If you’re a business owner or an up and coming entrepreneur, you must do everything in your ability to keep your business functioning, especially during a crisis or pandemic. There are a variety of different measures you can take to protect your company and its employees to keep your company running efficiently. The last thing you want to do is panic. This could create a chaotic work environment and make the situation far worse. The most important thing you can do is to remain calm and stay level-headed. Everything should work out fine as long as you take the proper precautionary measures and plan in advance. Below is a list of things you can do to keep your startup moving during a crisis.
1. Create a Plan
The first step to managing a crisis is creating a clearly outlined plan. This plan should include objectives and an exit strategy to ensure your organization survives. When facing a potential pandemic, you should identify a spokesperson to ensure your organization delivers a clear and consistent message. Your elected spokesperson must also be able to frequently answer questions and participate in interviews. You should also outline the necessary steps to follow if you were unable to perform your duties. This might include selling the company or transferring its ownership.
2. Extend Workplace Hygiene Protocols
It shouldn’t matter if your company consists of 100 or only 10 employees, you should always extend workplace hygiene protocols in times of a crisis. When you consider the fact that there have been more than 10,000 reported cases of the coronavirus in New York alone, you must take the correct preparations in order to reduce the outbreak. This includes practicing proper hygiene.
You should make sure your company complies with any and all new workplace regulations. This might include creating protocols for staff handling returns and providing hygiene supplies such as hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, disinfectant wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels. Depending on your organization’s line of work, you may also want to provide respiratory masks, latex gloves, and a surgical gown for each employee. You should also clean more frequently and make sure surface areas and keyboards are routinely disinfected.
3. Examine All Human Resource Practices and Policies
It’s important for your organization to monitor absentee ratio and identify any and all irregularities in order for your organization to continue functioning normally. You must take precautionary measures and expect absentee rates to increase by 60%. You must also listen to your employee’s needs and consider offering additional sick leave or allow them to work remotely. You may also want to reevaluate employee handling procedures and consider offering employees repatriations.
4. Utilize Social Media
In times of a crisis, social media is one of the most valuable channels of communication. Social media will provide live updates as the events unfold. You should establish a social media team to monitor and post updates to keep your staff informed. Your company’s ability to manage a crisis will show your staff and customers its ability to address almost any issue which may develop.
5. Impact on Business Operations
Planning in advance can only accomplish so much. You should also analyze the impact the crisis will have on general business operations. You should divide your company into different areas and assign individual employees to handle specific activities or tasks. This will prevent your business from becoming potentially overwhelmed. If the world is facing a pandemic or global-scale virus, you must assess the reality of countries on the ground and limit access to third-parties that could have been potentially exposed. You must ask yourself key questions, such as, “Will holidays be extended?” and “Is transport functioning or how long until it stops functioning?” Common trial and error practices will help you keep your company afloat, which also prepares yourself for worst-case scenarios.
6. Operate Your Business Remotely
If your business is facing a potential pandemic or in other times of crisis, you may want to consider switching your operations and work remotely, especially if you run an IT-based business. Most IT-based businesses are relatively well-prepared in terms of business continuity. You should consider remote data management and utilize Cloud options. You should also consider remote working programs, provide customers live-chat options, and prioritize key applications, along with rescheduling non-essential employees and operations.