Regardless of where you are located, Australia, Europe, the US or any other area, chances are that your business operations are somewhat affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Maybe you’ve already been shut down or told to work remotely or maybe you are expecting the local government to start implementing new rules very soon. You could be facing bankruptcy due to a lack of revenue and funding or be forced to let your employees go. This new situation can be very scary and it is very normal to be afraid for the future of your company.
On the other hand, even when not dealing with a global pandemic, there are other reasons why your business might encounter challenges. From an economic downturn and recession to dishonest partnerships, various events can test the strength of your company. However, even in these difficult times, there are things you can do in order to keep your business going and ensure everyone in your company is safe. Take a look.
Come up with a plan
In case the situation in your country is not as severe as in some places, you luckily still have time to create a plan of action that will help you make the most of the situation. On the other hand, if you have already been affected or shut down, you will have to work hard in order to prevent this unfortunate situation from having severe consequences.
Companies often have various safeguards in place that are there to help them deal with all kinds of scenarios. However, while we prepare for fires and earthquakes, we tend to forget to plan for virus outbreaks. Luckily, if you have any kind of emergency preparedness plan, you can revamp it and modify it a bit to fit your current circumstances.
This plan needs to outline the steps you will take in case of an outbreak and the measures you will be taking to protect your business and employees from the disaster. You need to have a procedure in place for what will be done in case there is an outbreak on your premises, establish a way of communication with your employees in case of emergency and how the business will continue if affected.
Consider working from home
Not every business can be changed in such a way that its employees can work from home. However, if you have this option, choose it. Develop a plan that will allow your workforce to do its job remotely. In the best-case scenario, you’ve already practised for something like this and your workers are prepared for such an occurrence.
If you didn’t have a chance to try out this method of working, it might take some time to adjust but it can be done. Perhaps your work does not require any face-to-face communication with your clients. Perhaps all the work is done on computers and online. In that case, the workers can still do their jobs from their home while in self-isolation. Set some rules and guidelines and find a way to communicate, such as Skype.
On the other hand, if you work with heavy machinery or own a restaurant, you will probably have no other option than to close down your business temporarily. While that does sound bad, you can potentially find a way to get your business back on track.
Look for ways to stay on track
It doesn’t matter if your company is staying open for business, working from home or shutting down for an indefinite period of time, it is vital that you look into your options and prepare yourself for the potential effects this outbreak could cause. Contact experts who can tell you realistically what you can expect in the near future and do some research to see whether your country will be providing businesses with any financial help.
For instance, you will still need to handle your taxes. While in some countries the deadline will be extended due to these circumstances the world has found itself in, others might not be as welcoming. So, if your business operates in Sydney, talk to trustworthy tax agents from Glebe to better understand your options and see what can be done.
What is more, it’s important to keep in mind that, even if you are affected, not all is lost. Many governments are doing their best to come up with plans and legislations which will help those businesses that have been negatively impacted by the virus. From federal loans that will help cover debts, payroll and accounts payable to offsetting paid leave and mandatory paid sick costs for those with an employer tax credit, countries are doing their best to ensure companies can get back on their feet once this disaster is over.
Keep your workforce updated
Whether your employees are working from home or are on indefinite leave, it is essential that you keep them posted about the situation. It is only normal for them to be scared and uncertain about their future. Give them as much information as you can and be honest. They will probably be inquiring about their paychecks and whether they will even have a job to go back to.
Look into your capabilities and decide whether you will be able to pay them their full salary or maybe just half. Talk things through with your accountants to learn more about the state of your finances before you give any info to your employees.
This is obviously a hard time for you as well but you need to do everything in your power to keep your employees in your company seeing as how it will be very hard to find new people and train them from scratch.
We rarely expect these situations which is why they often catch us off-guard. If your business was not well prepared for these circumstances, you might be in a bit of a tough spot right now. However, by consulting with professionals about your financial situation and considering alternatives such as implementing remote work, you might manage to survive this outbreak without too much damage.
Check on your employees regularly and don’t forget to wash your hands!