The global pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone. But it’s been crippling to many businesses. From Main Street businesses to restaurants, bars, and more, businesses of all sizes and structures have been impacted by the pandemic and shutdowns. With social distancing guidelines and restrictions across the United States and the world, Covid-19 has taken its toll on entrepreneurs grasping ways to stay open. For those who own businesses and are wondering about business continuity or are struggling to hang on, here are some challenges you likely recognize as the pandemic continues. If you’re looking for ideas on how others are managing, read on.
Complicated Legal Matters
Many businesses are finding themselves with legal questions they aren’t sure how to answer. From how to handle a customer who refuses to wear a mask to deal with employee PPE and stay at home orders, some small business owners turn to places like match list to get answers to legal questions and options about decision making in the pandemic.
If you’re like most small businesses, it’s unlikely you have an attorney on retainer to answer questions. No one could predict the legal situations business owners would find themselves in, and reaching out to a lawyer is never a bad idea. Attorneys can also answer questions about applying for financial assistance, how to handle spending and distribution of grant monies, and even legal questions around taxes due to the new pandemic environment. If you’re struggling with legal decisions, it may be a good idea to consult a business lawyer for a free consultation. They can even help you pause or legally close your business should it come to that.
All of the changes the pandemic has brought to how you run your business are likely impacting you in ways you may not see. Anxiety, depression, issues with mental wellness, and more are common for business owners struggling on their own with hard financial and legal decisions. For this reason, when considering hiring a lawyer or calling for advice, many business owners are also calling therapists too.
As a business owner, you’re a leader. It’s your job to set the tone and mode for employees and customers alike. You can do this best with a clear head and your own concerns and anxieties under control. Hiring a lawyer who will work in your best interest when it comes to legal decisions could go a long way in helping your overall state of mind.
Another new challenge for businesses in the pandemic has been changed to customer service. Because most business must be conducted online and with programs business owners aren’t often familiar with, both small and large enterprises are looking to software engineers for help with things like disaster recovery software and Microsoft Teams OKR software.
Whether it’s to analyze business losses or to discover best practices for working in the pandemic, many businesses are looking for an overhaul of their entire IT departments and working with an IT infrastructure new to them and staff. New goal setting, templates, and data-driven analytics are becoming ways businesses are working to fight back against the pandemic. But this isn’t always enough.
For others, technology is coming in the form of remote worker communication platforms where managers are being retrained to motivate employees from long distances. If you’re in this position or considering it, find ways to keep your employees engaged and connected. Research says a happier workplace means a better overall product. Encouraging staff to support each other in an online working environment will go a long way for your business in spite of the challenges you face together.
Remote Working Environment
As mentioned, one of the biggest changes that have come with the pandemic is the increase in businesses with employees working in virtual environments. No longer working from shared office spaces, business owners are working hard to make sense of employees’ right priorities online. Whether it’s to keep employees safe, to follow recommended guidelines, or a matter of budgeting, each business has its specific reasons for changing its business model and moving to a remote strategy. They’re also learning new ways to motivate workers remotely. For some, this is working; saving costs on utilities, leases, and more. For others, whose business is based at a primary site like a restaurant or bar, it’s just not possible.
For employees, juggling weekly workflow has been challenging. With employee’s homeschooling and commitment to online learning for their children, business owners are finding themselves in the position of doing what they can to support their workers without sacrificing productivity. This is a balance as distracted workers have more human error naturally. At the same time, daily workflow carries on in a way that’s profitable for businesses on the edge.
If you’re an employee working from home for a business you care about, be sure to find ways to stay connected. Create a dedicated space in your home or assign office hours where your family members know you need the space and quiet to focus.
Customer Relations and Marketing
Many businesses struggle with clarity around their brand since the pandemic. Relaying clear customer messaging and keeping up with marketing has been challenging. For example, for restaurants, moving from a dine-in model to delivery has come with its pros and cons. This has caused entrepreneurs to rethink their business plans and look at the addition of branding and marketing professionals.
The best person to make final decisions about changing the business model, small business analytics, recoverability, and project management is you, the business owner. You know your brand, customers, and employees best. You also know what your finances can stand. After doing your research, homework, and taking an honest look at your resources and finances, do what you can to make your best decision without looking back. While restrictions could be in place for many more months, it’s important to also take care of and pay attention to your own mental wellness.