Just when it seemed like the Coronavirus was subsiding, the second wave of the disease decided to rear its ugly head. Where businesses had reopened and started recouping from the effects of the pandemic, they’re now being forced to shut down again to contain the spread of the virus.
In the past few weeks, there have been alarming reports of spikes in infections across the globe, especially in Europe, which is now triggering another round of lockdown measures. Although most countries had put in place a plethora of restrictions to contain the spread, it seems that they were nothing in the face of the disease.
The second wave
Whether it be through negligence, insufficient measures, or a flagrant non-compliance with the guidelines, one thing is apparent: the second wave is here with us. Some experts say that the virus could linger for as long as 24 months to come. And it goes without saying that this second wave could be even tougher for business because many are still reeling from the effects of the first. However, there’s a bit of a silver lining in this second episode- this is not completely unchartered territory.
When the disease first spread, the business community wasn’t at all prepared for the scale of destruction it would leave in its wake. In fact, when news of the novel virus from China broke, it was met with an unhealthy dose of skepticism. Only when it was in full swing did many people realize that it was an actual threat. But unlike then, this time around you’re well aware of how it gets when your country is in the thick of lockdown, and the repercussions that may come about from it.
This means that you can plan your finances accordingly to help shield you and your business from this turn of events. This is not to say that it will be simple; running a business is already hard work without the threat of a deadly disease lurking around. You are not alone in fearing the fate of your business in the face of the pandemic. Many entrepreneurs are worried that their businesses might not survive the second round of lockdown measures. But instead of sitting on your hands and panicking, or making rash business decisions, you can take a more proactive approach and face the pandemic head-on without fear.
So what exactly can you do to brace yourself for the new wave of infections? To help you prepare, we’ve scoured the internet for advice from business experts to help you navigate this crisis with boldness. Here are 5 of the best:
1. Evaluate your response to the first wave
When the pandemic began, you may have taken some precautionary measures to protect your business. Depending on your financial situation, you may have had to reduce your spending, cut your employees’ salaries or fire some, take out a loan, let go of dead weight, etc. Whatever measures you took, you have to take time to check whether they’ve paid off. It would be foolhardy to venture into the second wave using the same measures if they didn’t have a positive effect at first. Seek feedback from your employees, suppliers, and business partners on the efficiency of your response, and find out what you can improve.
If you encountered problems with your supply chain, had labor shortages, or experienced problems with infrastructure, seek long-term solutions that will tide you over for however long the lockdown in your locale will last. There’s no playbook for responses, so you should take what works for you and toss out what doesn’t, irrespective of whether it worked for others.
2. Focus your energy on staying remote
Remote work is the new normal and it will remain that way even after the pandemic subsides. Although you may feel the urge to get back to the office, you must stay remote to protect yourself and your employees from infection. Take this time to create a fully remote workplace if you can, with the right communication and working tools. Consider moving all your data to the cloud so it’s easily accessible by your employees, as in-person work may soon become a thing of the past.
If your government allows you to keep your business open, you can create a hybrid workplace that allows your employees to work remotely but come in only when necessary. Additionally, you can set-up an e-commerce store that’ll help keep your sales up. Since the pandemic broke put, e-commerce sales have skyrocketed. It will also help if you improve your online presence so you can connect with your clients virtually.
3. Reassess your business model
Many businesses, especially small ones, suffer from a lack of diversification. Most like to concentrate on one type of product or market, which is not an issue in normal circumstances but it can mount unnecessary pressure on the business in the event of a crisis. If this is your circumstance, it may be time to widen your scope. The success of any business can be measured by its agility and ability to respond to changing times.
You can consider offering a new kind of product for your client base. It’ll work even better if you can provide a product or service that is in high demand in these times. For example, some fashion designers began producing masks during the first wave.
4. Plan your finances
Tough times are ahead, no doubt; which means you have to be even tougher. Brace yourself for more financial difficulties. Because of the second wave, your bounce back may take longer. So you should look for ways to maintain cash flow.
Give incentives to customers who pay upfront and in cash, and keep an eye on your inventory. You may be forced to dip into your savings, apply for further financial aid from your government, or cut spending even further. If you can operate fully remotely, you can let go of your physical office space like some companies are doing.
5. Consider hiring freelancers for your future projects
If you’ve had to trim down the size of your staff, you’ll probably get overwhelmed with an increasing workload in no time. To prevent burning yourself and your few employees out, hire freelancers to pick up the slack. Not only are freelancers more cost-effective, but they also work really fast and the quality of their output is remarkable. And now that unpredictability plagues every aspect of business, it is important to have a reliable source of vetted freelancers ready to help you with those tasks that appear without warning.
In this article, we go into detail about the importance of freelancers for your business during the pandemic.
The effects of the pandemic have been severe on businesses the world over. And with the threat of the second wave becoming a reality in more countries every day, it is important to set up new precautions to help you navigate the crisis.
Although the situation is stressful, it is imperative that you keep the fear and worry at bay, and face the challenges of each day calmly with calculated strategies and hope for better days ahead.
Fight the second wave of COVID-19 now by staying remote and keeping your employees safe. If you need freelancers to help you weather the storm, post a project now on Ureed.com & connect with over 35K vetted talents from over 150 industries.