Some businesses are struggling to cope with the challenges arising from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of digital technology in your business during these times.
Working at home
Many people are now working from home. If this is not something you’re used to, do you or your employees have access to the right hardware, including laptops and smart phones? If not, can you purchase some? If you do, what about the right software , with applications like Google or Microsoft 365?
If working at home, do you or your staff have enough broadband connectivity, especially when children will no longer be allowed to attend school and have to remain at home, hogging the broadband? It may be worth upgrading your package to accommodate for this increased usage.
Cybersecurity is also something to be mindful of — keeping your information secure whilst working at home. The National Cyber Security Centre has a useful guide for protecting small businesses.
Keep sharing and stimulating ideas
People are by nature social and may find social-distancing tricky. Keep talking to family, friends and colleagues by whatever means you can as this is important for mental wellbeing. It’s also good for business as engaging in conversations can lead to ideas, innovation and solutions that could benefit your business in the long run. Utilise technology and apps like WhatsApp to stay in touch or set up video meetings with your team via Zoom. Both are free to use.
Tools such as Slack or Trello can also be used to communicate, coordinate and collaborate on projects, so they can still move forward. Make sure everyone in your business is clear on how to get in touch with each other and you agree a few protocols, such as all attendees should wear appropriate clothing for video meetings.
Getting your products and services out there
Could you adapt your business so that it could work online? If you deliver personal training or fitness classes, can you record these and share over social media? If you have a retail shop that has to close, are you able to sell your product digitally? The FSB are a great source of info relating to this and many other topics for small businesses.