How to Protect Your Business from the Coronavirus Disease
What is the Coronavirus, and how does it affect my day to day activites?
Coronavirus is a new disease that was discovered towards the end of 2019 and has affected almost every person as well as every business in one way or another. As per the World Health Organization, Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people. Some of the common signs of infection are respiratory symptoms, fever, cough and shortness of breath. This disease can cause serious illness and at times even death. WHO recommends everyone to regularly wash their hand, cover their mouth and nose when sneezing and thoroughly cook your meat and eggs. Try to avoid large groups of people and gatherings, and avoid those that are showing signs of illness such as excessive coughing, sneezing and respiratory issues.
Many business owners are concerned that Coronavirus will have a negative impact on their business. This is a very valid concern and can definitely cause some major stress and anxiety for the small business owner. The outbreak has caused global supply chain disruptions and this disrupts many businesses including retails stores, e-commerce such as Amazon and eBay sellers and manufacturing companies. Small business in the service industry have also been affected such as restaurants, hotels, tourism businesses and local car services and shuttles services.
How can the disease disrupt your small business?
Coronavirus can affect your business in many ways and none of them are good news. Let’s use a construction business focusing on residential rehabs as an example. For starts most people are not thinking about upgrading and renovating their home at this point in time. People are busy stocking up on necessities and anxiously awaiting updates on what actions to take to prevent the disease from spreading. With no new business coming their way, the employer is forced to lay off his part time employees and cut down on expenses such as buying new machines and investing in new trucks etc. At some point if things don’t improve the construction business will have to close its doors entirely since it won’t be able to cover payroll and cashflow will strain the business to its last breath.
Some businesses that can move their business online remotely are also at risk due to Coronavirus. People are not doing business and demand for services are going down in the entire US. People are postponing investing and growing their business including: designers, brokers, business coaching, new sales man, new offices and many more. This lowers the demand for services and in return effects the cashflow of many small businesses. With no cashflow businesses are forced to reduce staff since they can’t afford to pay them during this difficult time.
What actions can you take to help keep your business afloat?
With Coronavirus being a threat to most businesses in the United States it’s important to take the necessary steps to stay in the game and survive this crisis. The disease will eventually pass and only those that were prepared and acted will live to tell the tale. Here are a few important steps that every business should work so they stay in business.
Remote access for employees
You must test and implement home working technology that will allow your employees to continue working even if you are required to shut down your local office. In today’s day and age it’s not that complicated to implement an efficient system for your employees to work from home. You can utilize software such as TSheets to track time spent on different projects. Every employee gets their own login information and you the employer can track it all through your own admin account. You can use Zoom to create online conferences and video calls. You don’t have to push off meetings with clients or partners it can all be done remote on this platform. Most important you can use software like TeamViewer, LogMeIn or Go To My PC to gain remote access to your computers in the office. Bottom line is you need to improvise so you can continue doing business and serving your clients throughout this virus.
Cut down on Expenses
Many businesses are going to fail during the next period of time simply because of cashflow trouble. It’s crucial that you analyze your financials such as your income statement or profit and loss to find where your business can cut down on expenses. For example you might want to cut down on meal and entertainment, employee bonuses, office renovations, hiring new employees, certain advertising and marketing etc. Once the disease passes you will be able to resume business as usual and continue to invest in growing your business.
The bottom line of it all is to be careful and practice better hygiene including washing your hands with soap and warm water, stay away from people that show symptoms of the Coronavirus, and soon enough the virus will pass and those that were properly prepared will easily recover and be able to continue their lives and business as usual.