Global crises come and go, yet their reverberations last a long time. The recent emergence of Coronavirus/COVID-19 has shown just how catastrophic a global crisis can be almost immediately, with most major countries across the globe attempting to handle viral outbreaks within and across their borders.
Yet, while global governments try to contain this possibly fatal virus, the effects of the disease are being felt elsewhere: People are being forced to self-isolate within their homes, non-essential businesses have been forced to close, and uncertainty about not knowing the future to come within the next few months has arisen. Together, these issues have led to significant economic issues that appear as if they will only worsen as this disease continues unabated.
For small companies and enterprise businesses, the question of how to best handle this major global crisis arises. As people are forced to take shelter within their homes, businesses have been forced to close their doors, either shutting down for the time being or transitioning solely to digital work-from-home methods.
When this virus is eventually contained, the world will have to attempt to go back to normal—whatever normal will look like following this viral outbreak. Businesses affected by this disease and its economic consequences will have to garner some sort of restoration once this time comes. But what will that look like? While it depends on your business, there are things you can begin doing now to save your company during this time.
What Your Business Should Be Doing
- Protect and Support Your Employees
Your employees make your business run the way it does. It’s imperative that you provide them with at least the most basic protections during a global crisis and following its immediate passing.
In the case of COVID-19, companies transitioned into having their employees work from home to protect everyone involved within the company, whether to have people not leaving their homes or to encourage social distancing. But there are more measures that can be implemented to ensure that your employees are protected during this time. Such ideas include:
- Guaranteeing workers’ salaries during the length of the crisis, keeping your employees financially protected over the course of events.
- Regularly communicating with employees to ensure that, while deadlines are met, they’re mentally healthy and doing well at home—you want to do more than just ask, “How are those reports coming along?” when checking in with your employees.
- Understand that while your employees should still be meeting goals while at home, you should relax some of your goals. Expectations have changed due to the oncoming of a global crisis, so your company should adapt just the same.
- The last thing you want to do during this time is to lay off employees, but it might have to happen if your business is truly struggling. Be direct with your employees when trouble first starts appearing, and furlough only the workers you have to. Being more transparent will allow certain employees to begin looking for work elsewhere rather than just finding out they’ve been laid off.
- Plan for Future Developments
As more becomes clear concerning how this virus is being contained and handled, as well as what effects it will have on the world besides the obvious human health implications, your company will need to make plans which can similarly evolve.
The best thing that can be done at this time is to work toward returning to normal, working to ensure that your business can properly respond to notable news updates, all while adapting to changes in our daily lives.
What your company needs to do to restore itself—once this pandemic has quelled—is to develop strategies for whatever comes next. Things are going to change as we head into this “new normal,” so it’s the perfect time for your company to get together to determine what internal changes need to be made to modernize.
Beyond shifting workers to remote opportunities, it’s worth updating your language and content style. Whether it’s company blogs or affiliate marketing content, your company has the opportunity to get ahead of the changing times and meet the needs of people looking for direction.
- Review and Make Adjustments as Needed
Changes have happened all around the world due to the onset of COVID-19. People are washing their hands more vigorously than before, taking more personal hygiene habits into consideration when out in public, and realizing the sincere importance of human face-to-face interaction. And while the way in which people work has changed, with many employees shifting to work-from-home policies, other areas of life have been affected: People are traveling less, industries like Hollywood are having to think on their feet, and industries like international cruises seem to be in jeopardy.
While all of these effects feel crazy, the important thing to remember is that change will help keep the world moving through this. Life might not be the same, and we might be headed toward a new normal, but that’s a part of living—something we know well from our ancestors and our collective history.
While this might all feel stressful and overwhelming, it can be aptly managed by preparing your company for whatever might come along. Changes such as tightening your budget, limiting advertising spending, and reevaluating marketing campaigns can help your company determine where your time and money are best spent. Instead of stressing over the changes to come, your company can be proactive at this time, working to remediate issues before they have the possibility of affecting your business.
And if things don’t work out as expected, that’s all right. You have to keep adjusting. We might plan ahead in the business world, setting schedules for quarters to come, but expectations don’t always meet reality. Proper evaluation and quick thinking can save your company in the long run, helping to protect it throughout this global crisis.