Last updated on May 14th, 2020
COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, has wreaked havoc on many businesses. Small businesses and startups are struggling for the past few days. The markets are closed and higher jurisdictions of various countries placing restrictions on people’s movements. Unfortunately, there seems to have no end to this pandemic in the coming days. Due to this, most of the entrepreneurs have compelled their employees to work from home. However, they are required to work on their strategies to meet the work from home challenges during this quarantine period.
Coronavirus has damaged businesses and industries in many ways. Businesses that thrive on crowds have closed. The cities are facing lockdown, people are staying at home, and markets have deserted everywhere. The widespread of coronavirus has compelled entrepreneurs and their employees to work from home. But, many of them are not in a habit to work in isolation. They are missing face-to-face conversations with their team to convey their plans and have little idea how to deal with the new working situations.
Today, entrepreneurs are emotionally unprepared to cope with such emergencies. New surveys from The Gallup Wellbeing Index, Harvard Business Review, the Self-employment Review have reported that various isolation symptoms are developing in entrepreneurs. Still, they have no other option than to deal with the situation. A better approach will be required to evaluate their plans and make them suitable for these circumstances.
Entrepreneurs are now compelled to rethink their business strategies. They are in a situation that demands a new marketing plan, management of employees, fresh requirements of funds, and other issues.
With the demand for products and services plummeting, this scenario has made a majority of entrepreneurs nervous. According to a Harvard Business School survey related to the impact of COVID19, 75% of the surveyed business owners are ‘very worried’ about the economic impact due the spread of coronavirus.
However, if small entrepreneurs redesign their business plans, they can still do well in these complicated times. Now that most of them have switched to working from home, they need to come up with new strategies. What can they do?
Here Is How Entrepreneurs Can Use Their Quarantine Time For The Growth Of Their Business
01. Start Planning Now
First, make it certain that you have a clear understanding of how your business will undergo difficult circumstances. Once your team has a clear picture of what worse is going to happen to your enterprise in the coming days, you would create a plan and start early. Do not wait for the things to go out of your hands. Instead of acting just on the twelfth hour, chalk out your plan right away.
For instance, allow your employees to work from home now before it is too late. You will need to create new infrastructure to facilitate your office people to work from their homes. Any marketing plan you have in mind should be recreated and implemented as per the new conditions. Overall, start acting on a business continuity plan that you have in mind to deal with the new urgency.
02. Communicate With Your Employees
Since you have allowed your employees to work from home to avoid exposure in the workplace, maintain effective communication with them. While you may already be using some communication tools in your office, these acquire a new dimension when working from home. A combination of physical appearance and online communication in the office setting is different than just relying on online messaging from home.
Therefore, establishing meaningful and productive communication with your team is challenging. So, find out which chat software best suits your communication needs for remote work. Use chat channels that allow your employees to not only stay connected but, most importantly, brainstorm ideas. You should encourage video conferencing as your online version of office-based face to face conversations.
Many employees will still carry their typical habits of ignoring chat messages while they were in the office. Now, remind them to stay connected and respond to the message. After all, these chat tools are their only means of communication during the quarantine.
03. Invest In Effective Work From Home Technologies
As an entrepreneur, ensure that your employees are equipped with the latest technologies that help them in working from home efficiently. Without these technologies, you may adversely impact their productivity. So, think of investing in these technologies for your employees.
There are many such highly useful tools that you can buy. For instance, use Skyroam’s technology to create Wi-Fi signals from local data networks. This will help your employees get office-grade internet without paying from their pocket. Similarly, invest in some video conferencing programs such as Amazon Chime.
04. Put An Alternative Business Model In Place
Coronavirus has disrupted many business plans. Entrepreneurs, therefore, need to think in terms of implementing their plan B to deal with the new circumstances. If you haven’t done so, then evaluate your business practices and make the necessary changes to keep up with the critical changes.
For instance, find out which customers matter to your business the most out of many of them at this time. Create new marketing strategies to target them. You may also need to identify alternative suppliers if some of them are not responding to your demands. It may also be that you need to temporarily keep some of your operations on the back burner until the time situation improves.
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05. Apply For The Disaster Assistance Loan
Your small business might have suffered heavy losses, making it financially incapable of dealing with the new circumstances to a larger extent. In that case, you should think of applying for an emergency loan to meet your financial requirements.
For instance, in the U.S, the Federal government has authorized $7 billion in disaster loans for small businesses. These loans will help entrepreneurs have the funds to tackle COVID-19. But, the loan is available in the states that have announced an emergency. You can repay the loan in over 30 years, and the interest rate is kept very low at 4 percent only. So, plan taking out the loan.
06. Renegotiate Terms Of Contracts
It is about time to recreate your terms of contracts, considering the adverse situations for doing business during these COVID-19 days. Request your business partners to rethink the old contract terms and conditions.
Ask them to relax those terms for a few more days or until the situation improves. That will help you get relief on a lot of aspects such as payments, raw materials, etc. Prepare a response plan and take it to your business partners and see if they can agree to it.
07. Hire Freelancers Who Specialize In Working Remotely
During the quarantine time, your business may need the services of freelancers to overcome the work from home challenges. These are the professionals who have rich experience of working from home and delivering the results. Fortunately, freelancers are available today in most of the business fields.
For instance, you may be looking for cutting your costs toward creating visual identities such as logos, business cards, websites, brochures, etc. You can outsource your design work to creative marketplaces. Designhill is one such leading creative marketplace that is home to thousands of designers from across the world. As you launch your design contest with prize money, you get many unique design ideas and a winning design at an affordable cost.
Looking For Pro-Tips To Protect Your Business During The Coronavirus Outbreak?
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to batter businesses, business experts at Designhill have shared several tips to keep your business healthy as a horse. Here’s the best advice on how to protect your business and stay well-prepared for a coronavirus outbreak.
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Coronavirus has made many entrepreneurs evaluate their existing business plans and make the necessary changes to meet the new challenges. They are working from home along as are their employees. This should compel them to use the latest work to home technologies, communicate effectively with the employee, rework marketing plans, and request partners to relax terms and conditions.