The COVID-19 situation does not necessarily mean disaster for your business although these are challenging times and several businesses are going to suffer from the situation.
The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work, live, and do our business. Several companies have gone down and many are facing economic difficulties and are facing an uncertain future to go with it. It is a difficult time for businesses to survive during the pandemic. Well, the good news is that there are ways in which the business can survive and even grow without having to compromise on ethics. Here are some dos and don’ts of doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Go that extra distance for supporting your team: Businesses are under intense scrutiny about the way they are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The famous English pub chain JD Wetherspoon was under the button due to the payment delays to its employees. They received furlough help from the government to get them out of the crisis. The Airbnb chief Brian Chesky on the other hand was also considering cost-cutting but he laid down a strategy for his employees and this received a lot of praise from the press for it. People remember how you responded to a crisis. The business that mistreats its employees suffers from reputation damage. You need to go that extra mile to support the team. Although you can use the PEO services of a Professional Employer Organization for new recruitment, try and protect the jobs of existing employees during these challenging times as it will only benefit you in the long run.
2. Avoid capitalization on top of the crisis: The term “disaster capitalism” was found by the activist and author Naomi Klein and it refers to the businesses that are unscrupulous and use the crisis period for their benefit. However, it is not the same thing as growing your company ethically. There are many examples out there that employ price gouging and stockpiling during a crisis. Price gouging involves artificially raising the prices of the essential difficult to get items. But there is long-term damage to your reputation even if you succeed in making a quick buck from such practices and it is not worth it.
3. Be careful with your communication: As the times change your communication also needs to change with it. The crucial communication has to be adaptable and intentional. Take into account how a message may get received before putting it out. If you are not sure about it, ask for feedback. The communication should not be bleak at any moment. It needs to lighten the crisis if possible. Offer positivity and hope and try to be transparent without swaying away from reality and be ready to respond to the quickly changing times.
4. Move online as much as possible: Moving online comes naturally for certain companies than others. If you are running an e-commerce or a software company you are probably doing most of your work online anyway. However, if you were a face-to-face company earlier it is time to consider the option of moving your business online.
For the retailers, this may appear like setting up or expanding the e-commerce arm of their business. If you have a gym or if you are a fitness instructor you can use online classes. You need to be creative and think out of the box. Stepping up the digital marketing efforts is of paramount importance.
Moving your operations online as much as possible keeps your cash flow moving in without having to place people at the risk of physically visiting the business too soon. For investing in the SEO and digital marketing efforts you will have to undertake a balanced approach suitable to the depressing economic climate we are facing at the moment. Identify an opportunity while managing your SEO campaign and then test the scale and conversion rate.
Companies that expanded during the pandemic:
Terraboost Media which is a Chicago-based advertising agency developed a network in the excess of 72,000 billboards since the advent of the pandemic delivering messages about dispensing wipes or sanitizers to the consumers entering grocery stores. Hewlett Packard (HP) took an aggressive approach to the situation and developed a massive restructuring program doubling the R&D expenditure and acquiring Compaq for a whopping $25 billion. However, these decisions may place stress on the company in the long run.
The COVID-19 situation does not necessarily mean disaster for your business although these are challenging times and several businesses are going to suffer from the situation. However, as we have seen there are channels available to minimize long-term impact and even grow the business.