In these uncertain times, one thing is for sure – coronavirus has completely changed the world as we know it.
Whatever your business is, there is no doubt that the way it operates will have been affected in some way over the last few weeks.
Many businesses have been left wondering how they are going to survive over the course of the months ahead, but there is hope.
There are many resources out there to help support businesses through the challenges that the unprecedented scale of the COVID-19 crisis has presented.
Both the UK and US governments have announced huge financial support packages to help businesses of all sizes.
This includes support comprising of grants, loans, and opportunities to defer some payments in order for their business to stay afloat and be able to continue operating once the effects of the pandemic have died down and lockdown starts to ease.
The UK government’s website contains plenty of useful information about what financial support is available to UK businesses that have been affected by the crisis.
From the job retention scheme and furloughing employees, small business grants and loans, as well as help with paying employee’s sick pay and relief from business rates, the GOV.UK website is a great place to start if you are a UK business looking to find out what financial support you are eligible for.
However, the UK government website can be confusing at times and it’s not always easy to work out what your business can claim, so resources like the government support eligibility checklist from bethebusiness.com are a great place to start for a simple breakdown of what support is available before you delve into the finer details of applying for relevant financial aid.
They also have plenty of other how-to guides on their website, offering impartial and thorough guidance on many other issues businesses are now facing.
For businesses based in the US, there is a helpful list of articles on the US Chamber of Commerce website, including downloadable, PDF guides about Employee Retention Tax Credit and Small Business Emergency Loans, as well as many more business topics.
The CARES Act saw an economic support package of over $2 trillion announced, with more information about how the act hopes to preserve jobs and help small US businesses available on the Treasury website.
Wherever in the world your business operates, whatever size it may be and whatever financial support is available, one of the most universal challenges to any business in 2020 has been adapting to new ways of working safely in a world that has completely changed, and when only key workers should be travelling to and from work.
Many office-based businesses have been lucky enough to have the option of adapting to working from home, but this still can present its own struggles.
ACAS have some general help and advice on their website about keeping employees safe and working from home if possible, as well as the CDC’s lengthy advice on how different businesses can operate safely.
There are plenty more resources that cover lots of different aspects and offer solutions to some of the challenges that those working from home can face, and how their employers can help them to overcome these.
Many people trying to work from home during understandably stressful times have found that their productivity has significantly decreased.
Linkedin has put together a great list of their online professional development courses that can help both employers and employees learn how to make the most of their time while working from home and maximize their potential.
These cover topics from learning to use video conferencing tools like Zoom, WebEx and Skype, to managing stress and building resilience while the crisis continues.
Alongside this, Forbes has an excellent article discussing its nine tips to stay productive when working from home during the pandemic, with ideas of how to set boundaries and keep your morale up as a home worker.
If you are an employer with workers now working from home or running a smaller business from home yourself, links like these can be useful to learn how to adapt to your new way of working.
Many companies may be wondering how they can tailor their marketing for future success, and Google has plenty of helpful content and resources to help companies stay ahead with their marketing strategy in a rapidly changing world.
These cover everything from online crisis marketing, using apps and online selling to keep up to date with at-home consumer demand, as well as how different types of businesses from retailers to restaurants can adapt their marketing.
Econsultancy’s website has a very interesting article about the results of a survey they conducted with marketing professionals about how they had been impacted by the pandemic.
The article breaks down exactly how marketing campaigns have been affected, as well as discussing the ways marketers are adapting with innovation in the face of rapidly dwindling marketing budgets.
There is hope
Although things may seem immensely difficult as a business owner at the moment, there is light at the end of the tunnel. New measures are being announced constantly to help protect businesses and preserve the economy for the future and businesses all over the world are finding innovative ways to stay afloat.
Business owners must stay informed and stay ahead with current affairs in order to survive, but most importantly, they must stay focused on the fact that survival is possible.