If you own a small or medium business, in order to protect the organization and your staff in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak, you must be prepared to take some preventive measures…and do a lot of hand washing in the process, of course.
Protecting small and medium enterprises requires a strong strategy as the COVID-19 pandemic extends.
In this article, we’ll provide some key tips that can help you keep your business safe during the coronavirus outbreak and prepared well enough for success when it’s over.
Establish a plan for business continuity
Small and medium-sized businesses for which infrastructure redundancy is not an option, should seek to establish an effective strategy for maintaining vital infrastructure in case of disasters, for rapid recovery.
For internal IT teams, a spike in remote teams means more work, which involves regular activities, reporting, and communication. To address these business requirements, owners can opt for web-based service portals.
An emergency action plan not only defines what actions the company needs to take if the business is impacted by an outbreak. It also points out what steps you should consider in order to protect the workforce and also the company from catastrophic events.
Make sure to include in your plan the following information:
- Measures to protect workers
- What to do if the company faces an epidemic or another crisis
- How will staff reach you in the event of an emergency
- What happens to business practices if the organization is infected
Work from home is the new normal
If you don’t have a work-from-home plan, now is the perfect time to add one. Many companies are adopting flexible working options in every state with coronavirus, to prevent workers from coming into the office and avoiding contact.
Maybe you may not be able to offer your employees the privilege of working from home, depending on the industry. But you should consider developing a work-from-home policy if at all necessary. Include elements such as eligibility for staff, remote processes, and guidelines. Have temporary remote work rules in your strategy as well.
Keep an eye on security violations
A common issue faced by small and medium business owners is time and budget limitations that can threaten their workforce’s entire system security. As continuing business activities will inevitably reduce the overall levels of protection, the dramatic shift to remote working has further exacerbated some security concerns.
To enhance the business strategy, what SMB leaders should do is develop a more positive mindset. In order to gain insights, they should constantly remind their workers to carry out general security audits, along with the value of using safety best practices for the security of everyone involved. Besides, a prompt analysis and revision of disaster recovery plans should be available.
Establish strong lines of communication to improve productivity
Instead of directly asking all the time about work, owners and managers should make time for human interaction, more exactly, to ask their employees also about their lives. Doing this will make the employees feel appreciated, which will improve their levels of productivity and efficiency in turn.
Also, it is important to remember when it comes to communication that the schedule and working hours of your team will probably need to adjust. It might not be reasonable to expect your employees to work according to a fixed schedule as they did when in the workplace. As long as the job is done and you have the proper communication methods in place to keep you securely connected, some flexibility might not be a bad thing.
Make sure your data is secure
Several analysts have projected that data breaches will become increasingly widespread largely because of businesses’ off-hand networks. As a business owner you must take all the necessary measures to protect the ACLs, network settings, firewall rules, and take other steps to boost up security to avoid compromising sensitive data.
Use downtime productively
Make the most of this time to think about implementing any new services and procedures you have not had time for before. Mobilize the workers by engaging them in this process and encouraging them to feel efficient and respected.
Stay connected with your financials
With plenty of other things that need your attention, letting your accounting system go is easy. Don’t do it! If there’s a profit problem, you want to know it now, not later. Stay on top of the accounting updates, financial indicators, and any revenue downturn. It is important to investigate and fix any changes as soon as possible.
Many business owners have savings they can count on. A great strategy is to secure a business line of credit before you need it, so you can draw on funds during a crisis or pandemic.
The pandemic is changing our lives in ways we could’ve never imagined. You need a strategy to adapt and reconfigure your business.
With your employees safe and healthy, and your organizational and financial impacts mitigated as best you can, remain mindful and think about how you can effectively resume operations when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
This is likely to be a life-changing experience that could bring many opportunities, especially for small and medium business owners.