Your response to grow your business and protect your employees and customers at the same time in unforeseen circumstances is key to facilitate sustainability & uphold the brand reputation. Owners of SMB’s are scrambling to figure out how to deal with business disruption. Furthermore, it’s not too last-minute for businesses to set up remote workforces & enhance communication.
Here’s a list of things you can do to grow your business & protect your employees & clients.
#1. Establish a remote working plan.
With millions of people working from home or working remotely, there are a lot of free online video conference software business owners can utilize for teams to stay in touch and keep their business operations running & collaborate, even if they are distributed at various locations.
Implementing a robust remote work policy that unlocks every expectation of your team to be online, communicate, collaborate, and produce deliverables can be a great ballgame for your business. Including simple ground rules like eligibility, remote processes, and guidelines that can complement the adoption of virtual meeting software like iFMeets, GoToMeeting, etc.
An emergency plan outlines what steps your businesses need to take if unforeseen circumstances impact your business. It lays out a robust plan to protect your business, employees, and customers.
Be sure to include the following in your planning strategy :
 Measures you’re taking to protect your employees and customers
 Steps to take if emergencies occur at your business
 Ways employees and customers can contact you in case of an emergency
 Sustainability of business operations with a work from home policy
#2. Keep your managers up-to-date with the latest information.
After owners have done their homework, its time to pass it on to the managers or supervisors for them to get up to speed about the current situation, and measures that need to be adopted to handle it. Keeping managers in the loop is an efficient way to manage your business. With managers being at the frontline of your business, communicating the latest updates, strategies, news, etc. helps them chalk out their working plans to streamline processes and workflows. It also helps them manage various distributed teams by assigning the right roles and responsibilities to facilitate positive outcomes.
#3. Build a disaster-ready policy.
There are thousands of businesses that don’t plan for a disaster plan, but they are looking at various options to find one. A disaster-ready policy covers a lot of things, that includes guidelines and processes around remote work or work-from-home, insurance covers, business sustainability, financing, lines of credit, supply chain alternatives, etc. While some businesses can adopt these policies, restaurants, or theatres will need to think better on how they can manage cash-flows and working staff. All of this needs to be documented so that it can serve as a go-to-guide to facilitate business continuity.
Always think of “PLAN B” or the right business model policies in times of unforeseen emergencies.
#4. Reduce travel & person-to-person meetings.
Keeping employees and customers safe requires keeping travel to a minimum. Holding meetings virtually can create a big difference. Skip plan business travel, as employees or customers can succumb to health issues, and lead to a liability issue for businesses. Be flexible with your employees and customers if they need to attend emergencies, or have a robust contingency plan in place in case your business feel short-staffed.
#5. Promote transparent customer communication.
Being transparent with your customers about the current situation, and what your business is going through builds a sign of trust and transparency in the eyes of your customers. Being open about your current business situation can lead to customer empathy. Keeping customers away from the loop for their solutions or services create less appreciation and value. It would be wise to describe the steps or policies that have been adopted to keep the business community moving.
#6. Move your sales base to online.
As storefronts or brick and mortar businesses have come to a freeze, savvy business owners need to shift their focus to online platforms and avoid business losses. If stores close down, business owners need to find alternatives to continue selling online and keep employee paychecks showing-up.
#7. Plan long-term for better sustainability
Global unforeseen events or circumstances can create a ripple effect that can last for a long time. With economies destabilizing, these events can have a high-impact on supply-chain and revenue. Communicating and collaborating with investors, customers, suppliers, & local authority on a perpetual basis helps implement safeguards that help businesses stay above the red line.

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Conclusion
No matter what happens, SMB’s will take some hit to their bottom-line, but business owners need to stay proactive with video conferencing technology, online selling platforms, digital communication, measures & policies to keep their business doors open for every stakeholder, and setup work from wherever they can.