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How To Plan And Respond To Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Comprehensive Business Guide

The main concern for everybody during the COVID-19 pandemic is their health and the health of their loved ones. But business is important, too. How should your business respond to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Step 1: Decide If You Should, Or If You Even Can, Remain Open.

Some jurisdictions have ordered all non-essential businesses to close. If you are in one of these areas and your business is non-essential, then, well, you must close. Other business owners have chosen to close voluntarily. If you can weather the financial burden of not generating any revenue for a few weeks or months, then the best decision might be to close. Try to avoid layoffs as much as possible, but if they are absolutely necessary, be honest with your employees. Sympathize with them and stress the temporary nature of the layoff.

Step 2: If You Stay Open, How Do You Stay Safe?

What exactly you should do depends on your specific business, but there are several COVID-19 best practices that are universal. Wash your hands often and encourage all employees to wash theirs. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Don’t touch your face. If you have disinfectant wipes, wipe down commonly touched surfaces such as phones, product conveyor belts, cash registers, etc. If you have gloves and face masks, wear them and distribute them to your staff. In some places, it might be unwise to purchase these products because healthcare workers might need them (assuming your business is not healthcare related). Lastly, enforce physical distancing: don’t let staff or customers stand within six feet of each other.

Step 3: Work Remotely Whenever Possible

If you and/or your employees can work remotely, then do so. In times like these, we see a major advantage for digital businesses.

Step 4: Shift As Much Of Your Business Online As Possible

This isn’t practical for all businesses, but if you’ve been thinking about establishing more of an online presence, now is the time to do so. Encourage customers to purchase goods from your online store. Ramp up your social media presence.

Step 5: Investigate Government Aid Options.

With the U.S. federal government announcing a massive stimulus bill, there might be government funds available to your business. Do your research and apply for every grant and benefit you need.

Step 6: Hope For The Best, Plan For The Worst . . . And The Best.

The COVID-19 pandemic could take 18 months to clear up. Maybe more. Or we could find that business is ready to return to normal before the summer. Have contingency plans for both and everything in between. These are uncertain times; try to game out every scenario.

For more advice on handling the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact Be The Boss.

Rob Lancit Vice President-Internet Brands, MFV Expositions
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