On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a global health emergency. All the world’s leading public health officials have instructed people in every nation to self-quarantine at home. According to Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, social distancing helps slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep yourself healthy. What does that mean for your small business? How can you keep your company alive during self-isolation?
There are plenty of things you can do from home to make your quarantine productive. For example, now you have the time to review your business insurance portfolio, including your public liability insurance. During your self-quarantine, you can compare your current public liability policy and by a new one if you like through BizCover. Get a quick online quote, review coverage benefits all online (or by phone if you prefer). You, your employees, and your business will be protected when everyone gets back to work.
Here are the top 6 more tips for business owners during COVID-19 self-isolation.
1. Set New Business Goals During Quarantine
Start your self-isolation by developing clear business goals and objectives that will keep your business afloat during the COVID crisis. Figure out how you’ll manage your products or services from home. What can you do? How will you do it? How will you keep in touch with suppliers, clients, and employees? How can you modify your business practices to accommodate changing Coronavirus guidelines as they are issued?
Start by listing tasks you can complete to make sure your business is better off after the quarantine is over. For instance, if you don’t have a business website then get the proper software to design a website today. Maybe you’ve been meaning to do this but haven’t had any free time…now you do. Or perhaps you can now take the time to review your year-to-date financials and look for operational costs that can be paired down.
Ask yourself these important questions:
- Do you have a plan for your business if the pandemic lasts for an extended period?
- Do you have a contingency plan for your selling your products or services?
- How much cash do you have available right now? How long will this revenue sustain you and your business?
- Will you need to explore financial resources like a business loan or grant?
Bottom line: you need a plan of action for your business even if you’re on pause right now. Think of all the best- and worst-case scenarios then plan accordingly. Once you know what needs to get done then you can begin knocking out both small and large tasks each day.
Read on for more tips as to what you can do to keep your small business fruitful during this global pandemic.
2. Keep Your Social Media Current
Many big-name telecom companies in Australia are soliciting a COVID-19 data package. For instance, Telstra and Optus are offering free mobile internet during this global pandemic. These specials are great cost-savers and will leave you no excuse to freshen up your company’s social media accounts. If you don’t have a business account on popular online sites, now is the time to get started. After all, the public is spending even more time scrolling through their smartphones because there isn’t much else to do during a global pandemic.
- Get out there on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Create new content (posts and videos) every day
- Deliver unique posts like contests, FAQ, pro tips, etc.
- Purchase online ads for your business
3. Keep in Touch with Employees, Suppliers, Partners
Running a small business means that most of your employees are stuck at home too. Companies that provide customized services, like painting or plumbing, can’t do their work remotely the way an insurance or finance company can. Other types of organizations, like manufacturers, are also unable to have their employees work remotely. Despite the challenge of COVID-19 quarantines, it’s important to keep your team together…. even if it’s just in spirit.
Try to regularly reach out to your employees, suppliers, and other business partners. Send emails, make phone calls, set up Zoom meetings, or text your support team regularly. Find out what’s new with your team members and your suppliers. Touch base weekly. They will appreciate the effort and it will help keep morale up during a challenging time.
4. Set Up a Chatbot for Customer Support
You can’t stop communicating with current and potential clients. If you do, then your business may implode before the pandemic is over. It’s easy to avoid that disaster by simply responding to customer queries timely. To make your life easier, you could begin using a chatbot on your messenger, customer support tool, or website.
You may think chatbots are sterile and not very useful. However, that’s simply not the facts. There are reports stating that 67% of companies have used a chatbot for customer support and 86% of consumers are interested in trying a chatbot.
5. Update Your Business Listings
When was the last time you updated your local listings, like Google and Yelp? Now is the best time to make that a priority. Double-check all the contact information currently floating around on the internet. Be sure business hours, phone numbers, website address, services/products offered, etc. are current. You can also post other details you think are important for your target audience. For instance, you might want to post a note addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and how it’s impacted your business.
6. Expand Your Knowledge
If you want your small business to be better, then you need to get better too. Use this forced downtime to expand your knowledge. This is the best time to get caught up on marketing ideas, industry changes, and other beneficial topics.
Use your COVID-19 self-isolation to explore both info particular to your industry and general business advice:
- Read books about being a business owner
- Flip through industry magazines
- Network via social media
- Attend Zoom meetings
- Take an online business class or free webinar.
- Join a professional organization
- Check out YouTube tutorials
There’s no doubt COVID-19 has rocked our world. We may never return to the way things used to be. However, that doesn’t mean your small business can’t survive this global pandemic. Instead of waiting and worrying, act during self-isolation by following our 6 business tips and tasks. Your business will be stronger in the long run.