A month ago, everyone took everything for granted – such as commuting in the public transport, boarding airplane whether for business, leisure or getting back home, spending evening with friends in a restaurant or a bar. However, COVID-19 has changed our lifestyle, our beliefs, the way we work – pretty much everything connected to us. Governments across the globe have banned get-to-gathers. People around you make you feel insecure and paranoid. All this has left a deep impact on the way the businesses operate.
Getting prepared for risks is a part of business, but this pandemic has taken the risks to an entirely different level. If you would have thought that your business was prepared for the unforeseen, you would have till now realised that this time it wasn’t. Businesses are not operating as usual and will stay vulnerable till the global spread of corona virus gets contained. A majority of business have been forced to shut down to stop the spread. Furthermore, nobody knows how severe this virus could be and for how long it will stay. Thus, we need to find alternative solutions to make our businesses survive. Let us have a look at some possible solutions to deal with this ever-spreading virus:
Dealing with Finance and Tax
They very first thing that comes to our mind is money. Governments across the world have introduced relief measures to help the business in this critical need. If you are in Canada, get available grants and refunds, tax rebates as directed by the Canadian government in response to COVID -19. You can apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), depending on your requirement. It is advisable to apply for the grant early so you can get uninterrupted benefits. However, the Canadian government has extended the due dates to pay the taxes. It is time to reassess what resources your organisation requires and get rid of the unnecessary expenditure. Analyse the past pandemics and the ways the businesses have dealt with them to develop new financial plans.
Sharing economy – the gateway to survival
Business can effectively use their resources and save money by sharing them. For instance, if you have products to sell but you can’t pay the rent or don’t own the place to conduct business, find out someone who has got some free space (whether owned or on rent). This way both of you can take benefit. Filter out what you don’t need for your business and then sell it or rent it out for a short-term. You can raise some funds with crowd funding. Thanks to social media, you can share information about your products and services to attract customers. These are just a few out of many ways where sharing economy can benefit you during crisis.
Supply Chain Management Tactics
In December 2019, corona virus originated in China, the country well-known as the world’s largest exporter of goods. China shut down their production and levied restrictions on travel to contain the pandemic. Furthermore, exports from China got banned in several countries. As a result, their economy started to collapse, and they had to restart some of their production houses. But, when the entire world has put restrictions on the imports, here is what the businesses should consider:
Have you thought about getting into shared ventures?
If you have more than one business and you are in partnership; and you focus on more than one product and service, you would have more chances of minimising the loss.
How to minimise business risk?
The answer to the question is to check that whether your company like many Canadian companies is working with the purchase orders without flawlessly designing the contracts and following legal advice. Make sure you have clauses in your contracts to protect you in circumstances like this. Do you have an emergency plan for the funds that would minimise the risk? You can transfer the risk to the insurance company if you have got the relevant insurance- such as emergency insurance, risk insurance, crisis insurance, or insurance against theft.
How to cope with the restrictions or problems with the imports and exports?
Manufacturing locally is the key. Procure raw materials from local suppliers. But, are you in a position to set up your own production unit to continue to offer the same goods? As an exporter, do you have varied range of buyers so your business doesn’t get affected even if you were to stop exporting to a section of buyers? Most importantly, the changes in the foreign exchange rate happen too quickly. Do you have a plan to cope up with the foreign exchange fluctuations?
General Strategies to suit all types of businesses
Devise crisis-specific incident management plans.
Be transparent with your stakeholders.
Be supportive to your workforce as they are the ones who run your business. Help them to work remotely and effectively. Give them extra support they may need at this critical time when it is overwhelming for everyone.
Considering the longevity of the pandemic you need to find a long-term solution. Probably, it is a wise decision to get your business online.
If you already run business digitally, be aware that there is a strain on current digital infrastructure as people can’t physically go out for shopping. Thus, you need to take steps to get your websites up and running without downtime.
Keep workplace Safe
Your business can only run if your employees are healthy and workplace is safe. Employ measures such as social distancing at your workplace for the safety of your employees. Get your employees to sanitise hands if they are on the front-end. Wipe down work areas and EFTPOS machines frequently. Follow the social distancing guidelines without any negligence and see your business thrive.
After reading this post, are you ready for the change? If you are a new business, don’t forget to check out our previous blog post on 5 Commonly Unexpected Challenges of New Business Owners and get ready to face them. Are you looking to get some answers for specific questions related to your business? Just talk to us to get personalized solutions to your current business problems or potential issues due to COVID-19.