20 Questions: How Can I Protect My Business During the COVID-19 Crisis?

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How can I best protect my business amid the COVID-19 crisis? That’s the thought on many entrepreneurs’ lips. But we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of 20 questions to consider as we work through the pandemic.

When it comes to working out how to manage a business through a crisis and making strategic changes to the way it operates, you should be asking yourself these questions…

1. How can I minimise disruption to the business’s operations?

You should try to continue with as many day-to-day tasks as you can. This might mean holding meetings over video calls rather than talking face to face, and setting up online platforms to handle recruitment or employee development, for example.

2. How will each area of the business be affected?

When you wonder, How can I protect my business?, you need to think about every aspect of your organisation. For instance, consider the implications of the COVID-19 crisis on your daily operations, supply chain, employees and customers.

3. Have I created a crisis management plan?

If you haven’t already created a plan of action, now’s the time. Check out our ultimate guide if you need help getting started.

4. Am I taking advantage of the government’s support package?

As you probably know, the UK government has announced a fantastic support package to help businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. If you’re struggling, make the most of the resources on offer. Here’s everything you need to know.

5. What will I do if a client can’t pay their invoice?

This is your chance to consider your response to clients who can’t pay the money they owe. What do you need to do from a business point of view, and can you do it without sacrificing your reputation or future partnerships?

6. How would a delay in stock delivery affect my business?

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting every business, including wholesalers. Is there a way to work around stock shortages or combat the issue?

7. How long can my business survive without making any new sales?

Knowing this will put you in a stronger position if your revenue starts to drop. Once you know how long your business can continue operating, you can decide which measures you need to implement in order to save money and increase your organisation’s longevity.

8. Do I need to postpone or cancel any events?

Thanks to modern technology, you can convert any previously scheduled meetings into virtual ones. But some events may need to be cancelled altogether. You’ll garner respect by postponing any gatherings you can, and keeping clients and customers in the loop, should you be forced to make cancellations.

9. How can I show my employees I care about their concerns?

This is a worrying time, and employees want to know their employers are in control and have their best interests in mind. Running a virtual Q&A session with the chance to provide feedback will give you the chance to reassure them – and they may even bring valuable ideas to the table.

10. How will I keep everyone up to date on developments?

Again, technology has our back when it comes to running a business remotely. There is a vast array of user-friendly platforms to help you keep in touch with the people you need to. Check out our rundown of the best ones.

11. How can I keep my employees motivated?

If you leave your staff members in the dark, they probably won’t perform as well as they would otherwise. One way of boosting morale is staying in touch, circulating positive news stories and running team catch-up sessions over video call.

12. What steps can I take to make sure my employees have everything they need?

Every staff member is different, so you’ll need to think long and hard about how you can make sure they all feel appreciated. This might mean introducing flexible leave options so parents can look after their children, using helpful online platforms to ease communications or even hosting fun virtual events like Friday quizzes.

13. What will I do if an employee catches coronavirus?

Here, you need to think about how you’ll protect not only your business, but the staff member and their co-workers. It makes sense to develop a robust policy so you can treat other employees fairly if they are diagnosed further down the line.

14. How will I complete my work if multiple staff members catch coronavirus?

You should plan for a logistical issue like this well in advance. Practically, how will you continue to run your business? Can you pick up more tasks, or drop certain operations in order to prioritise the vital ones? Do you have family members who could temporarily help keep the organisation ticking over?

15. How can I allow for employees who need to care for sick family members?

This is a very real possibility. While parents have already been tasked with supervising their children all day and making sure they keep up with their studies, many people will need to look after sick relatives. What steps can you take to make sure you support them so they can continue to work efficiently?

16. If I need to furlough an employee, who will I approach?

Unfortunately, you may need to furlough some of your staff if your business isn’t receiving enough work. Take the time to think about who you will approach first and how you can make the transition easier for them.

17. Is it necessary to let my customers know if one of my employees catches coronavirus?

The answer to this question will depend upon the type of business you run. If your employee has had close contact with customers before they were diagnosed, you may feel it’s your duty to let them know. If your team is working remotely and don’t get in contact directly with clients, there’s probably no reason to bring up the matter.

18. How can I stay connected to customers and keep my business visible?

You’ll need to strike a balance between reminding your customers you exist and recognising the sensitivity of the situation. Our article explains why keeping in touch with consumers is so important and provides tips on how to make contact effectively during this turbulent period.

19. What can I do to make sure that, when the crisis has ended, my partners, clients and customers think of my business as robust, responsive and ethical?

It’s easy to get lost in the panic of the moment, but take a second to think about how your actions today will impact your business’s long-term reputation. Ask yourself whether there’s anything else you can do to make sure you come out of the COVID-19 crisis with the trust and admiration of your customers.

20. Can I support local businesses?

While this isn’t top of the priority list for many organisations, it may help protect your business by boosting your reputation in the local community. But most importantly, of course, it’s a great question to ask yourself at a time of international crisis.

How can I protect my business during the COVID-19 crisis?

Hopefully, we’ve helped you safeguard your business for the future. But we’ve got plenty more useful guides on our website – if you want to keep reading, you’ll find lots of resources below.

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