Searching for practicable, real-time advice to manage your business and workers, to maintain your current customers, to get new customers? Explore 8 real-time business support for this period and what has worked for similar businesses like yours in this post!
The Coronavirus pandemic has led the death of millions and in a bid of containing and reducing the spread of Coronavirus, the Federal government of Nigeria have ordered in a lockdown of businesses in Lagos and Abuja. Although many states too are making efforts towards locking down, banning of interstate travels, prohibition of mass gathering, closure of Federal Universities, the cancelling of major sporting events and many other measures to curb the spread of diseases. Meanwhile, on the other hand, some businesses are trying to develop work-at-home policy for their workers in such a way that it would not affect their their business and work keep all their stakeholders safe and in right working condition to ensure productivity.
Here at Starthub.ng, we do not encourage a total lockdown of business in that sence, but we advice our client companies to work-from-home. We know you would not want to shut down your business because of the lockdown and besides, the clock is not on lockdown neither are the bills on lockdown. The company has got to work and besides would have to continue even after the lockdown. Another fact is that the lockdown won’t last forever, it’s just for awhile to control the spread of the disease. At such a time as this, there are many questions rising about the continuity if businesses, about how long or how short the breaks would last. We have to adapt to this and continue fof good.
We are aware of it and so we’ve coined this piece of not just advice but practicable work ethics that have worked for us and our major client. We trust it would be of great help to you and your business. Read carefully while you discover what other companies like yours are doing to re-structure and get along with work this period without noticeable effect in the productivity of the company.
It is true that to adapt in this period, there is no one-off or one perfect ethic that would suit every business. It is based on the nature of your job and the terms of service with your stakeholders. A typical example for what we mean above is that of a service rendering company like laundry service or a dry cleaning shop and another company that is involve din direct buying and selling like a company that sell electronics or run a pharmacy. You would not want to shut down your business because of the lockdown and besides, it’s worth telling ourselves this- businesses are on lock down, the hand of the clock is not on lockdown neither are the bills on lockdown. the company has got to work and besides would have to continue even after the lockdown. Another fact is that the lockdown won’t last forever, it’s just for awhile to control the spread of the disease. At such a time as this, there are many questions rising about the continuity if businesses, about how long or how short the breaks would last.
1. Draft a work at home policy that suits your business
A Work From Home Policy is an agreement between employer and employee that clearly defines the expectations and responsibilities for employees who work from home. It may also define who is eligible to work from home, the process for requesting work from home privileges, as well as the approval process.
During mandatory Work From Home situations (such as a health or safety crisis like COVID-19), it helps ensure that employees are set up for success and that they can continue to remain healthy and productive.
Implementing your Work From Home Policy will require a change management whether conciously or unconciously. There is a need either as the head of the company to encourage you worker to develop and adapt to new behaviours, or you a worker to develop new sets of behaviours to adapt to the change and to also encourage your fellow worker. At Starthub.ng, we encourage business owners and supervisors to be patient with the staffs under them since it is a seeming new way to work, they need a wile to adapt.
2. Get a business continuity plan-
It is a plan that provides for the recovery of a business from a major loss and a cover to ensure the stakeholders and the companies are in good terms.
This matters because one core of the longetivity of a business is to get, retain customers and make more customers. A business continuity plan outlines procedures and instructions an organization must follow in the face of such disasters; it covers business processes, assets, human resources, business partners and more.
It could include though not limited to some of this:
- The scope of the plan.
- The key business areas affected
- The business continuity plan goals
- Create a plan to maintain operations.
3. Build communication- teleworking
Someone once said, effective leaders know how to communicate effectively with his/her subordinate, knows how to get the most from them, ensure the productivity of the company and ensure the morale of every client. While working at home, we encourage that you communicate well with the clients you designate work to, build healthy communication with your workers, encourage feedbacks from your customer about how well he/she was satisfied with the job. The benefit of effective communication is limitless, Michael LeBoeuf explained in his book-“The Perfect Business” that if there is any skill he would recommend to an entrepreneur is to be an effective communicator and an active learner.
Eric Foss, of Pepsi Bottling Company understood this when he decided to consider the board members contribution. He communicated frequently to his board members, by this he was able to get along with them for the success of the company and was able to benefit from their experience and contribution.
Make room for an open board meeting with your staffs, let them see and understand why they must do what they have to do, that their work is appreciated and get their views. During this work at home, we advice you use social mediums and right communication tools which include, but are not limited to: Video calls, Slack, Telegram, Hipchat, Nextiva and other communication tools.
We also encourage a scheduled weekly meeting with workers and constant conversations with customers.
Transparency in a business from our perspective is all inclusive, form daily reporting of work, to the finances, to the challenges, we encourage that you as the director or head be transparent and also encourage your clients to.
Let the board know precisely the number of clients that you have by the period. In his book “Good to Great”, Jim Collins adviced that directors face the brutal facts. It’s hard to overstate the power of transparency during difficult times. One directors confirmed this when he said: “People will take any hill, walk into the worst situation, if they have faith in your leadership and know what your strategy and objectives are.”
5. Create boundaries-
This work at home period, create clear boundaries and structures your workers must work with. They would give you an opportunity to clearly and concisely lay work ethics, job description and communicate expectations to your workers.
6. Tell your clients you are open for business-
It would be a great succcess to let your customers know officially that you are open for business. This is because most persons have assumed most companies are on lockdown and therefore there is no need of coming around.
7. Introduce the possibilities for your customers to work and manage their roles using digital tools via the internet-
Try find an alternative for your colleagues to work from home or work remotely. . . . One sure way is to use the internet and social media. Introduce this option and help them get all the remote working tools they need.
We also encourage getting affiliate for your business, if the nature of the business allows for the situation and the terms of affiliates.
8. Read good book-
Read books of how businesses survived in similar situations. You wouldn’t get everything and besides very detailedly just in reading one article. I beg to support that readers are leaders. So, take out some spare time to learn from the mistakes companies made at times similar to these and how some other companies survived and made it.
TOUGH TIMES REQUIRE BOLD ACTION! TOUGH TIME NEVER LAST BUT TOUGH PEOPLE DO!
STARTHUB.NG CARES! #STAYSAFE