Coronavirus and Your Business
Coronavirus is top-of-mind at Sunny505, just as it likely is for you. Our team has been inundated with messaging requests from our clients. We’ve been monitoring global news feeds and advisories, speaking with colleagues in other countries, and developing potential scenarios and actions that may be triggered by the continued spread of COVID-19. We have also taken steps to prepare ourselves and our business. All of our employees are set up to work remotely, while providing our usual level of client service.
Through all of this, we have gained some insights and considerations that we would like to share. You may already have preparedness steps underway but if not, here are some thought-starters:
- It’s critical to communicate to employees regularly. They are worried and have lots of questions—Is it safe to be here? Can I work remotely? What are travel restrictions? Is my job in danger? Will I get paid if we have to shut down an event or my office? At this time, over communicate.
- Is your crisis plan up to date—vulnerabilities, policies, spokespersons, talking points, FAQs?
- Increase your communication on social media channels, communication with suppliers and stakeholders. Send out press releases about how you are handling this situation. Sitting in the dark waiting for things to go back to normal will not help you during this crisis.
- Stay positive. Don’t be all consumed by the negativity.
Get Ready for Change
- Now is the time to be the leader you are. People that waited to change in 2008 got hit hard or went out of business. Start thinking now of how you can potentially change your products, services, pricing, delivery, and staffing. DO NOT WAIT. You should be thinking and innovating right now to get ahead of what is to come.
- Cut Back: Business will decline, so what can you cut. It will look different for each business, but unnecessary spending is off the table. Cash is king, so have cash at hand. Re-negotiate any terms you can NOW. Slow down major purchases or postpone. DO NOT CUT BACK ON MARKETING AND SELLING. Keep investing in the things that help you grow.
- Extend Credit: Get credit now while banks are lending. You’ll want credit lines and credit cards. Find the lowest rates now and refinance.
- Market & Selling: Keep marketing. Marketing keeps you in front of your target. If you disappear from sight, you’ll disappear all together. If anything, market more. Know your marketing.
- Key Performance Indicators: You conquer what you measure. Get cash up front from customers and offer terms with an incentive to do so.
Policies and Protocols
- What additional steps are needed to keep employees and products safe? Evaluate and update policies related to office cleaning and sanitization, employee hygiene, sick leave, travel, in-person versus virtual meetings and the like.
- How will you react if an employee or group of employees become infected? Close your office? Keep operating? Immediately switch to remote working (assuming your infrastructure and job structure will allow)?
- If you should close, how and when will you re-open? Who will be notified, when and how? And what are your procedures to ensure a safe workplace upon re-opening?
- Monitor news feeds specific to your company and sphere of influence with other organizations. Yes, you want general awareness but should have alerts triggered based on key words including your company, customers, suppliers, key associations, and industry.
- Personal Plan: How will you continue to be an effective leader and manager if you become infected?
- Business Interruption: For example, Wuhan is not just the epicenter for COVID-19, it is also the auto parts manufacturing hub in China, impacting car manufacturers globally. We realized early on that there would be far-reaching economic impact. What is your plan for that?
Contact us if you have questions about our agency’s coronavirus response plan and let us know if we can help in any way as your company deals with this challenge.