The SARS-CoV-2 virus has reshaped how the world does business.
From guidelines on social distancing, to the limited capacity of stores, to the common use of masks for face protection in public places Changes have been made to ensure the safety of all people all over the world.
It’s all new as well as confusing and somewhat terrifying. This is particularly relevant if you’re a company owner whose business is on the brink of collapse. You must maintain your business’s operations and ensure that the employees, you as well as your customers, are protected from the ailment.
If you’re considering creating a company in the near future, you must be sure you’re able to be safe while you are juggling the many new tasks that are associated with it. The process of launching and managing an enterprise isn’t easy enough even in the most ideal of circumstances, but it may seem overwhelming in an epidemic that is global.
This is why we are here to assist.
You may be thinking about creating a new company or you’re already in the midst of running one, this article will provide everything an owner of a small-scale business needs to know to navigate COVID-19 in a safe and effectively.
What we’ll discuss
Here are a few jump hyperlinks to the various areas of the report. Each section is devoted to a distinct area So feel at ease to navigate to the subject you’d like to know more about.
A tip to remember: Bookmark this guide to keep it in mind in case you have to refer to it.
By-the-numbers: How well are small businesses doing in general?
Quick answer: Not great.
The huge impact on small businesses that the global pandemic and the subsequent lockdown processes have had can’t be overstated. For the majority of small businesses, the effect has been devastatingly negative, leading to the closing of stores and layoffs around the globe.
Within the United States alone, 25%-36 percent of small-scale businesses are in danger of being permanently closed because of COVID-19. A lot of these businesses depend heavily on services that are in person, where social distancing isn’t easy to manage, including gyms and restaurants. Other industries that are heavily affected include the hospitality and tourism industries.
Here’s a chart from McKinsey that shows which industries are the most affected by COVID-19:
Source: McKinsey and Company
Small business earnings are down 12.3 percent from February 2020 while private sector salary increases are “just” 6.6 percent. This is nearly twice as high than the salaries of their private sector counterparts.
It is also important to remember that there is a significant impact on the marginalized communities. In actual fact, low-wage employees as well as minority business owners and those who do not have a college education are the most likely to be in financial trouble because of the pandemic that is sweeping the globe.
Source: McKinsey and Company
While this is a bit dire however, it is important to note that things are improving however, it’s slow. In June of 2020 it was reported that the Census Bureau discovered that the percentage of small companies reporting negative effects from COVID-19 was at 38%. negative effect from COVID-19 was 38 percent–down from 51% just two weeks earlier, in April.
Applications for businesses that are new have increased significantly from the peak of the pandemic’s global reach in the spring of.
In actuality, at the close of August 2020 in the United States saw a 47 percent increase in business applications as compared in the exact same time frame of 2019. This was an historical high point.
Source: Economic Innovation Group
This should be extremely encouraging for any small-business owner. If a vaccine is easily accessible (and all evidence points to a historically high rate of production of vaccines) the economy will be set for huge expansion.
Imagine the economy as a fleet of aircrafts. If the weather isn’t good–winds driving hard, thunderstorms raging, the pilots aren’t able to fly. Instead of letting the plane get rusty while they wait until the conditions improve However, the pilots will be making sure there’s plenty gasoline in the tank, that the engines are operating smoothly, and the electronics are functioning.
If the weather improves the skies will be cleared to take off.
How do you navigate your small company with COVID-19
If you run an entrepreneur-run business likely, you’ve felt the effects of the pandemic on your clients, you as well as your bottom line.
There have also been modifications, some large and others smaller. These changes can be daunting and overwhelming.
In order to make it simpler Here are some ideas to be aware of to guide your company through this stormy weather.
Tip 1: Concentrate on the things that you are able to manage (and put aside the other)
This is among the most important actions you can take in your head. It’s not just limited to the pandemic, but it can be applied to the rest your life too.
We can easily get caught in the continuous sprinkling of negative stories, doomscrolling, and news until our eyes get tired. The number of things that you think you must be worrying about that it’s overwhelming.
It is better to be focusing on the aspects you have control over directly. It could be things like:
- Cleaning and sanitation protocols for your retail store
- Moving to remote work
- Enhancing your digital marketing strategies
- You can get loans when you want to
- Utilizing curbside pickup
- Conducting home deliveries for customers
That doesn’t mean things such as:
- Be concerned regarding locking down procedures
- Worried about fewer capacity limits at your shop
- Obsessing over mask-related rules
- Be concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 counts
Obsessing about everything is a bad idea. Although things such as lockdown procedures and the increasing number of cases could affect your company, you must consider the implications of that news and think about what you can do to take action to address it.
It’s a fact that it’s much easier to say than done. This is your source of income in the end. If you have employees, it is their income as well.
When you think this way and attitude, you’ll not only be able to assist your company adapt to the ever-changing times but also realize that it can take you far more than anything else will.
Tip 2: Move quickly–but carefully
The first to catch an early worm. That tried-and-true aphorism is relevant to the current life-altering global pandemic.
