How to Adapt Your Business to a COVID-19 World
You may not like to hear it, but COVID-19 is here to stay for quite some time. Even if a vaccine is produced and distributed ahead of schedule, things might not change much in the years to come. People will fear new contagious illnesses, prompting a permanent increase in work-from-home jobs, social distancing, and protective gear.
That’s all assuming that the COVID-19 timeline speeds up. As it now stands, a vaccine is likely a year (or more) away, with global distribution following slowly. Many individuals are struggling to pay their bills while companies that wanted to maintain a “business as usual” attitude have had to shut their doors for good.
So, what can you do to keep your business thriving during the Coronavirus pandemic? Here are 4 trends that successful businesses are most likely to adopt in the coming weeks and months:
Many businesses already do some form of data collection and analysis to learn more about their customers, industry, and business practices. However, as businesses experience less face-to-face contact with consumers (a natural consequence of COVID-19), they will have to rely on data to learn more about what’s working and, just as importantly, what’s not.
Cloud-based software like Salesforce is already transforming thousands of businesses, moving customer-relations into the 21st century. It also helps businesses analyze their existing practices and test-drive new ones. Salesforce VoIP integration can even help your business improve customer relations and manage the efficiency of communication at the same time.
Not every business is suited to have a virtual store. If you run an auto repair shop, you must provide services that simply cannot be done over the Internet (at least not yet). However, many brick-and-mortar businesses sell products that could easily transition to a virtual marketplace.
Additionally, some businesses may need to get innovative in order to survive the current crisis. If you provide services that usually require face-to-face interaction, perhaps consider using video calling platforms like Zoom to provide your services from a safe distance. This way, you can keep your business going while also creating a new avenue for income.
As previously stated, not every business can simply transition into the virtual sphere to sidestep the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many businesses that have physical locations will want to step up their health and sanitation practices. This will help protect employees and consumers, while also building trust with the community.
Most businesses (especially those that handle food) already follow some of the most important health measures like regular hand-washing and safe disposal of waste. However, COVID-19 introduces the threat of airborne and surface contagions. This means that employees and consumers might be encouraged to wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and practice social distancing while on the premises.
Minimizing Employee Exposure
For most businesses, there are at least a handful of employees who are at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. They regularly interact with customers or other businesses, exposing themselves to a greater risk of illness. This could be dangerous for both your employees and your business.
One possible solution is the minimization of employee exposure. Do you have any employees who can do some or all of their job from home or a remote location? Do you have funds to invest in extra protection (masks, gloves, etc) for the employees most likely to be affected? If so, making these changes could help save lives and keep your business afloat at the same time.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes