By now, most everyone is aware that there is talk going around of a possible second shutdown because of coronavirus. New coronavirus cases are exploding and there are now more cases than ever. Some experts are saying that this outbreak is only getting started. Preparing your business now is the time to get ready for the second round of shutdowns. Some tips will get you started.
Focus on What You Can Control
Although there may not be a second shutdown, you want to be ready if it happens. Do not spend time thinking about the things you have no power over, but develop a plan based on the things you can control.
Plan on Having an In-demand Service or Product
One thing that enabled many businesses to stay open was that they were able to pivot their business to provide an in-demand service or product. Now that you already know what is needed and what businesses may be required to shut down, start now to find a workable solution and prepare for it.
In some cases, you may need to think about a different type of business. If you depend on an income for survival, then choose a business that can survive a prolonged shutdown – possibly longer than the first one. Remember that when money is not easy to acquire that people will focus only on buying essentials.
Find a Reliable Supplier
Your business depends on being able to get the supplies you need when you need them. If you do not already know, find out if your suppliers shut down during the first quarantine. If so, find one (and a backup) that can provide you with the supplies you need if there is a second one. Be careful of relying on a foreign country – particularly if it is not modern (if coronavirus spreads there, they may not be able to control it).
Prepare for People Permanently Working at Home
You have probably already had some of your employees working from home. Although everyone had hoped it would be a temporary situation, it is becoming obvious that working at home is likely to be permanent for many businesses. Find out from your employees what is needed to make their working at home situation more comfortable and practical. Do they need better equipment or an Internet connection, a different schedule, do they prefer better communication with teammates, better software, etc.?
Be sure to stay in touch with your employees. More information is important to them and it will help them to avoid jumping ship too quickly if they feel you are being honest and keeping them in the loop.
Put Money Aside for Salaries and Operations to Keep Employees
Many businesses discovered only too late that they did not have enough cash to keep running. All of a sudden, sales were way down, and, even if they were allowed to stay open, the loss of income about killed their business. There is no indication of how long a second shutdown may last. It is likely that authorities may not want to make the same mistake and open too early. Having money in the bank is apt to be an excellent hedge against another shutdown. Cut extra expenditures that are not necessary for the survival of your business.
There is little time to prepare. Make your decisions quickly and pivot your business if necessary but do some research first. Since it appears a wider shutdown may be coming, you have little room or time for error. Some states are already shutting down some businesses.