It is vital to know the areas in which you need to change, and take action rapidly. For instance, many companies, from clothing stores and supermarkets to breweries and coffee shops — began to provide curbside pickup after locks were put in place in the spring of 2020.
In reality curbside delivery and curbside saw an 145.6 percent rise during the spring time as compared to the same time in the year 2019.
Source: Brick Meets Click
They recognized the inevitable changes brought about by COVID-19, and have adapted and are now earning money as a result of COVID-19.
Most of them aren’t making as as much money as they did before. Some have even realized that their “new real-world reality” is far superior to the previous ones.
Many companies are discovering they can benefit from the remote working environment is more to run their business rather than working in an office. Many businesses are seeing huge success with curbside pickup and delivery. There’s evidence that consumer habits will be forever altered due to these developments.
While you need to take the appropriate steps in order to adapt your company to changing times but you must also ensure that you create the appropriate kinds of changes.
You don’t want to something like buying a whole set of the latest sanitation equipment and air filtering systems just for your business to close regardless due to lockdown measures.
Tip 3: Choose choice to touch
Furloughing or firing employees is never simple and shouldn’t be a breeze. They are the ones who manage your business. They depend on you for their survival and, in many instances they could be your most loyal family members.
But in extreme circumstances, such as an epidemic that spreads across the globe, there are times you must take the extremely difficult choice of letting the people go or to furlough them to ensure your company is able to continue operating.
It could refer to different things depending on the business. For instance, you could be in a position to keep certain employees in place when you look at your financials. There are some who may need to make the difficult decision of firing lots of employees.
It’s important to know what you have to do and do it. There’s no point in trying to get it off your chest and hoping that things will change. Most likely, it won’t happen until there’s an anti-virus. Make sure you focus on the aspects you are able to control and leave the rest to chance.
It could be a difficult decision to make. making a list of your company in general and the decision of whether or not to continue it. It may seem impossible. In the end, you’ve have put your heart and soul into your work.
However, as always it’s crucial to be truthful with yourself and don’t delay the process. In not taking a serious look at the situation can lead to greater financial difficulties for you in the future.
Tip 4: Make sure you enforce the hygiene guidelines (and be firm about it)
This is an absolute requirement. Wherever you are or what kind of business you operate it is essential to adhere to hygiene standards and they have to be enforced with a strictness.
This epidemic has killed millions of individuals across the United States alone. It is not your intention to have your company to be the reason why someone dies or becomes sick. It is not a good idea for your company to make headlines for having caused the super-spreaders event.
This is why it’s crucial to establish a COVID-19-related policy for your company.
It will be specific to your company and your company, and will be contingent on the services you offer. Restaurants must have different regulations as opposed to an accountant’s office for instance. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the local restrictions your restaurant is bound to have.
Here’s a chart that provides a rough estimate of the occupations that are most susceptible to COVID-19.
Source: Visual Capitalist
Keep in mind that this is just an approximate concept. What you have to do is specific to your particular business.
The most important thing to remember is to stay towards the direction of over-preparing instead of the less-than-ideal. It could mean slowing the processes you use to ensure that everyone and everything is clean, but it’s worthwhile if it’s keeping your employees and the community secure.
To help we’ve created something to aid…
How can you prepare your business for COVID-19?
The Center for Disease Control has developed an outline of guidelines to stop and limit the spread of COVID-19 to your employees. It’s quite long and we’ve compiled the key points below.
We strongly suggest you go through the whole page to gain a better knowledge of the information you require to do to ensure the safety of your business.
Keeping your employees safe
Your employees form the foundation of your company. If they weren’t there, the company would not function as it ought to.
They also deserve to be healthy and safe regardless of their profession.
This is why it’s crucial to enforce strict guidelines to minimize the chance of transmission between them. The CDC provides seven tips to ensure your employees are secure:
- Instruct employees with a sick condition to remain home. This one is an easy one. If your employee is suffering from a cough, fever or showing other signs of illness, inform them to stay at home. It is recommended to keep them in quarantine for two weeks after the last time they manifested symptoms.
- Conduct regular health checks. This can occur in person or remotely. The health checks must include the temperature and symptom check prior to any employee arrives at your workplace.
- Find out how employees could be exposed to COVID-19 while in the workplace. Consider all of the workplace locations in which employees could contract the illness. For example, a supermarket store could pinpoint areas like the cash register and the customer support lines as areas at risk.
- Face masks should be enforced. This is another easy one. Your employees must wear masks to protect themselves and for the security as well as the safety of all others at your workplace (including your customers).
- Distinguish sick workers. You never know when the symptoms will strike. If they occur it is important to take action quickly. If your employee begins to experience symptoms at work, keep them from all other employees and customers. Make sure they can return home in a safe manner. This could be via an employee or healthcare professional.
- Do something if you find out that an employee has COVID-19. Though in most situations you will not need to shut down your company (for instance, it’s been more than one week since the employee who is sick was at the establishment) It is suggested to wait for until 24 hours after cleaning your area of work. Clean areas that are often that are exposed to people and also the areas the areas where the employee was sick.
