THE BUSINESS IMPLICATIONS OF A PANDEMIC

As we’ve all learned lately, pandemics can change every aspect of global society – and your business may be finding it difficult to adapt.  We’ll explore the business implications of a pandemic, and how to best operate within them to keep your own company going strong.

Assets

Pandemics lead to some massive shifts in the market. The value of your assets can change dramatically – sometimes for the worse, but also sometimes for the better. Even intangible assets can grow in value if they help people stay at home, or aid in relevant scientific research.

The important thing is to keep track of yours and not panic. You may not have much cash in hand, but selling your assets when the market is at its lowest is never a good idea. Hold on to yours for as long as possible to sell them (if you choose to sell) for the highest price.

Crisis Management

There’s a popular old proverb that says “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now.” That’s true for crisis planning, too. Hopefully, you already had a plan in place, but even if you didn’t, making one now is crucial.

You already know that one of the biggest mistakes startups make is not having a thorough plan. So make as many contingency plans as possible for any part of the pandemic that might affect your business. Nobody will have all the facts about what’s going on globally during a pandemic, so work with what you’ve got and do what you can.

Supply Chains

When creating your contingency plans, take supply chains into account. It’s harder to get goods from areas that have been hit particularly hard by the disease. And with the way different governments handle safety regulations, the epicenter of the pandemic can change from place to place.

If you have a goods-based business, it’s time to make a plan to purchase from alternate suppliers if your normal one is forced to shut down. You can also consider what would be a good substitution for goods you usually use, especially if you produce and/or sell food.

The Workplace

COVID-19 changed the way we look at the office for good. In the digital age, it’s been proven that in-person workplaces are not strictly necessary. This can be advantageous for your company as shifting to an all-remote model gives your employees more freedom and time, and saves you money on rent.

But you can plan a triumphant return to the workplace if you value having a strong company culture. Just keep part of your budget reserved for personal protective equipment (PPE), and consider a hybrid model for employees who have come to rely on the flexibility of working from home.

Brand And Communications

As Winston Churchill famously said, “never waste a good crisis.” If you can find a way to help people in a time of need, through discounts or donations, that’s the best possible publicity for your brand. And almost any company can get in on the good PR in the midst of a pandemic that affects everybody.

But that is contingent on good communication. Be clear about what you’re doing and why both to your customers and your employees. A pandemic is a time of great uncertainty, and the last thing anybody needs is a lack of clarity from you.

Taxes, Regulations, And Stimulus Money

Many individuals and businesses feel the effects of a pandemic. In situations like these, it is common for the government to offer some form of financial help to the public. As a small business, you can also seek government assistance through resources, tax credits, or loans. 

Keep in mind that the process can be densely bureaucratic, and it might be worthwhile to get a contractor or consultant who knows how to get through the red tape to get you the help you need.

Going Digital

By this point in the digital age, you already should be on the internet. But the pandemic has made it so that if you don’t have a clear internet presence, you’re toast. Even if you operate a local brick-and-mortar store, if your clientele can’t come in to shop with you in person, you might not have any other way of generating income.

Even if you genuinely can’t sell your goods online, a pandemic means you have to have some kind of online storefront. At the very least, it can tell new customers who you are, and how to reach you for your services.

Hopefully, none of us will experience another pandemic. But as we figure out the end of this one, or if you find yourself in another crisis, you at least know what that can mean for your business and what to do about it.

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