If you’re still optimistic that COVID-19 will come to a swift end and restore your regular business schedule, it’s time to re-evaluate the situation. Here’s a simple but detailed guide to help you streamline your business objectives with the COVID-19 landscape:
Business during COVID-19: Salaries and Employees
It’s entirely possible that managing and compensating all your employees will be very difficult as you adjust to this new business environment during COVID-19. Most business have been impacted in some or all of the following ways:
Reduced cash flow or revenue from customers
Given that your business is whittling down to maintain the smallest possible team to operate key services, your clients are doing the same. You’ve probably experienced this phenomenon already. The obvious implication is that clients will reduce or entirely pause your services and reduce your revenue.
Extra costs from migrating your employees to working from home
Equipping your employees with the necessary tools to operate efficiently from home is an unexpected expense for your business. The essential tools you should provide your employees are, a workspace consisting of a computer, reliable internet connection, desk and ergonomic chair. Other investments include project management and communication software. These unexpected costs can make it difficult to quickly and efficiently migrate to working from home. To mitigate these costs and buy your company time to adjust, consider using your available resources. Send your employees home with the equipment they use in the office – typically their workstation, leaving you to provision for an internet connection and management software. Consider cutting costs like office rent and bills to help manage these costs.
Losing productivity when adjusting to working from home
Some businesses will find it more difficult to work from home than others. These businesses are likely involved in daily client interaction e.g. sales, manufacturing & manual labour companies e.g. factories & farms, service based industries e.g. restaurants & clubs etc. Of course the obstacles faced will be different for every company, varying from the inability to operate from home to having outdated processes. Figure out what problem you’re facing and how to reduce the fallout. Some companies are loaning out their staff to essential service providers while others are adapting their processes to better operate remotely – whichever the case for you, aim to solve your dilemma quickly and efficiently.
Irrespective of which problem(s) you’re facing, your employees are in for a big change. It may not be possible to fully compensate all of them for their services. Re-negotiate their compensation and job obligations to what you can manage based on your business’ needs. It’s not advisable to terminate your employees but rather re-negotiate terms of compensation, furlough them or assign them leave days. Basically, maximise the useful time your employees can offer.
Business during COVID-19: Bills and Loans
Re-negotiate the terms of payments with your suppliers and service providers to minimise cash payments. It will be critical for your business to maintain a good working relationship with their suppliers but enough cash flow to keep your business open. Contact any financial situations you have a credit line with and find out what support systems they’ve put in place for COVID-19. For instance, on March 18 2020, the Central Bank of Kenya announced the following emergency measures:
- One year relief period in personal and mobile money loans.
- Relief for borrowers on loans they’re servicing.
- Allowance for MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) and corporate borrowers to re-structure loans. And commercial banks to bear the extra costs.
- Restrictions on financial institutions or financial service providers from listing beneficiaries on CRBs.
Business during COVID-19: Investments
The impact of COVID-19 on the world economies has been noticeable. This makes it a cautious time to invest for most entities. While it is intimidating because of the tangible effect investing will have on your existing resources, seriously consider investing in undervalued assets that may provide great returns when the economies recover. If you were considering expansion or diversification before the virus hit, don’t dismiss your plans but rather re-evaluate the best strategy to achieve them.
Business during COVID-19: Innovation and Development
While it may not seem like an opportune time to innovate and release new product offerings, it is in fact advisable to utilise this downturn to refine your product/service. The fact is, your industry and customer base will probably contract resulting in stiffer competition and a tougher operating environment. Reflect on how you’ve been impacted and how to ensure business continuity for this period. Chances are, your industry will experience permanent changes so utilise this time wisely to rise above your competition.
Business during COVID-19: Marketing
With rising unemployment and uncertainty, more and more people are increasingly active online. It’s a great opportunity for any business to re-think, develop and/or refine their marketing strategies and enhance brand visibility. It’s also an opportune time to re-think e-commerce for business sustainability during and after the pandemic. The rise in demand should not to be underestimated as people aim to minimise physical interaction.