We don’t know when the COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end, but we can hope that the adversity will serve to make our communities stronger in the long run. Small businesses are the economic lifeblood of so many communities. If nothing else, the current turmoil is providing an opportunity to develop ideas for small business pandemic protection that can get us through the present moment and prepare for the future.
There are 4 areas that are always beneficial for a business to look at and are especially necessary right now.
1. Continuity planning
Does your business have a clear plan of succession in place for when people are missing?
We’re not just talking about who replaces you as the boss. A good continuity plan has to reach down and touch upon all the work that takes place in your business.
For example, what happens if your marketing director is out? Do you know who replaces them and then who replaces the person who replaced the marketing director? There are ripple effects up and down the organization with every change.
If you don’t already have a detailed continuity plan in place, the COVID-19 pandemic is providing you with an opportunity to develop one on the fly and watch it in action.
2. Remote working options
In an increasing number of states, many employers aren’t being given much of a choice when it comes to allowing remote work. They can’t exceed 10 people in a room at once, which has necessitated having some work from home. There are certainly businesses where working from home is not possible. But the pandemic provides each business owner to revisit what their policies are when it comes to telecommuting.
Is it truly impossible to perform the functions of a job away from the physical presence of the office? Or does it just mean that you’d prefer it not to happen? Take time now to find out how much work can be accomplished remotely and consider implementing it more frequently in normal times. You’ll find it’s terrific for employee retention and will leave you better prepared for the next emergency.
3. Sharpened budget
What’s the bare minimum of your business expenses?
This can be a tough question to answer, but an important one to ask.
Every business has expenditures on long-term things (e.g. continuing professional education for the employees) that are important, but not strictly necessary. Go through your budget with a fine-tooth comb. You may find some things you can permanently eliminate and, at the very least, establish what your absolute minimum is.
4. Financial fallback
Business owners are smart and already have at least a basic fallback plan in place, whether it’s a prudent reserve of capital or a line of credit. The dramatic nature of the times might be requiring you to go beyond that. Maybe it’s the Small Business Administration or maybe it’s a wealthy relative. Whatever it is, reassessing your fallback plans now can make you more secure when we come out of this on the other end.