How to keep yourself and your business going during the coronavirus outbreak: some practical tips.
Things are changing daily, if not hourly, as the coronavirus pandemic takes hold. It’s affecting everyone, and every business. Many small businesses and the self-employed are particularly feeling the hit and having to take difficult decisions.
What are the positive things you can do in this situation?
The important health stuff
- Look after yourself and your colleagues. This is the number one and golden rule. We all have responsibilities, both to ourselves and to others, to keep safe. Follow the guidance on hand washing, preserving distance and avoiding crowded spaces and unnecessary travel.
- Keep everyone updated. Make sure you have up-to-date contact numbers and emergency contact details for the whole team. Think if it would be helpful to have these for clients, customers and suppliers as well.
- Make sure you are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and statutory sick pay.
- Do you know how to spot the symptoms? Remember also that you must not single anyone out or treat anyone differently because of their race or ethnicity.
- Consider arrangements if you or your team need to take time off work, for example if their child’s school closes. They are entitled to take reasonable time off, but there is no statutory right. Acas has useful information
Managing as a business
- Be flexible – your entrepreneurial attitude will help here in finding creative solutions to working from home and new virtual and technological ways to hold meetings and share information. It’s where Teams, Yammer, Skype, WhatsApp and other platforms come into their own.
- Stay in touch with your suppliers so you can plan for any shortages and disruptions. Look closely at your contracts and arrangements with your clients and customers. They may need extra help and value your expertise even more.
Making the most of quiet times…
- Time for a spring clean! Sort out those piles of papers, clear out old emails and data, unsubscribe to anything that is no longer relevant. Declutter your physical space and your computers, too. Review your subscriptions and check you’re not paying for something you’re not using. Maybe there’s a better, newer product out there – make some comparisons.
- Update your website and your social media. Have a fresh, objective look at your LinkedIn profile. Should you be making more contacts? Is your branding looking a little tired? Is it time to explore what Instagram can do for your business? Is your profile photo out of date?