Mar 18, 2020
Amid the growing cases of coronavirus (CODVID-19), many state governments including Ohio and Michigan have instituted a mandatory shutdown of all bars and restaurants leaving many operators scrambling to figure out how to stay afloat. More recently, dental offices, spas, gyms and other businesses have been forced to close their doors to promote “social distancing.” Here are tips for staying healthy—and staying in business—during this unprecedented period:
Communication is Key
It is essential to communicate the latest information and advisories from your local state health departments to your team of employees. Make sure preventative measures such as sanitization, hand washing, and employee sick leave is conveyed and well understood. If your employees are able to work from home, remember to keep open lines of communication—check in regularly and communicate frequently; this applies to both the client and internal team members.
Many owners are communicating reassuring messages to their customers, providing confidence in their understanding of the severity of the virus. Make sure your customers know you are taking the proper steps to maintain a healthy work environment to protect not only your employees but your consumers as well.
Apply for a Small Business Loan
The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans here.
Dust off your business continuity plan
The objective of the business continuity plan (BCP) is to help a business to efficiently return to normal activities after a major incident that directly affects operations. Items to consider, if not already done so include:
- Establish an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and team
- Have the EAP team assess the situation and agree to an appropriate action plan based on demand, available supplies, and available labor
- Implement appropriate prevention methods and procedures to reduce risk
- Have management staff review and take appropriate action regarding sick-leave absences unique to a pandemic, including policies that define when a previously ill person is no longer infectious and can return to work
- Work closely with the local health department to monitor the situation and to deploy appropriate control measures
- Identify backups for each job position and alternate manufacturing sites in pandemic response planning
Shift your marketing strategy
Don’t stop marketing your business, instead now is the time to be creative. For example, if you are a restaurant, try to experiment with different third-party delivery providers or encourage customers to find any way to receive your product such as curbside pick-up. Compromised populations, such as senior citizens can benefit from meal delivery. If you have a restaurant app, consider providing a meal deal for a family. Thinking outside the box will ultimately help you stay afloat during this highly volatile time.
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