When COVID-19 became visible in the world in early 2020, the world as we knew it changed. People and businesses had to adapt to a new way of life. People stayed home when they could, and started wearing masks when they couldn’t. Hand washing and hand sanitizing become more prevalent. It can be hard to do a lot of things during a global pandemic, like traveling, staying busy or running a business. However, it is possible to survive – and even thrive – as a business during a pandemic. Here is how to survive as a business during the pandemic.
No matter what kind of business you run, you should work to adapt your practices when possible. Maybe you add hand sanitizer at the entrance and a few places around your business. Maybe you have gloves and masks available for employees (and even customers, if necessary!). Maybe employees work from home or stagger shifts a bit more. Maybe you dream up new services you can offer to customers, if your old services are not enough or no longer possible.
Some gyms and fitness studios have switched to a virtual, live-streamed class option, when in-person classes were not an option.
It’s not just businesses that are hurting during this pandemic. Employees themselves may be struggling with family or financial challenges. Whenever possible, support your employees as much as you can. Consider the different ways you can do this. Be more flexible with work from home policies. Give some extra time off if they need it. Have an open door policy to discuss personal challenges when employees need someone to listen to them. Give a little extra financial support if you can – like a bonus or a pay raise (either permanent or temporary).
Efren Portillo, CEO of Gold Level Media, did just this – his company gave all employees a bonus, both to thank them for their support during this challenging time and to support them with extra costs that may have arisen during the pandemic. By supporting employees, Efren and other business owners show they care, which keeps employees dedicated to the company that supported them in a hard time.
Communicate with customers.
As you make changes to your hours, services or even open status altogether, you should keep your customers informed as to how your business is currently operating. You can send out regular email updates to your customer base, or you can post to social media when you have any new information. Signs and flyers on your business’s doors can also be helpful to keep people informed of when you are open and what they can expect when they step inside (like wearing a mask or social distancing guidelines).
Local restaurants, coffee shops and breweries have started posting the weekly hours in social media bios, Instagram stories and posts to their feeds.
These three ways to support your business can help keep your customers and employees aware of what your business is doing to support them, while working to continue to serve the community during these challenging times.