As coronavirus case totals rise in the US, governors are issuing unprecedented "stay at home" orders.
Setting direct health concerns aside, it has now become clear that the coronavirus will not pass without leaving some long-term business and economic consequences in its wake. While it may be tempting to focus on just staying afloat in the moment, putting out fires as and when they appear, it's crucial to plan for the future of your business and be fully prepared for what will come next. Here is a breakdown of our guide to keep your business safe while staying afloat.
Let's start with the basics, what exactly IS Coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a family of viruses responsible for a variety of illnesses, including both common colds and more severe diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The current outbreak , COVID-19, was first detected in Wuhan, China, December of 2019.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the key symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
How does the Coronavirus spread? Although it may still be too early to be certain, it is thought that the virus spreads from person-to-person, from close contact (approximately 6 feet) or from viral droplets released by coughing and sneezing. It may also be possible to be infected by touching an object or a surface where viral droplets have landed, and then touching one's own mouth, nose or eyes.
How can Coronavirus be prevented? While there is currently no vaccine available, the CDC suggests many best practices to avoid the spread of the disease:
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth
- When sick, stay home
- Avoid contact with those who are sick
- When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue
- Wash your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds regularly
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
What are some ways your business can stay ahead during the coronavirus?
Find leads and customers ahead of time.
While many businesses are currently focusing on the here and now, struggling to maintain normal running operation, this is a chance to focus on building a new network of prospective customers. Putting the time and effort into generating new leads now will ensure that you have a pool of potential customers to rely on once things have calmed down.
Adapt your services to the current situation.
In many parts of the world, the general public being advised to stay at home poses serious difficulties to businesses. Now is the time to get creative and brainstorm different ways you can still deliver your service or products.
Market with coronavirus in mind.
Increased and flexible marketing is crucial right now, because many people will wonder whether certain businesses are open right now. Make sure your target audience knows you're open and still going strong.
Ensure your services will be relevant in the future.
It is important to consider not only how to survive as a business during the outbreak, but also how to have a strategy in place for what's going to happen afterward. Once the public health threat has passed, it is hard to say things will go back to the way they were before the outbreak. One key consideration is that being confined to homes will likely lead to customers switching to online or otherwise remote solutions. It shouldn't be assumed that post-coronavirus customers will go back to the solutions they would use prior to the outbreak. This is why it is important to be flexible and adapt your services so that they are not only useful, but are the best choice.
Identify the challenges to your business.
In order to strategize effectively, a good starting place is a list of challenges your business might face. It is crucial to strategize different scenarios and take every possibility into account. Consider everything from disruption of supply chains to difficulties in communications, generating customers and competition with other businesses.
Plan solutions with different scenarios in mind.
Once you have identified your list of challenges, it is time to develop several solutions to each. Although it is near impossible to accurately simulate what exactly is going to happen, it is better to be prepared now than be caught unaware and unprepared.
Use alternative solutions to maintain daily operation.
Instead of simply cancelling business plans and events and trips, brainstorm creative alternatives and solutions. Offer alternative options, such as a FaceTime meeting, or video tours of your facility.
Implement tech upgrades to keep communication flowing.
With the potential threat of some staff working from home, it is important to plan ahead how to ensure communication will remain as efficient as possible. Consider using online platforms for your planning and communication. The sooner your introduce these options the more prepared these new methods of communication will be.
There is no telling exactly what is going to happen in the next few weeks. For businesses of all kinds it is important to understand what is going on, have a firm strategy in place and remain adaptable and flexible in order to remain successful. At RCI, we are an essential business and are remaining open during these transitional times. Call contact us today!or