- Create a sanitation plan to your staff. Make sure your employees are aware of the best methods to ensure they are not becoming sick. This means hand washing, using masks and limiting their travel.
Maintaining your business’s sustainability
As the owner of your business you’ll want to weigh the need to keep everyone safe and keep your business operating smoothly and efficiently. In the CDC, CDC have identified a variety of areas to help to achieve this:
- Select the COVID-19 coordinator. This person is responsible for implementing and drafting any COVID-19 guidelines that pertain to your particular business. It’s a position that you could delegate to one your employees, or you can take it on your own.
- Create an accommodating and flexible sick leave policy that is flexible and supportive. Make sure you give your employees who are sick as much assistance as you can. This could include policies like paid sick leave, allowing employees to stay home and care for sick relatives, or allowing other employees to donate sick time to each other.
- Guard employees with high risk. Immunocompromised and older employees should be supported throughout this period. This may include limiting the contact with customers, or the ability the ability to do work from home.
- The COVID-19 guidelines clearly and regularly. If your employees speak a different language, make sure your policies are translated to their language. Make sure that new employees and customers are informed about your safety guidelines.
- Save the necessary information and trim the remainder. In order to ensure safety, you should consider the possibility of reducing your workforce to a smaller group of people who have to be available to ensure that your business is functioning. This may mean making difficult choices like cutting down on hours, reducing furloughs or delaying the departure for certain staff members.
- Prepare for the event that absenteeism increases. Whether it’s from sick employees or simply because employees don’t want to be there they’re prepared should absenteeism increase at your workplace. This could include setting up remote work policies or training employees to take on other responsibilities.
- Set up social distancing guidelines. These are social distancing guidelines for your employees and your customers. Make it a point to limit physical interaction between people (e.g. handshakes). Also, avoid places where people are likely to gather (e.g. break rooms, dining tables).
Keeping your workplace safe
The CDC also offers guidelines for making sure that the workplace environment of your small-scale business is optimized for security against COVID-19. Below are a few suggestions they strongly recommend you follow:
- Enhance the ventilation in your workplace. This refers to the quantity of fresh air distributed throughout your workplace. The more clean air there is, the more protected you’ll be from COVID-19 since it’s primarily dispersed via air droplets. Some ideas to combat this are to increase the air circulation in your outdoor space by opening windows and increasing the air quality by installing the use of a the MERV-13 air filter in the central air system.
- Check that you have a water source that is protected after shutting down. After a prolonged shut down, a building’s water system is more vulnerable to threats like mould and Legionnaires diseases. Learn how to ensure that your water system stays up to date here.
- Access to washing and sanitizing machines. Make sure your company has easy access to water and soap and alcohol-based hand Sanitizers.
- Clean up your workspace regularly. Make sure that you regularly clean your work areas and have easy access to items for cleaning, like disinfectant wipes. The CDC provides a complete instruction on how to design and follow a routine cleaning schedule.
- Make sure your workplace is cleaned when you suspect or confirm that someone of having COVID-19 in the workplace. This includes employees and customers.
- Restrict travel for the employees. Cut out any unnecessary travel expenses for your employees. If your employees plan to travel to another country, ensure they read the Traveler’s Health Notifications of the CDC to get information about the country they’re visiting.
- Reduce the risk of gatherings. Leverage good video conferencing software instead of having meetings in person with your employees. If your company frequently plans large-scale gatherings (e.g. conferences) You’ll need to change or cancel them in line with the needs. You may also wish to make them predominantly or entirely online.
Small businesses can benefit from pandemic resources.
Below is a list from the CDC that you should keep at hand. They’ll assist you with any questions you may be having about running your own small-sized business during the outbreak.
- CDC A Guide to Employers and Businesses Response to COVID-19
- FAQ The following cases are suspected or confirmed from COVID-19 within the Workplace
- FAQ Reducing the spread of COVID-19 Workplaces
- FAQ Healthy Business Operations
- FAQ Cleaning and Disinfection at the Workplace
- FAQ Critical Infrastructure
- What You Should Be Aware of About COVID-19
- What to Do If You’re Suffering From COVID-19
- What Employers and Workers can do to reduce workplace fatigue during COVID-19
- How to Test for COVID-19
Running your business from the midst of a global epidemic isn’t an easy job. It requires determination, focus, and discipline to ensure that your employees as well as customers adhere to the strict guidelines set in place to keep us everyone safe.
We’re not lying to you that it’s going become difficult. You’ll likely have your profits shrink. It could be necessary to make tough decisions about when to eliminate employees.
However, remember to concentrate on the areas you can control and avoid the other. This means establishing and enforcing hygiene and sanitation guidelines while ensuring social distancing. Also, be sure to support your employees financially and emotionally whenever you are able to.
This is because the most important thing at the end the day is everybody’s health and wellbeing. If we have the right infrastructure and resources in place, we’ll be able to conquer this challenge together and hopefully more resilient for it.