As we moved into 2020, many entrepreneurs and business owners saw the start of a new decade as the perfect opportunity to create new goals and resolutions. However, the COVID-19 pandemic had other ideas. Whether you had plans to expand your workforce or purchase new premises, the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in millions of people having to work from home for the foreseeable.
Whether your team is working remotely or you’re able to operate in person, there have been several challenges faced by businesses due to COVID-19, such as those listed below.
Health and Safety
If your business is classed as an essential service and you remain open to the public, keeping employees and customers safe during and post-pandemic can be challenging. Whether it’s social distancing, washing your hands regularly, or wearing a face covering, all businesses must adhere to government guidelines and follow the rules to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus.
Regardless of what kind of business you run, it’s vital that you do everything you can to keep everyone in your business premises safe. There are several things you can do to stop the spread, such as installing sneeze guards and placing hand sanitiser stations at the front entrance. As a business owner, you must take full responsibility for keeping staff and customers safe from COVID-19.
Breakdown in Communication
For employees who have been ordered to work from home, keeping in constant communication with your workforce is vital. Unlike in the past where you could instantly communicate with your team in the office, businesses have had to shift to operating online and using specific software and tools to keep in touch. Thanks to technology, you can Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime employees to keep everyone on track with projects and tasks.
For employees to stay engaged with their workload, you must set clear expectations and hold regular meetings that will keep everyone up to date. And if team members need to work together on a project, there are collaborative tools like those listed above that employees can use to stay connected and productive.
Keeping Confidential Data Safe
If your business has been forced to operate online, you need to be aware of cyber threats and do what you can to keep confidential data safe and secure. With many small businesses switching to online, cybercriminals are coming up with new tactics and methods to gain access to sensitive data, which can have devastating consequences.
No matter the sort of business you run or how many employees you have, make sure all devices have the latest antivirus software installed. Email attacks are becoming increasingly common, so to avoid employees becoming a victim of a phishing scam, you need to take steps to upgrade your IT support.
If you need tools such as Microsoft Office 365 advanced threat protection that will shield your business from hackers gaining access to your accounts, you can learn more about IT support and the services Impreza IT provides, including multi-factor authentication and mobile device management. Impreza IT support Kent has a dedicated and trustworthy cybersecurity team who can help keep your data and employees safe.
For business owners who aren’t tech-savvy, you may find that the only way to keep your company afloat is by going digital and establishing an online presence. With local and national lockdowns dominating 2020 and the start of 2021, many businesses have had to shut their doors to customers and instead head online to keep their attention.
To boost profits and revenue, creating an e-commerce store, launching your own blog, and setting up social media business pages on Facebook and Instagram is essential. Using the right marketing channels and understanding SEO (search engine optimisation) will help boost your search engine ranking result, meaning customers are more likely to click on your page.
Business is a dog-eat-dog world, and with the COVID-19 pandemic seeing thousands of companies on the brink of collapse, business owners must do everything in their power to keep their brand alive. Whether it’s by luring new customers in with enticing promotional offers or discounts, or sending out personalised email newsletters, staying one step ahead over rivals is crucial for keeping your operation afloat.
For your business to thrive during the pandemic and beyond, make sure you regularly communicate with your customers and respond immediately to enquiries. Understanding the importance and value of excellent customer service will propel your business forward and help you build a strong reputation with both customers and clients.
Although the start of 2021 still sees us living in unprecedented times, vaccinations are now underway, meaning there is a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what industry your business is in, identifying with the challenges above and working through them will help keep your operation on track.