As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolation, household isolation, social distancing, and asked that schools only remain open for those children who absolutely need to attend. Small businesses are the lifeblood of a community, they add to the diversity and the flavor of the neighborhood. Some businesses can’t survive a week without being open, let alone a month or longer, as some estimates are saying.

These rigid cancellations and social distancing precautions are, of course, for everyone’s personal safety—to help curb the rate of COVID-19 cases—but they’re undeniably taking a toll on local economies across the country. 

The right thing to do is listen to local and national health officials’ recommendations and continue practicing responsible social distancing, hand-washing, and avoiding touching your face and physical contact with anyone who’s sick.

Can business continue even during this time of uncertainty?

The answer, for most businesses is “yes.” Will your business continue in the same way? Most likely not.  However, there are several ways to work with this new set of practices including social distancing without losing more business.

Here are strategies that do make a difference:

Since social distancing is highly recommended, make sure to encourage your staff to work from home as much as possible. Then sanitize the office and offer flexible working hours. If most of your employees already have desk jobs or work from the computer, ask them to prioritize that work at home rather than in office where there is a higher likelihood of getting other people sick. Conduct meetings over Zoom. If you have to work in office, try to set things up in such a way that people are a minimum of six to eight feet apart. Try to eliminate the possibility of transmission as much as possible.

Given the technological infrastructure that most companies utilize, try to keep up your communication with employees and managers. The way to do this is through online chat platforms, project management dashboards and anything based on the cloud. If emails and chat rooms are just not cutting it, set up a zoom meeting before attempting anything in person.

Especially with the uncertainty that many people are feeling now regarding their jobs, anxiety, and distancing, make it a priority to check in on your team members. What can you and the team do during this time to make everything more positive and pleasant? How can you help your employees feel safe and secure in their jobs? Be sure to communicate any thoughts you have on the subject

Many people are afraid to leave their homes, meet with friends, or visit local businesses to do their usual shopping. Make this a little easier for them by offering virtual assistance, phone orders, and curbside pick-up. If customers have questions or are hesitant to come to your business, be sure to remind them that you would be more than happy to chat with them over the phone or Skype. Did you help them find something they wanted? Offer to mail it, deliver it, or have it readily available for them to drive up to your storefront to pick up the product. It can make all the difference!

What are some ways your business has been adjusting to working with the constrictions of the coronavirus?

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