The start of 2020 saw the entire world being enveloped by the dark clouds of coronavirus. Due to the burgeoning cases and deaths as a result of rapid spread of Covid-19 with no medical solution in sight, the states started to use their given mandate by the citizens in order to curb the spread of virus. The usage of lesser known terminologies like ‘quarantine’ and ‘social distancing’ became common amongst the masses. And, so did the influx of conspiracy theories. The spread of disinformation turned out to be another major challenge faced by governments.
Furthermore, Covid-19 has dug out the hidden lacunae in much talked about benefits of living in a globalized world. The virus has disconnected several countries despite of being located in the same region. With flights being cancelled, worldwide lockdowns imposed and business forced to shut down, came another serious challenge. According to the recent report published by Oxfam, more people could die from hunger by the end of 2020 as a result of halting economic activities to slow down the spread of virus. This has forced the governments to choose between ‘lockdown and die from hunger’ and ‘no lockdown and die from virus’ policy options. While the good news is that scientists are more likely to develop the vaccine in next two months, the purchase and distribution of vaccine in the world will be nothing less than a cumbersome process.
Instead of choosing between health of citizens and resumption of economic activities, the states have decided to take the middle road. This means that states are now conditionally allowing the businesses to reopen and resume their activities during Covid-19. With this change in policy to handle the spread of virus, the businesses have started to take measures to resume their services. The conditions to operate during the ongoing pandemic include maintaining social distance, use of face masks and hand sanitizers, disinfecting offices and following other relevant standardized operating procedures (SOPs).
In case you are completely clueless about reopening your business, this article aims to provide you with basic guidelines that are necessary for reopening your previously shut down business due to Covid-19.
Guidelines for Reopening Business during Covid-19
Prolonging lockdowns is certainly not a viable and sustainable solution in order to control the virus. This is because lockdowns have not only costed dearly to the economic indicators of state but also to common masses who have been unable to find jobs in order to feed themselves and their families. Smart thinking and policy-making is indispensable in order to come up with innovative solutions. The following guidelines will help you how to navigate your businesses during the ongoing pandemic.
Need of Meticulous Planning
Before reopening your business, the first thing that you need to do is to plan meticulously. You should conduct an internal and external study to understand the dynamics of markets, consumers and your capacity. As it will be hard for you to conduct your business activities like you did in pre-Covid times, you should consider the industry-specific regulations provided by the government that you need to follow. Any violation can lead to another shut down. You should make sure that you strictly follow the SOPs within office. Remember that the protection of your employees is no one else’s responsibility except than yours.
Proper Assessment of Your Business Needs
With the disruption in supply chains, you need to make a proper assessment of your business needs. The goods that you manufacture, distribute and deliver to your customers require adequate financing. One of the major setbacks faced by businesses due to imposed lockdowns is the lack of resources to operate businesses. Many business have been bankrupted or are on the very of bankruptcy. Before operating on full swing, you should use your team of experts to make a proper analysis and assessment of your business needs. You should check out any aid packages being offered by governments to support business activities. Having a financial backup can ease up many things for you. However, you should be ready to face any bottlenecks you might encounter while reopening your business.
Use of Internet and Social Media for Marketing
Another thing that you need to do in order to reopen your business during Covid-19 is to activate your social marketing team. You need to update your social media accounts in order to let your customers know that you are reopening your business. Social media has certainly become an essential tool for marketing purposes. Actively engage with your customers on social media platforms and share all necessary information that they might need to receive your services. If you own a small business, you should know that your social media accounts are your biggest tools for increasing sales and profits. You can send PR packages to social media bloggers and influencers in order to gain more customers.
In addition to it, you should also update your Google My Business account in terms of updating any additional services and business hours. This will help your customers know what, when and where you are operating. Updating your Google My Business account may take time due to limited capacity of Google staff under current circumstances.
Make Cybersecurity Your Top Priority
Due to increasing unemployment rates, there has been a surge in cyberattacks on the websites and social media pages of businesses operating online. Moreover, there have also been reports of online businesses being scammed. Therefore, you should make cybersecurity your top priority in order to prevent yourself from facing the same fate. You should ensure that your business partners and employees are implementing cybersecurity tools like using passwords in order to access sensitive files and multi-factor authentication system. Make sure that your IT team is effectively monitoring and managing the traffic on your website and social media business accounts.
Revisit Your Business Dealings with Your Partners if Necessary
As businesses are more likely to operate differently with less profits, you should analyze the business conditions around you in order to make sure whether you need to revisit your business dealings with your partners or not. While negotiation of agreements is a daunting task, it is better to ensure that your split the operations effectively and fairly.
Improvise Your Strategy Accordingly
Due to Covid-19, you should make sure that you are ready to face any obstacle that might come your way. As the situation is evolving, you should use your feedbacks to improvise your business strategies in order to meet the demands and requirements of your customers. Do not let frustration get over your head as this will have a direct impact on your business. Expect slow progress of your business operations.
Make patience and tolerance a new normal in your business dealings.