With the number of cases of Coronavirus continuing to increase, the public is being encouraged to stay at home to keep the virus from spreading further. While this has been a beneficial move for the environment, as it has caused carbon emissions to drop significantly, it has severely impacted businesses as fewer people are going out and spending money. Here are five tips to help keep your business moving forward in these trying times.
Move Your Business Online
Ever since the tech boom, brick-and-mortar retail companies have found it increasingly difficult to compete with leaner and more efficient online competitors. So, if you’re a retailer or run a business with a physical presence, you should consider moving your business online. The transition may take time and resources, but the payoff is well worth the additional costs.
You can start this transition by getting your business an online store, and then decide if you want to switch to a new distributor or keep your existing one. This decision will depend on whether or not your existing distributor can handle the wider territory that your online business is now servicing.
Deliver to Customers
Restaurants are perhaps the best example of the new “delivery-only” trend. Since congregating in confined spaces is discouraged, restaurants have had to either shut down completely or restrict their operations to deliveries only. The latter is a great option as it encourages people to still make use of the services or products that your business offers.
A promotional benefit that you can offer during this time is a waived delivery fees if the customer orders a minimum amount, say $30 or $50. This guarantees a profit on your end and presents an appealing deal for customers since they will be getting something for free.
Trim Off Non-Essentials
Non-essential expenses should be trimmed off carefully. It feels awful to let go of employees who aren’t necessarily essential for day-to-day operations, but these hard decisions will decide whether or not your business survives this crisis. If you can run your business with only five people, do it. You may not be making record amounts of sales, but you’ll survive by keeping costs low. Aside from employees, there may be items and tasks that are costing you money with little to no ROI. If you can find items/tasks like these them you can end them for the time being.
Use Protective Measures
If you do decide to keep your business running in these uncertain times, make sure you use the strictest protective measures possible. Have your staff wearing full protective gear including masks and gloves specifically designed for infection control and prevention. You should also have your employees undergo routine health checks and encourage them to work from home if possible. To further prevent infection, install more hand sanitation booths, and stock the restroom and breakroom with sanitation supplies. Limiting the foot traffic coming in and out of your workspace or storefront will also help protect your employees and their families.
Have Your Employees Work From Home
There are numerous studies showcasing the benefits of having employees work remotely at least a couple of days per week. Aside from the productivity boost, businesses that allowed their employees to work from home were able to save close to $2,000 per employee, most of which came from savings from office space rental. Both of these benefits, on top of the fact that people should remain in their homes if possible, demonstrate that having your employees work remotely is a great choice for your business.
To move your labor force to a work-from-home setup, you’ll need the right IT infrastructure to support communications and provide your employees with the technology services and tools they need. A third-party professional like DiverseCTI, a company that provides small business IT services in Oklahoma City, OK, can help you break free from your outdated, inefficient IT services. Outsourced IT is also scaleable, so you only pay for what you end up using.
Health officials estimate the pandemic will start to simmer down by April at the earliest, and while this is definitely positive news, there are still ways you should be improving your business during these trying times. Being smart with where you direct your resources, taking extra safety precautions, and adapting to changing economic climates are the best things you can do for your business right now.