Here’s the good news: the COVID-19 pandemic will eventually reach an end. Scientists may find the right treatment or develop the correct vaccine. Social distancing will work, flattening the curve.
The bad news is it’s going to hit businesses hard. Some experts even say it may trigger another recession. Fortunately, companies can take some steps to reduce the impact of coronavirus disease on their organization.
1. Hire Experts to Deal with Crucial Functions
Many marketers have specializations, and some of them are excellent in dealing with crisis management. Now is an excellent time to tap them.
For small- and medium-scale businesses, they may not have an appointed chief marketing officer or a chief executive officer to help them make business-saving decisions. An alternative is to hire virtual CMO services.
In this setup, they can work with an experienced marketing executive anytime, anywhere. They are not in-house staff, so labor costs are low. They can also be project-based, which means they can guide businesses during these difficult times and leave once they’re stable.
These professionals can also help in one of the crucial steps of any business: continuity plans. They can share their knowledge and expertise to ensure the company can still thrive after the problem is over.
2. Learn to Pivot
One of the concepts of Charles Darwin also applies to business: only the fittest will eventually survive. How can companies guarantee this? One of the options is pivoting.
Pivoting is a process of making significant changes to doing business when the current products and services do not meet the needs or demands of the target market. Take, for example, a dine-in restaurant.
With social distancing and quarantines in place, many of these types of businesses have to shut down, leaving them with no income for weeks. Pivoting may help them by promoting takeout deliveries instead. They may also begin to offer fresh supply to their customers. These may be fruits, veggies, and meat left in the pantry or kitchen.
Many companies are already doing this. These include Louis Vuitton, which is already producing hand sanitizers, and Ford, which is creating respirators, ventilators, and face shields.
3. Talk with Lenders and Creditors
Details on loan and credit moratoriums are still unclear, and they can vary from state to state. Nevertheless, businesses don’t have to wait for announcements before they can make their move.
Companies nowadays may now communicate with their different lenders, including banks and landlords, for any ease of payment. Some may provide a 15- to 30-day grace period without additional interest.
Businesses that have been honest and committed to repayments can use these traits as their leverage. These lenders are more likely to agree to moratoriums or delays in repayments than losing a good client.
4. Use the Power of the Internet
Whether businesses are running on the skeletal force, they can continue at least most of their essential functions online. The Internet is a treasure trove of tools that can help people working from home. Many of them are offering their services for free right now:
These programs can include:
- Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts for meetings
- Trello, Slack, and Asana for collaboration and project management
- Todoist for planning and delegation
There’s no use pretending that the coronavirus pandemic won’t affect businesses, but companies can do something to soften the blow.