Covid-19 is changing the way we live, play and work. From social distancing measures to precautionary quarantines, these guidelines are essential to flattening the curve of rising cases everyday. Business models will need to adapt to the changing times and for SMEs, the direction taken could be the tipping point between rising above the tide or being washed out of the race.
1. Make remote work arrangements work for you, not against you
It is all about perspective. Remote work arrangements could be SMEs’ worst nightmare or best training and teambuilding ground.
Huddle up and set the premise for your employees – it can be directly to all employees if your company is smaller or to your managers who can help you relay the message to the departments in your company.
Communicate assurance and the company’s plans in the uncertain season. Let them know that as you look out for them, you will need them to look out for the company as well. Challenge them to work smarter and harder in this season of time to ensure a speedy recovery after the Covid-19 situation blows over. This tells employees that all of you are in this together and inspires them to give their best, moving the company forward instead of a step backwards.
Your plans should cover how work and meetings should be done online: the processes, platforms, etc. There is no fixed way to do this as it should be what works best for your business.
Side note, if you’re the type of boss who likes to micromanage, do not be mistaken that it is the way to run a business! In this period of time, it is time-consuming and counter-productive to check on every person’s work. It is also the perfect time to slice the working style out of your business. Employees like to feel trusted by the management as it communicates support and builds rapport and loyalty.
2. Take the opportunity to digitise
In this digital age, technology drives efficiency. It is time to automate work processes that are long overdue digitisation. Look into cloud services that could potentially cut out gaps in managing workflow and increase efficiency. Implement these new work processes and train your staff to be familiarised with them. Their time can then be more efficiently used to move your company forward. Many government grants are available to assist in the digitisation of SMEs.
On top of that, capture active audiences online by digitising your products and services. With regular routines disrupted, people’s needs of products and services are going unmet. If your business is able to creatively supply to those demands, you might be able to see growth and higher profits. What’s more, with people bored out of their minds and constantly online, you have a larger active audience to capture through online advertisements and brand activations.
In this season, plan ahead for growth and recovery instead of shrinking back and holding the fort too tightly. Like many have said, “the best defence is offence”.