COVID-19 has swept across the globe with a fury we’ve not seen since the bubonic plague of the middle ages. While in terms of casualties, COVID-19 pales in comparison, the economic, social, and medical impacts of the virus are very much akin to its antiquated counterpart. Businesses across the globe have been forced to accept changes that have led to the demise of some, and the growth of others.

One thing that rings true throughout this crisis is that we still need businesses; whether it be for employment, necessary tools and supplies for sheltering in place, or just a general sense of normalcy. If you’re a small or large business struggling to keep things together, we’ve created this helpful list of four tips to help out. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to run and maintain a successful business when the world around you seems to be falling apart.

1. Embrace The Changes

The most important step you can take is to embrace the changes brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic. You may have to adjust your store hours, customer entry policies, safety policies, or even the entirety of how you do business—and that’s ok. It will take some adjusting, sure, but a business that can adapt to such change is one that will survive.

business covid

illustration by Lauran Vuxta

Hundreds if not thousands of businesses have gone under simply due to their lack of adaptability. Let’s say you’re running a retail store, and 90% of your sales come from foot traffic. How can you possibly maintain those numbers with a “non-essential business” title? Your greatest tool is the web. Make sure your customers know that you’re still open online, 24/7, and they can still purchase their favorite products. Run specials, promotions, and online ads to draw in new customers as well.

If you were to do nothing, and simply wait for everything to open back up, your business is going to fail. It’s that simple. Adaptability is a trait that all businesses and business owners must have to thrive during COVID-19.

Another helpful tip in embracing changes is to not be among the businesses who choose a “wear a mask only if you want to” policy. Following the guidelines set forth by governmental agencies like the CDC ensures both employee and customer safety.

2. Stay In Communication

Internal and external communication are both crucial to running a business, but even more so when we’re forced to stay apart. You’ll want to make sure you’re staying in touch with customers and employees throughout the quarantine process. If you lose touch with customers now, you might lose them forever!

Luckily, tools like video conferencing and conference calling tools can help you host video meetings, sales pitches, client calls, and more; all from the safety of your shelter-in-place location. It’s a good idea to host weekly or bi-monthly status meetings with your employees (if possible) to make sure everyone is doing alright. These uncertain times can be difficult even for the most patient and stalwart employee, and showing you care helps strengthen the bond between you and your team.

3. Don’t Forget The Customers!

Don’t forget about your company’s most valuable asset: the customers! Leaving them in the dark about company changes, policy shifts, and availability can mean losing their business for good. Don’t leave them in the dark! Social media exists for a reason and is one of the best ways to connect to all of your customers on one platform that everyone is using anyway.

Post updates, promotions, and more to encourage customers to continue to interact with your brand throughout the quarantine. If you’re not operating online, now is a great time to get a website set up (or updated) to encourage your customers to visit you elsewhere.

4. Maintain Your Company Vision and Values

Truth be told, COVID-19 has brought out both the best and the worst of businesses and people. Some businesses have fallen into such practices as price-gouging, raising the price of necessary supplies to profit off of the suffering of the people. This is a repulsive and morally-bankrupt method of doing business and isn’t a good way to earn the loyalty of your customers.

Uphold your values, your integrity, and your vision during this process. The storm will pass, and while life will likely not return to the way it was, perhaps that’s for the better. Standing by your values will help your business stand out once quarantine is over. People remember both those who help them and those who do them wrong. Which do you think will bring you the loyalty of your customers in the future?

The Bottom Line

Mankind has braved the horrors of disease before, so while this isn’t our first time, it still comes as a shock to our modern and often very sheltered way of life. Remember that as a business, you have a certain responsibility to your customers and yourself. Maintain your values, adapt to change, and stay in touch; you’ll make it through!


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