Most SMBs are wondering if and how they can survive Coronavirus. We are seeing something happen throughout the world that none of us were prepared for. Businesses are closing around the world and panic is starting to rise. This is a time where small companies are going to be relying on their community to help them through these dark times and the other side. Internally you should be going over proper hygiene and housekeeping procedures along with making your sick leave regulations more relaxed. Employees should work from home if it’s possible.
The first thing you want to do is assemble a crisis management team so you can go over the emergency measures you put into place when you opened up your company. This team will be responsible for communicating with the public and keeping them informed on what is going on inside your company walls. Communication is key in times of high stress and anxiety, so the more you keep your consumers filled in, the better your relationship with them will be. During these stages of the outbreak, it is important to only spread constructive and correct information because there is so much misinformation being spread during this time.
For larger companies, you need to have an open conversation with your stakeholders – assess and evaluate every possibility that could happen during this pandemic and how it could impact your business. Develop holding statements or response modules for every possible outcome. Make sure that your holding statement always has up to date information and informs the public on all of the safety measures you are doing to keep yourself and them safe. You also want to make sure your statements are empathetic and steer away from speculations and unverified updates.
It’s not enough to simply have a well-defined communication policy. During times of crisis, consumer habits are unpredictable and you could face fluctuations. Look at the current market and predict future short and long term market behaviors. Then plan your marketing efforts accordingly. Try working with other vendors and suppliers to balance your supply chain if needed. This might mean the relocation of funds into different but essential marketing activities in the short run.
During this time, keeping a calm head is what is going to help everyone get through this. Understanding that your customers are under an immense amount of pressure right now and that is hindering their business with you is something that you should understand and realize that this is only going to be a short time.