Last updated on May 12th, 2020
While a sharp spike in the number of COVID-19 patients and deaths was recorded last week and the situation is getting deteriorated with each passing day in the majority world, there’s increasing uncertainty in the business ecosphere. Business owners are brainstorming to find ways that would help them maintain and safeguard their businesses against the novel coronavirus disease.
This highly contagious virus has left many businesses unsure whether their risk mitigation measures are adequate. They have to fight on several fronts such as retaining the existing customers, managing enough funds for business continuity, and even protecting websites (in case they’re online) against malicious threats.
Cybersecurity is the most overlooked area. Most organizations aren’t aware of the intensity of the cyberattacks that would take place amid the COVID-19 lockdown. It’s learned that hackers have come out of the woodwork to reap the advantage of the situation when international borders are shut, and isolation measures have been imposed to curb the virus outbreak. Hackers, in order to trap, offering irresistible discounts on their products and services that generally involve malicious software. Domain, related to Coronavirus, has also seen a sharp surge since the virus outbreak. Surprisingly, around 50% of them are more likely to be malicious domains than the sites registered during the same period.
[Source: Check point research]
And it’s needless to discuss that plenty of these domains could be used for fishing.
Besides, many other problems might come to your ways during the pandemic lockdown. It is more crucial than ever to gear up yourself and make your business pandemic-proof.
“Although many businesses have done some planning to fight against this unprecedented situation, there are still many crucial questions about whether they have made every possible effort to mitigate risks,” says Jim Mello, Sr. Director (Advisory) at Gartner.
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Here, we’ll discuss some steps you should take immediately to make your business pandemic-proof.
Immediate Steps For Safeguarding Your Business From Pandemic
01. Set Up A Pandemic Preparedness Framework
The first step towards making your business COVID-19 proof is forming a team representing all the vital business functions. The team would report directly to executive management.
Analyzing the relative importance of business activities and organizing them into multiple tiers for response or recovery will be the first priority of this team. Critical IT infrastructure, for example, might come to the top tier, while activities like budgeting may come at lower tiers.
02. Rely More On The System, Not On People
Never manage people, always manage system — it’s an E-Myth foundation principle that is still relevant and can help you manage things better. When the world is going through an unprecedented crisis, people have become less reliable.
So, better use systems instead of people. Our company has implemented many tools and software to streamline the whole process. Trello, Slacks, and Qilo are some of them that we use to manage tasks.
03. Review The Finance Implications
Since the lockdown has been adversely affecting your business, you should revise your company’s revenue forecast and communicate with stakeholders like investors and suppliers if there are any critical financial issues. Besides, make sure that your company has sufficient working capital to ride out the crisis.
So, you’re advised to increase the frequency of working capital checks and look for loans or government aids for increasing cash inflow.
04. Review HR Policies
Do you experience an increase in the absenteeism rate? If yes, it’s not a good sign. Identify those critical staff and get ready to work without them—gradually reduce dependency from them. In such a situation, the ideal rate of the absentee is 40%, and you should be prepared for that.
Don’t stick to your existing policies; instead, be open to the changes in employee engagement and workplace preferences. Consider allowing extra sick leaves and WFH (work from home) or remote work.
05. Focus More On Markets That Have Been Effective For You
Probably no one would ever suggest you explore new markets in such an uncertain economic condition. It is a complete waste of time and resources. On the contrary, you should focus more on the markets that have been effective so far.
For this, you should get crystal clear idea about who all your potential customers are—dig down deep to identify the particular niche and produce products that your customers like.
06. Focus On Bottom-Line Products
In these pandemic times, individuals, as well as companies, are less focused on products they hardly need or are expensive. Since the economy is uncertain, they want only those services or products that save them money and are essential.
So, focus on less expensive or bottom-line products to become less indisposable in this time of crisis.
07. Retain Customers Through Engagement
You have built customer trust and loyalty over a period, which is an essential goal for any business. And you shouldn’t just let them go in this critical time. Like anything else, this time, too, will pass sooner or later. So it’s essential to keep in touch with your existing customers through the mode of communication they’re comfortable with.
Keep them abreast of the latest business development and the preventive measures that you’ve implemented. Communicate them how they will be protected if they visit your business or purchase your product/services. It’s your responsibility to assure them that you have put every possible effort to keep your business alive and moving forward.
At the same time, you should also alert them early on about the potential complications or delays.
08. Identify Areas Of Improvement Post-Action
Now, it’s time to evaluate your pandemic planning. Identify at least three key observations. You should also find out three areas of improvement from each area. Prioritize and list them all as per your short and long-term follow up actions, and then schedule future course of actions.
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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The world is fighting against an unprecedented enemy i.e., novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has left businesses and customers alike in enormous darkness. But like any other things, this time, too, will disappear without affecting much to your business if you’re alert and take adequate protection measures early on. So stay alert, stay positive, and take the right action at the right time. We are sure that the tips mentioned above will help you make your business pandemic-proof. Do you know any other tips that can work? Let us know in the comments below.