The forced closure of companies of all sizes to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus is the most challenging thing many business owners have ever faced. Whether they’re closed entirely, have employees working from home, or are attempting some type of drive-thru or curbside pickup model, running a business looks much different today than it did just two months ago. The decisions they make today will affect the future of their business long after the threat of coronavirus dies down. Below we highlight some best practices to help keep your company going during this challenging time and the weeks and months ahead.
Be Readily Available to Employees Virtually
Daily Zoom meetings have become a reality for many companies working with a mostly remote office staff. While this is necessary to foster communication between teams, it also takes away from the spontaneity that comes from typical daily banter in an office setting. That means some of the best ideas might go unsaid because an employee didn’t think of them during an official meeting time.
One simple way for leaders to inspire employees at home is to let them know they can connect with them during a video call at any time without an official meeting scheduled. Some may appreciate the openness enough to make the same offer to other members of their team. You might be amazed at how much such a small action can improve overall business health.
Don’t Let Up on Crisis Management Planning
As sudden and disruptive as the coronavirus pandemic was for businesses, it won’t be the last crisis that owners and management will face. It’s a good wake-up call for all businesses to pay closer attention to the crisis management plans in place and improve them if necessary. Some might even find this the perfect incentive to allow more employees to work from home once the pandemic passes. That would make the next crisis transition easier than this one has been.
Don’t Stop Marketing
Perhaps you feel anxious as a business owner that your customers will forget about you and not come back once more companies start to open. The best way to avoid that scenario is to ramp up your marketing efforts to keep your company’s name at the forefront of people’s minds. Here are some effective ways to reach customers even if they can’t purchase anything from your company right now:
- Check in with your best customers by phone or email to ask if your company can do anything for them at this time that doesn’t jeopardize safety for either one of you. For example, you could mail a product sample or refer the customer to another business in your network that can better meet their needs.
- Sell gift cards good for future purchases.
- If you sell items people can pick up, offer to let them do that or provide free delivery within a specified radius of your business.
- Continue to build a strong online presence by writing blog posts, publishing helpful videos, and responding to every question or comment made on your company’s social media platforms.
- Live stream any events that you had to postpone or cancel.
- Continue to run marketing campaigns with Google Ads, Facebook, and other major platforms.
- Use this time to create partnerships with others in your industry to help both companies gain more online exposure.
Need more ideas or assistance with disaster planning? We are here to help. Please contact Caldwell Commercial Real Estate Services to request an appointment today.