As the Coronavirus pandemic hits the United States there is no doubt that small businesses will suffer. Shutdowns and shortages are just a couple of reasons that small businesses might suffer. But there are ways for small businesses to successfully run their business even with employees working remotely. These coronavirus tips should help you as they can be implemented by almost any small business being affected by Coronavirus.
Here are some of the basic ways for small businesses to move forward and stay productive during these unusual circumstances.
Complete a Pandemic Check List and Plan
The CDC has a business checklist that can come in handy as guidance for any small business needing guidance during a pandemic. You can download the checklist here. It is a great tool for readiness and helps with things like identifying key personnel, appointing a pandemic coordinator, establishing an emergency communications plan and more. So, start there first.
Conference Calls During Coronavirus Quarantines
Since the virus is causing many businesses to send their employees home, virtual meetings will become the norm. Some of the tools you can use to enable video conferencing with your team might be Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. Find the best platform for you and your team. And don’t just save these tools for meetings. They can be a great way for your teams to just ‘catch up’ since they won’t exactly have a water cooler to talk around. These meetings are a great way to keep those lonesome telecommuters more positive.
Social Networking Tips
We must continue to network on the internet both for brand awareness as well as marketing. Go onto Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. and start referring businesses for services and products. The economy is taking a huge hit. That means we must work harder to support one another and refer to business virtually. Coronavirus is going to keep us isolated, so these tips for small businesses will help keep the communications open and your brand alive.
Small Business Webinars & Watch Partys
We aren’t going to be able to do presentations in person for a while. That’s just a fact. Luckily, there are ways to record your presentation and present it to a group virtually. One way to present to your team or to potential sales prospects can be via streaming audio or video. Webinars are a great way to present and the recording can be viewed over and over again. Some great online sites to visit in setting up your own Webinar include Click Meetings, Live Storm, Zoom and more. In addition, you can set up watch parties on Facebook, go Live on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. IT doesn’t matter how you do it, just keep the communications open and easy to access.
Go Virtual with Support
If you haven’t already, now would be the perfect time to make sure your business can conduct business virtually. We are not saying all of it but, you must have a website with customer support tools on it such as chatbots (Drift), a knowledge base (Zendesk), and help desk software (Zendesk). You might not be able to go out to your customer’s location now, but with the right tools, you should be able to maintain a healthy channel of support. Coronavirus tips like these should help you with your virtual support team.
Put Your Telecom in the Cloud
Finally, be sure that your telecommuters are connected at all times with a single phone system. You can do this with a VoIP Hosted PBX system. Each employee will be assigned an extension, and since VoIP is cloud-based, all calls can be transferred to any location seamlessly. And, there are great tools for managing telecommuters like call recording, call reporting, voicemail to email and much more. And most of all, your callers will never even know where your employees are located unless you tell them.
This is a tough time for everyone. If you want to keep your business growing even during times like these you have to stay focused. Keep the communications open. Don’t miss a single call by utilizing VoIP and hunt groups. Use video conferencing to maintain good contact between your team members. And, setup Webinars online for potential customers or even for customer support. Every small business needs to work together and start adapting and taking the right actions to help our economy stay strong.
Be Kind to Other Small Businesses
There is no doubt that most small businesses are going to suffer during this pandemic. As a fellow small business owner, you can surely feel their pain. Having to make difficult decisions including whether to lay off employees or close their store entirely can be overwhelming. So, try to empathize with your fellow small business owner. Some good news coming out of the government is that the Small Business Administration has announced that it will be offering small business loans to help those businesses affected. And, patrons are encouraged to buy gift certificates as a way to help small businesses. Whatever you do keep each other in your thoughts and try the very best you can to be kind!