6 Ways to Protect Your Business During the COVID Outbreak

cioreviewindia Team | Monday, 12 July 2021, 04:34 IST

6 Ways to Protect Your Business During the COVID OutbreakThe COVID-19 outbreak left everyone scrambling in 2020. It was a challenge not only for the health sector but for businesses as well. Even with new vaccines being rolled out globally, COVID-19 is still up in the air, literally. While some countries are slowly picking up, some are still ravaged by the disease.

If you are a business owner, chances are you are slowly getting back on your feet. With the COVID-19 disease still out there, it’s best to know how you can protect your business. After all, your employees will also rely on you to keep them safe as they do their job.

To help you with that, here are effective ways you can apply to protect your business from COVID-19 as you move forward:

1. Business as Usual But with Some Changes

Despite businesses slowly opening up, it’s still necessary to keep safety protocols in check. These added measures will not only ensure customer confidence but also your employees’ safety.

Remember to install markers around your store for distancing and signages for wearing a mask. Create a new layout for your store that prevents people from gathering in one place. If you have a restaurant, expand your al fresco dining and limit crowing inside.

Temperature checks should still be done for customers. Your staff should also have a standard procedure and spiel for sick people who still want to enter. Don’t forget to do routine cleaning and disinfection as well. Have staff regularly disinfect places like handrails, door handles, or push buttons.

2. Applying the New Normal Internally

Your employee’s health is crucial to restarting your business. Create a program that will make sure of their safety and work productivity. It’s best to assign a Covid-19 workplace coordinator who will be assigned to create a program and execute it.

The program can include preventive measures like expanded sick leaves. This can apply to an employee or a member of a household who will come down with the virus. Another part of the program is promoting handwashing and providing disinfectants like alcohol all over the workplace.

Pushing for a limited skeletal staff is also viable to prevent more people in contained spaces. Lastly, have a standard operating procedure if an employee is found sick at work. Prepare for contact tracing, separate them from the others, and immediately disinfect their work area. 

3. Create a Business Continuity Plan

With the new normal applied to your organization, the next step is to prepare a business continuity plan. Consider what functions need to be done on-site and what can be done from home. Consider doing work-from-home setups for certain departments. Developing flexible schedules can ensure a safe working space while doing business.

For those doing work from home for the first time, consider the following things:

Coordinate with Human Resources to establish productivity guidelines, have department heads create a digital approval process to make sure everything is noted, and lastly, have the IT and Admin department oversee office equipment being taken home by employees.

Also, consider what to do if a key member of the team becomes ill or comes in quarantine restrictions. Discuss alternative plans if critical areas like production or manufacturing are in contact with an infected person. These Plan B measures will help lessen the impact and ensure that your business will not be interrupted.

If you decide to close the business due to losses ,make sure you have all your legal business liability covered to protect you from future claims in case you get sued.

4. Keep Management, Staff, and Clients Updated

Create a communication plan that will detail company updates relating to COVID-19. Make sure department heads and managers are always informed, especially on sensitive matters. Create a bulletin that will update employees on the new company policies and latest health updates.

Make the most out of technology by sending it via email or investing in premium video conferencing apps. This can ensure that everyone gets the message and still promote camaraderie in uncertain times.

Make sure you also include your clients and partners in any company updates. Keeping them well-informed can manage their expectations in delivery dates, payment deadlines, and other critical transactions.

5. Maximize Federal and State Relief Programs

Thankfully, there are several relief options to fit different business sizes. The federal government has offered disaster loans, employer tax credits, and federal income deferments to assist small businesses. On top of this, the government also offered to offset mandatory paid sick and leave costs for employers with a tax credit equal to 100% of the benefits given out. 

There’s also the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. It will cover the costs that companies weren’t able to afford during the height of the pandemic. This will cover fixed debts, payroll costs, and accounts payable.

To complement the federal relief program, there are state relief programs to assist businesses. Check them out and see which one will be best for your business.

6. Plan For the Future

Create short-term, mid-term, and long-term plans for business interruptions with COVID-19. Since the world is not yet back to normal, it’s great to be prepared for such scenarios. Each will require different strategies that can save your business. 

Consider how long the financials can hold interruptions, how the operations can be kept normal, and which alternative business models to keep afloat. While you’re at it, have the core team develop plans for other internal or external business interruptions as well.

Regardless of the scale of your business, the pandemic has certainly hit it hard. It reminded everyone to be better prepared for any challenge like this. Now that the economy is slowly recovering, it’s time to boost your business again while doing it safely for everyone.