by Viktorija Nikoloska
“How to manage a business during the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?” is probably the most frequently asked question that company owners ask themselves these last few months. Coronavirus is the most recent disease that spread throughout the world in a fast and unpredictable way. And now, we are all aware that this situation will last for a longer period of time, or at least until scientists discover a cure. To slow down the spread of COVID-19, we need to stay home and isolate ourselves from other people. Therefore, we need to adjust to the idea of working online. Similarly, every company owner is encouraged to learn how to manage a business online, as long as this is possible.
Many businesses are unable to ask their employees to finish their daily tasks from home, especially if they work in factories, transport, health workers, supermarkets, pharmacies, etc. However, those business managers who can let their workers work from home will not only take care of the health of their employees but will also keep their business running during the outbreak. Working remotely may be very challenging, both for the employees and for the business owners. Therefore, we decided to answer the five most frequent questions that company owners ask themselves in the period of Coronavirus. Read the answers to those questions if you want to discover how to manage a business during the Coronavirus outbreak.
- Stay Informed about the Coronavirus Outbreak
To successfully manage a business during the Coronavirus outbreak, company owners must stay informed about the current situation at all times. And not just the situation in their country of residence, but also on a global level. The best way to do so is through using tools that provide real-time updates about the COVID-19 outbreak. One of the most popular Coronavirus dashboards that provide accurate and real-time information about the outbreak is John Hopkin’s Coronavirus Resource Centre map. This dashboard informs about the total confirmed, recovered and deceased cases globally and separately for each country in the world.
In addition to Coronavirus dashboards such as the one previously mentioned, business managers can use various other tools to prevent and treat COVID-19. One of those tools is the COVID-19 Dialog that delivers information from trustworthy Canadian medical sources. This tool includes a chatbot system named Chloé which collects personalized information from each user and determines the user’s individual situation. Every employee and business manager can utilize this free-to-use tool in order to get more information about their personal health conditions.
- Get Financial Support
Company owners who encountered a problem to manage a business during the Coronavirus period can get financial support in various forms and from different organizations. In Canada, for instance, small businesses can receive a 10 percent wage subsidy for the following three months from the Government. According to Toronto’s City News, the Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the Canadian federal government will provide $27 billion to companies who face a financial crisis due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Government in Canada may also help companies to manage a business by offering work-sharing programs, loans, income support, deferral of payments for income tax, or by purchasing order financing.
In addition to the help coming from the government in Canada, active funders also offer aid to startups in the form of venture capital. Moreover, Facebook offers $100 million as part of its grants program for small businesses in over 30 countries. And finally, the six biggest banks in Canada have decided to provide their customers with solutions that will help them overcome the Coronavirus period. It is up to the company to decide which financial support they would get in order to surpass this hard economical period and stock market crisis.
- Use Free Tech Tools
During the outbreak of COVID-19, companies must first understand the virus effects in order to better manage a business remotely. That way, business managers and owners will be able to revise their strategies and discover new opportunities for their companies. Moreover, when managing a business remotely, owners need to adapt to working online and hold all of their meetings and conferences from their homes. Luckily, during the Coronavirus outbreak, many companies have made their online tech tools free to use for online presentations and webinars, as well as for digital conferences and networking events. Some of those tools are the following: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Go2Meeting, AirMeet, Hey Summit, Hopin, etc. In addition to these free tech tools that can be used for managing a business remotely, company owners may also need to use tools for managing their accounting processes online.
- Continue Managing the HR and Recruitment Processes Remotely
When managing a business online, company owners need to maintain regular Human Resources (HR) and recruitment processes and continue performing them remotely. Primarily, they need to continue searching for permanent or temporary candidates and make sure that the new employees they hire will get a positive onboard and recruitment experience. Furthermore, HR and recruitment specialists are recommended to use new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to increase their efficiency during the Coronavirus outbreak. One of those tech solutions is Hire Vue, which enables AI-driven predictions for better hiring opportunities.
In addition to the AI technology for HR and recruitment procedures, business managers may also create a new HR policy that will be valid only for the period of the COVID-19 outbreak. This policy is supposed to contain information about the actual Coronavirus situation and the prevention measures that the company implements. Moreover, every company owner who wants to manage a business during the COVID-19 outbreak must also develop a policy for employee’s illnesses, leaves of absence, medical clearances, travel plans, etc. To learn how to create such an HR policy, follow the latest updates in your country of residence.
- Strengthen the Company’s Culture
The final step that owners need to implement in order to manage a business successfully during the Coronavirus outbreak is to strengthen their company’s culture. This can be easily done by using various free tech tools that enable video conferencing. For instance, companies can organize video calls for each of their teams in order to enable their employees to work together even they are at remote locations. Then, they can also arrange video calls during lunch or coffee breaks so that the team can spend the break together. Furthermore, business managers may also coordinate virtual lessons for their employees on different topics, depending on their mutual interests. And finally, company owners may also help their employees engage in activities outside of work. For instance, employees may use applications for virtual movie night weekly, or online exercise apps that will motivate them to work out together from their homes.