Top tips on running a business during lockdown.

27 March 2020

*This post was written by a contributor.*

The spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses and health concerns has caused businesses everywhere to function differently. Lockdown brings many challenges with it, but it’s not impossible to work with and around it, when it comes to running your business.

There are elements you do have control over, and steps you can take to ensure your business can operate now and be around well into the future. Let these ideas help you focus, and get through these trying times without too much struggle and misfortune.

Consider remote working options. Advancements in technology have made it possible for you to work from home without too much disruption. You must do what’s best for your employees and what you can to keep your business running smoothly without putting anyone at risk. It may be best to have each person set up at home if you’re not allowed to open, or have a lot of restrictions in place. There are ways to easily track work hours so you know who is working when, and how long it takes for certain projects to be completed. It’s all about being flexible, and ensuring that your workers are able to do their work even though they may be in different locations. 

Photo by Fadlan Al Sabil from Pexels

Proactively communicate with customers. Now isn’t a time to disappear. Now is the time to proactively reach out and communicate with your clients. Be sure to let your customers know what new measures you have in place for keeping everyone safe, and update them on your hours of operation. Use social media, your website, and your company blog to keep customers up to date with what’s happening at your business, and how it impacts them. They’ll want to know what changes you’re making and how they can still interact with your company and make purchases from you/use your services. Be prepared to answer the tough questions and assist anyone who may have concerns or queries.

Maintain a clean working environment. You may be open for business, or will be soon after the restrictions let up a bit, so you should be prepared. There might be modifications you have to make to how you’re set up and how people can visit your workplace before you’re ready to operate again. You want your employees and customers to feel safe, and it's so important that you put their health first when they enter your workplace. Talk about the new rules and safety measures you have in place with your employees and clients, and make sure that everyone is following the new protocols. 

Go online. There’s still a lot you can do online and that the Internet has to offer during lockdown. You can keep your business strong, and running smoothly, by being active online. You can adjust and continue to execute your digital marketing strategy, for instance. It’s also wise to maintain your website and ensure that it’s updated with the latest information and changes. Social media is another outlet where you can connect with customers and share news about your business and products or services. Stay as active as possible - but without overdoing it, or posting too much. Be consistent and available and let your customers know that you’re there for them. You want to make sure they can still get in touch with you even though you may be working remotely and can’t interact IRL.

Connect and network. Now might be a good time to reach out to your business connections, form a network and support one another. Reach out to have a chat and see what other folks are doing differently, and how they’re running their businesses during lockdown. They may have useful tips and advice for you. Talk with business leaders and owners online to share ideas and info about how you’re handling the situation. You can invite people to participate in a video conference and talk about how you’re handling the circumstances, and what other ideas you have for each other that will help you stay afloat in these trying times. Start a conversation about what the future of your industry looks like, and how you can be successful going forward, working in these new and very unusual conditions. 

Evaluate your finances. The pandemic has likely taken a toll on your income. Instead of panicking or looking the other way, take control and evaluate the reality of the situation. There may be grants or loans or other resources you can use to help you get back on your feet. Maybe you have an emergency fund or contingency plan set up and you want to decide if now is the best time to use it or not. You need to not only make a plan for how you’ll manage right now but how you can continue to operate if the lockdown continues for even more time. Review your situation and options, then move forward with what you believe will be the ideal solution for your circumstances and financial outlook. Continue to connect with your customers and let them know how they can support you during these challenging times. 

Take care of yourself. It’s also important that you attend to your health and well being during the lockdown. Find and stick to a routine so you can remain productive. You can run a better business and carry out these ideas when you’re feeling your best. Take good care of yourself by following the recommendations from the health experts and authorities and not letting stress get the best of you. Find ways to decompress such as working out, eating healthy meals, and meditating to help clear your mind. You’ll be a better leader and boss and can continue to thrive in the business world when you’re in good spirits and maintain a positive attitude and stable health. You may find you have some extra time on your hands, so use it wisely like by reading up on what you can be doing differently to manage your business, and how to successfully run things while you’re working from home.

These are a few tips you can apply and use to help you get your business through the lockdown situation. It may not be easy on you or your company but it’ll help if you’re flexible, adaptable and willing to make changes that will make people feel comfortable working with you. Remind yourself that there are many business owners in a similar situation, and that as a group you can support one another and see the light at the end of the tunnel. In time you will get back to a normal way of doing business, and working with customers. But in the meantime, be wise and take steps that will help protect your clients, employees, and yourself from any dangers or risks.

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