6 Ways Small Businesses are Coping Up with COVID-19
The year 2020 has brought us battles that different parts of the world has experienced; Taal Volcano Eruption, Australia’s deadly bushfires, New Zealand Glaciers, Floods in Dubai and Indonesia, East Africa locust infestation to name a few and now the whole word is battling the corona virus pandemic known as COVID-19.
The pandemic brought a lot of changes in different countries including rules that needed to be implemented - some of which are not economically feasible for Small Businesses.
For example, lockdown in the entire Luzon (Philippines) led companies to shift into work-from-home setups which means they need to provide tools for their employees during the situation. Demand for bulk laptops and computer rentals skyrocketed and a lot of brands like Poundit Business are doing their best to provide companies the equipment they need so they can start working at home too.
32 major business groups already made a joint statement urging the congress to help vulnerable communities, which is to say small businesses that can’t really pay their employees due to the situation. While that is pending, it’s best to ponder how we can better cope up when this happens again. Remember, SARS happened in 2003, then H1N1 in 2009, and Mers-cov in 2012 - all of which are the same kind of pandemic to COVID-19 so for sure, this will happen again but hopefully, we are better prepared.
Listed below are some ways small businesses are doing that should be noted should a similar situation arise in the future.
- If your company is surviving during this quarantine, then you must consider moving assets online and continue implementing the work-from-home setup. Forbes listed down some benefits and among them are better work-life balance, less distractions, and more productivity.
- Aside from moving assets online, we should also consider how we can use tech to service our customers. Before the enhanced community quarantine, couriers are still able to move in and out of the city, though there are delays. It’s also worth considering for the long haul as it might help increase your income. The best example of maximizing tech is the owner of Sisig sa Rada was able to rake in P2M in 6 months, because of the increase in customer base thanks to Grab Food.
- Prepare for the worst. Plan and list some alternatives that your team can do to cushion the impact, re-align your overall company strategy and disseminate information accordingly.
- If you will follow number 2, it's best to explain to be transparent to customers if the adjustment will affect logistics. A simple email, text message, or even call to assure them of your service despite the delay would mean a lot, especially if they found out you're adjusting in order to protect not just the business but also your employees.
- There are certain industries that will be burdened no matter the preparation, like Tourism for example. The best way to deal with this is to have a mindset early in the game that things are going to be difficult for a while. You can strategize ahead too, results may not be immediate but it's a key to moving forward.
- Money is not everything. Employees will understand that you're not an Ayala who can cover one month's salary out of the pocket. What matters most is how you treat them during the time of crisis and how you helped them through it all.
Once this pandemic is over, it will still take a while before things really go back to normal. Until then, we must exercise utmost care and caution in order to avoid the resurgence of the virus.