Surviving through an epidemic � Tips for local businesses

No business, small or big, is spared when there is an epidemic, where the situation is completely out of our hands. The most affected businesses are the ones that are locally established, for they are also the ones to be shut down first. The recent Covid-19 attack is a classic example of the impact of such epidemics on small-time business owners.

While the situation in itself is not under our control, taking a few preventative measures could help us to survive through an unexpected epidemic with ease.

Here we bring you a few pointers to better prepare for such situations in the future.

Tips for businesses to handle epidemics

Everything becomes a question for the citizens when an epidemic strikes a particular country or region. It is not just an impact on the health, but epidemics tend to leave a mark on every aspect of our lives, more so for small business owners.

Let us see what we can do differently to keep ourselves in the business during and, most importantly, after the epidemic.

  • Make use of social media. While you may not be able to travel or meet up with your customers as before, social media can help you stay connected. It is in this situation more than ever that you feel the importance of social networking online. Respond to the customer feedback and questions and remember to build online relationships.
  • Changing strategies can help you to stay afloat in the midst of a pandemic. It could be as simple as launching an app or expanding your business into a different market segment. You can also relook at your business model if that would help your profitability.
  • Stick to your values: When an epidemic strikes, it is a time of anxiety and depression for everyone around. It is also the time when your consumers are on extremely high alert and precautious. You have to, therefore, maintain and stick to your core business values. You have to remain honest and maintain integrity, no matter what with your customers.
  • You have to remember to stay engaged with the customers whether they are buying right now or not. It is important to keep your brand alive in all situations. You have to show your customers that you care about their safety through actions.
  • While customers are important, your employees are equally pivotal. You have to ensure that they are safe from the epidemic and also from financial struggles. To do that,
    • Establish clean instructions on the path to follow in case of such epidemic emergencies.
    • Assess the impact on business for such situations beforehand and keep contingency plans in place.
    • You have to relook at your spending and expenses, which can be further optimized without impacting the business and compromising on employee benefits.
    • Have a plan to cushion the impact on your finances.
    • Also, plan on how to step up as the epidemic and its fear lifts.

The local shops and small businesses are probably the ones to drown first in such catastrophic circumstances. And we know it more now, thanks to the recent outbreak of Covid 19. There is no definitive time period on the lockdowns or the time for which the business will have to fight the freeze. It is time to regroup, analyze, look back, and learn from our past.

We have to be better prepared for the possibility of this magnitude or less in the future as well. It is only through a well thought out approach, small businesses will be able to survive such extended lockdowns and get back on their foot as the country unwinds.