be another option to get emergency funding for your business.
4. Take Advantage of Free Tools and Resources
Many companies are currently offering free tools and resources for businesses now. Some, like Microsoft Teams, are provided for all businesses whether you have a subscription to their services or not.
Office 365 is offering free subscriptions as well, with access to powerful tools for communicating, cloud services, and file sharing.
Comcast is among the communications and internet providers currently offering free Wi-Fi hotspots to all.
Entrepreneur has comprised a list of 111 free resources to help your business navigate through COVID-19 crisis. These are vital tools and tips for your business to survive COVID-19.
5. Retain Your Employees
There are other options to laying off or firing employees, even in the face of COVID-19.
Offer unpaid vacation days: Give your employees the option of scheduling off a few days each month, unpaid. You may find your employees are happy to take time off, even if they aren’t being paid.
Audit your finances: Cut out unnecessary travel expenses, bonuses, and overtime. Save money by temporarily cutting out office perks like bottled water and snacks and put office upgrades on hold.
Shorten work hours: Cut back to six-hour days, or even consider four-day workweeks.
Eliminate contract workers: If possible, eliminate contract workers and try to divide this work among your existing employees.
Employee exchange programs: Work with other organizations and see if they can place some of your employees into their companies on a temporary basis. The host company will assume paying the salary of the employee during the tenure, and the employee can provide the company with a valuable skillset that the company may not currently have on staff.
Cross train employees: Many employees are willing to perform work outside their current job description. This is the chance to widen your employees’ training and utilize them more widely within your organization.
Assign housekeeping to employees: You can temporarily eliminate a paid office-cleaning staff if you create a rotating list of housekeeping tasks for your employees.
Always keep your workforce informed of any measures you are considering. The office rumor mill is more damaging to morale than any information you provide your teams.
6. Best Tip for Your Business to Survive COVID-19? Postivity
Many times, decisions are made hastily in a reactive way. Keep your approach calm, focused and proactive.
Keep everyone in the loop: Make sure you give your employees a chance to weigh in with their own ideas and keep them aware of your thought processes moving forward. Your team may have ideas you haven’t thought of or be willing to make “sacrifices” to keep your doors open.
Reach out to your competitors: You and your competition may be able to reach a “truce” and work together to overcome the challenges your industry is currently facing.
Explore all Options: Don’t react out of fear or panic. Research all available options, reach out to trusted advisors, and make sure you have all the facts before making any decision that will adversely affect your business.
Your decisions today will affect your business’ future. Following these six tips for your business to survive COVID-19 will help you keep your doors open now and after the crisis has passed.
Iconic IT is here for our communities and local businesses. We can help you through this crisis. Schedule a free appointment with a friendly Iconic IT professional today.