With the enhanced community quarantine in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses closed shop. But this does not mean that yours should also put a halt to operations. This is the time to create plans and make use of technology and digital resources to sustain your business.
At the minimum, create your business continuity plan (BCP). This should cover assessing risks, finding out how the risks will affect operations, carrying out procedures to lessen the risks, testing the procedures if they work, and reviewing the process.
For this COVID-19 crisis, your BCP may include organizing remote working plans, readying finances, creating a database for employees’ locations and well-being, enforcing hygiene and sanitation, and setting up a supply chain that will work for you.
As you go through your outline, integrate these four important tips to keep your business safe and running. These will make your plans more robust and your business resilient.
Due to the new policies by the government, only a handful of skeletal workforces, those providing basic necessities and producing food and medicine, will be allowed to move about.
If your continuing business on-the-ground, your lean skeletal team must adhere to the basics of hygiene, social distancing, and other stringent measures talked about in detail here.
The rest of your workforce, and for businesses not included in the latest government quarantine guide, must work from home. Learn from how other companies in your industry or area are going about this to create the perfect scheme for you.
Make sure they are equipped with the right tools, like devices, connectivity, collaboration apps, and conference call tools, to keep them efficient and productive.
When your employees are properly set up, organize your goals. Set up a daily morning huddle to align priorities for the day. Business does not have to stop when your team works remotely.
The remote working situation opens up new opportunities to expand your business through new supply chain routes. With customers “living” in the digital world, communication, socialization, and purchasing online are becoming essentials with this pandemic.
Complete transactions more easily with digital banking and online payment platforms like PayPal, PayMaya, GCash, and the like. Advise your customers in advance if there’ll be delays due to your skeletal workforce, the checkpoints, and other strict measures you’re following and enforcing.
For those not allowed to deliver their products given the strict quarantine measures, this is the time to plan for recovery. Set up your online shops, sign up with Lazada or Shopee, and connect with your customers through social media. Make sure to pin those update posts at the top of your page. You may opt to boost posts using Facebook Ads to reach more of your target market base.
In this time of lull in sales, you can engage your followers through sharing public service announcements or sending tips, videos, and other posts that will bring value to their day-to-day experience during the crisis. It’s important to put forth camaraderie and aid at this time, even in the little things, without the pressure of keeping your business on their top-of-mind.
As the virus continues to spread, expect policies to adjust and change. Don’t join the wave of panic and plan ahead. You have to lead your business through a crisis. With offices closed, make sure your official documents are secure. Ask your skeletal team to lock their computers when they are away from their desk. Make sure everyone uses a secure line for official communication channels (the ones you agreed upon above) when sending confidential documents and information. Maximize tools that allow you to store documents online like Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite) and iCloud.
This will be a good time to look into business insurance as well. Some benefits include financial assistance, medical reimbursement, and other crisis-related coverages. If you haven’t enrolled your business with a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), start scouting for one that best fits your needs and budget.
Apply proper measures in the office. Provide alcohol and ensure surfaces and surroundings are well sanitized.
Talk to your employees individually to boost their morale. Let them know they’re taken care of even during the crisis and that their efforts to keep your business thriving won’t go unnoticed.
With how easy it is to post anything nowadays, there is so much noise buzzing through our devices – and not all of them are factual. Myths about the virus are rampantly going around on the internet. That’s why it’s all the more important that we remain vigilant against fake news.
Make sure that the information you’re absorbing and sharing with other people, especially your team, are true. Follow verified sites and reporters for real-time and factual news. Get regular local updates from Department of Health’s (DOH) Viber group, Philippine News Agency (PNA), and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). Visit World Health Organization (WHO) and Center For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) for international updates.
Share relevant information in your business group chat to help your team know what to do. Have them turn on their emergency alerts on their phones so that they can receive official announcements via SMS. For DOH’s official COVID hotline, contact (02) 894-COVID.
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