As we promised last week, this is the first blog in a series we will publish over the next several weeks with real-world advice and tools small businesses can use to survive the COVID 19 pandemic. Like what you read? Never miss a post! Bookmark our blog and come back weekly, as we post new content every Thursday.
No matter what size your business, these are challenging times for us all. When we rang in the new year, I don’t think anyone could have predicted we’d be dealing with a pandemic and its unprecedented fallout. Because the situation is still developing, businesses must be ready for anything and able to adapt quickly. But this is easier said than done.
If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. In a recent article on the HPE Community site, our resident network and infrastructure consultant, Brent Quick, shared a few quick tips to keep a small business running during a crisis.
Tip #1 to Keep a Small Business Running during Crisis: Ask Your Vendors for Help
As the sayings go, no man is an island, and it takes a village. Never is that truer than when we’re facing an unprecedented, quickly shifting situation. In today’s challenging environment, your vendors are one of your best resources.
Here’s a hint for getting to the front of the line. Figure out who in your business has a personal connection with someone at each of your key vendor companies. Having these individuals reach out to their contacts personally is usually much faster and more effective than making a cold call, especially now when your vendors may be overwhelmed with requests.
Tip #2 to Keep a Small Business Running during a Crisis: Get a Business Continuity Plan If You Don’t Already Have One
Since there are so many potential scenarios to consider when writing a BCP, it can seem daunting at first. But a quick Google search will turn up templates that can help. Although they are a bit generic, that they give you a solid starting place and help you get a handle on the types of things you must consider when putting together your own.
Tip #3 to Keep a Small Business Running During a Crisis: Identify Your Critical Business Processes and Start with Those
Businesses have a lot of moving parts. It’s impossible to adapt them all at once. So, you need to decide which workflows you must have in place for your business to survive the next 90 days. For most of you, this will probably include things like shipping products and sending and receiving invoices. Review the steps in each of your workflows. Think about which parts of the process must change now that you’re in lockdown, or your usual resources are no longer available. Your local COVID guidelines will play an enormous part in determining options are available to you. Make sure you understand these and how they affect your business before getting too deep into the planning process.