May 01, 2020
Amidst the numerous technological and natural perils that threaten our modern civilisation, pandemic influenza is listed among the ones with the greatest risks. The exact time for the next pandemic cannot be established, but experts believe it could surface sometime in the future. Thus, businesses must plan for the eventuality of pandemic influenza to effectively mitigate any impact such events will have on their productivity.
As the COVID 19 pandemic rages on, spreading its tentacles rapidly into the fabrics of the society, many businesses are thrown into confusion on the best line of action to take in a bid to protect employees, mitigate risk, and support the company’s customers.
The Importance of Proper Business Planning During Covid19
With remote work options activated, you may experience a reduction in workforce, which could expose the business operation to risk. For any business to continue to survive during a pandemic, they must still be acquiring the necessary raw materials, producing and manufacturing, transporting the finished goods, delivering effective customer service, as well as invoicing.
The effectiveness of your entire business organisation or a unit can be crippled if you experience an interruption in these critical functions. Thus, you have to put policies in place for the protection of these crucial business functions. Here are some tips to follow.
1. Embark on long term planning
Even though many countries are already on their way to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, it keeps on extending to other parts of the world, creating a visible rippling effect, which will impact the globe for quite some time.
This underlies the need for long term planning, regularly engaging your investors, suppliers, and associates – this will aid you in learning the best way to apply safeguards that will ensure you stay above board while the pandemic is being contained. The following questions will further help with planning;
No doubt, it might take a long time before businesses get back on track, but with the above questions in mind, you’ll likely be able to devise an efficient long term management strategy.
2. Shift sales strategies online
When companies are forced to shut their doors following the ravaging effects of a pandemic, the storm must be withstood by providing an effective alternative blueprint. With no other option left, savvy business owners will try to mitigate heavy loss and what better way than to shift existing sales strategy?
This entails introducing online sales if you don’t have one already or boosting the already existing one by engaging more and more online buyers. Some big companies in Wuhan China managed to boost sales via virtual shops, and at the end of the day, they achieved more sales than what they were previously recording.
3. Implement remote working options
A remote work option should be put in place and you can leverage online project management tools so that your workforce will be able to stay in touch and work seamlessly even when at different locations. Your remote work policy should cover the time that team members are expected to come online or make themselves available and the manner of communication, which can be through video calls, emails, phone calls, and Slack. Also to be included are the deliverables expected per team member.
4. Reduce travel and meetings
Your staff members also need to be protected from contracting the virus. For this reason, they should never be exposed to opportunities and situations that can get them into contact with the influenza. To reduce such occasions to the barest minimum, team meetings should be held virtually or postponed in cases where face to face interactions are important.
What’s more, scheduled business travels and conferences should be skipped because you will end up with a liability issue if an employee falls victim as a result of meeting or travel. The business will be faced with sick day requests and low morale.
5. Keep communication transparent with customers
Everyone is in this pandemic together, so be honest with your customers about what you are experiencing. So long as you have effective communication with your customers, they will be moved to empathise with you in times of crisis.
When you separate your clients from what you do behind the scenes for their benefit, they tend to appreciate your effort less; besides, they will place very little value on your services. Give them a clear description of the steps you are taking towards the mitigation of risks; also, they should know what you are doing to assist the community.
5. Be honest with employees
Your employees are not stupid. You can quickly feel when the roof of the company starts to burn. Be it because the volume of work is falling, the bosses are becoming increasingly nervous or voluntary employer benefits are being questioned. Therefore, inform your employees early if your company is in a crisis.
Also, don't paint the situation pink to reassure employees - even if you would like to. Because your employees have the right to know how safe their jobs are, for example. However, do not design any unfounded horror scenarios, for example, to make employees want to make new plans. Because the two extremes ultimately destroy the trust your employees have in you.
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