It is safe to say that we are living in unprecedented times. The entire world has come to a halt following the recent outbreak of the new Coronavirus also known as COVID-19.
Politicians around the world compare the horrors of the outbreak to that of World War 2. Amid the overwhelming collective feelings of confusion and uncertainty, business owners are having a hard time wrapping their heads around what is happening. With countries in complete lockdown and others declaring a national state of emergency, businesses are suffering and will continue to do so for some time even after the outbreak subsides. Companies are shutting down and laying off people as they are in no shape to withstand the sudden drop in business. With the biggest corporations on the planet reporting catastrophic losses, small business owners have little to no chance at coming out of this triumphant. Like many others, if you are still unable to fathom the effects this new Coronavirus outbreak will have on your business operations, continue reading below.
Disruption To Production
Most governments have been ordering plants and factories to suspend production and close down in an attempt to have citizens practice social distancing and stay at home to be able to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. This means that you will no longer be able to continue production as usual, which will hugely affect your future sales when you are allowed to go back and resume your business activities. In the UK, some factories are forced to shut down for now; however, post-Coronavirus, you will probably find that there are many readjustments to be made especially regarding your expenses. Companies are advised by EnergySeek.co.uk, to find the best energy and electricity partners since they account for a big chunk of running expenses. You need to find an energy supplier that can give you the best prices and consider offering you a flat rate at least until you get back on your feet. You will find that the best place to start is to try to cut these overhead costs to a minimum hoping you can lick your wounds to move forward and continue production.
With governments everywhere urging people to stay home and forcing business owners to effectively work from home policies, you will find that you will face some serious problems with managing your workforce remotely. Especially if you and your staff are not used to the idea of remote work, you will find it rather difficult to maintain the effective communication you were otherwise used to. Even for businesses that have been practicing remote working for decades, the fear and anxiety everyone is experiencing will affect employees’ usual productivity and get in the way of practicing business as usual. You yourself as a business owner will have a hard time distracting yourself from the news updates to be able to focus and attend to your daily business agenda. Not to mention with the drop in usual sales and consequently revenues, you might find it extremely difficult to pay your employees’ salaries and may have to resort to pay cuts or even worse, have to take the difficult decision of laying people off.
Delay In New Product Launches
It is important to note that this will depend on the type of business you are running. If you are in the consumer goods business, unfortunately, you will be forced to delay the new product launch you have been preparing for over the past year. Although some businesses are choosing to go on with their scheduled launches, they are facing some serious backlash from the public claiming that this is not a suitable time for any kind of celebrations. You should be prepared to lose considerable amounts of money that were spent on ad campaigns and other marketing activities. Not to mention the time and effort you and your team have invested to perfect this new launch will have gone in vain. It is yet another kind of loss that thousands of small business owners around the world have to incur.
Customer Service Challenges
Even if you are still operating, with your customer service agents either working from home or operating -understandably-absentmindedly, you will have many customer service challenges. You will be unable to upkeep your promise of prompt responsiveness and you have to accept that you will lose a number of customers along the way. Although this is a global pandemic, unfortunately not all customers will be understanding and will irrationally demand the usual level of service.
According to healthcare professionals everywhere, the end of this pandemic is undetermined. With the public reluctant to follow the rules and refrain from leaving their houses except for serious needs, we can be looking at months on end living in social isolation. As a business owner, you should be planning for the turbulence that is yet to come after this outbreak, while trying to keep afloat until the storm passes.