Operating Your Business Post COVID-19: Tips and Guidelines

Written by Amit Nahar

Every businessman was planning their new growth goals for the year 2020 and the whole game of business transformed by the impact of a new virus. The blow of Corona virus (COVID-19) is pervasive worldwide and all businesses are affected by it. Leaders are facing a wide range of issues like ensuring the safety of their employees and customers, prop up cash and liquidity, supporting complex government support programs and reorienting operations. As COVID-19 poses further economic threat and uncertainty, managing risk, maximizing profit and ensuring the stability of your business demands a deep analysis of dynamics of changing market conditions and government policy. Timely and deep analysis of economic and political scenario for the pandemic and the potential ways of recovery for individual economies is increasingly crucial to business planning and commercial decisions.

While there was always pressure on the development team to generate new franchisees and unit openings, that pressure could very well increase, now that franchisors have suffered a drop in revenues from loss of royalties to fewer or delayed new openings.

The risk here is that this pressure could lead to exacerbating the same mistakes that have plagued many franchisors for years: choosing the wrong franchisees, sites, and territories to achieve short-term objectives. Don’t let that happen. Take the time to assess your business and build a plan for long-term success.

RISE OF TECHNOLOGY

Talent and technology are blending in innovative ways to enhance customer experience, operational efficiency and competitive advantage. Digitalisation has become a necessity which we have to use to gain positive outcomes. Whether it’s channelling data, streamlining processes or shaping entirely new ways of business, thesis about unifying every part of the enterprise in a common purpose. The use of technology to increase efficiency is used by small and medium-sized companies as well.

AUTOMATION

COVID-19 has already urged companies to accept their future far quicker than they would have naturally – from agile working and digitalization, to automation and investment in renewables. If you know where you are going, actions to respond to the crisis today can set you up for the years ahead.

Understanding ‘what’s next’ for your business means knowing what’s next for the world; what may have been right for your business before-COVID may not be right in the ‘new reality’ that we will soon face. Anticipating a post COVID-19 world requires prediction of two key questions: when will it happen; and what will it look like? 

It seems India is slowly moving towards a gradual removal of the lockdown for some sectors of the economy. The biggest challenge businesses will face will be restarting their operations. Even while a larger part of the empowering system continues to be in lockdown. Parts like public transportation, etc., is likely to continue to be in lockdown and within the constraints of what we are allowed to do, we’re going to have to ensure that we get our businesses back on track.

OPERATION OF OFFICES AND MANUFACTURING UNITS

There are two aspects to the lockdown, one is operations for offices and the other is operations for manufacturing units. The government will have a major part regarding these two issues. They are going to allow the relaxation of the lockdown in a phased manner. We are going to have to really go through a series of steps to ensure that we are complying with those government guidelines, but at the same time, ensuring that our people are safe, and are able to be active as well, because at the end of the day, we have to run a business.

Overcome Uncertainty: What to do now and next

As governments make significant interventions in response to the coronavirus, businesses are rapidly adjusting to the changing needs of their people, their customers and suppliers, while navigating the financial and operational challenges. With every industry, function and geography affected, the amount of potential change to think through can be disheartening. We are here to help.

  • Charting out the list of only the necessary employees

 A detailed planning activity, where we need to identify which employees really need to come to work, even after the lockdown is lifted. Others can continue to work from home. That clarity is important.

  • Regular testing and Transportation of employees

Companies should ensure transportation for their workers. At the offices there should be a series of checkpoints where testing can be done. There should be holding areas for colleagues to ensure that a red flag can be raised if someone’s feeling unwell.

  • NO CROWDING!!

We have to ensure there is no crowding in our office spaces, ensure that only 25 or 50% of the workspace is actually occupied.

  • Sanitization and Doctors

The workplace should be sanitized regularly and should always have a doctor to assist with any medical inconvenience.

These have to be strategized efforts to ensure that while we open up our offices, we take every step conceivable to minimize the impact on employees and ensure their wellbeing and safety.

There will be other elements that are easier for a smaller company, but pose significant challenges for a large company. This can include transportation. larger organization will face a lot more difficulty to take control of the commute or put people in guest houses or other accommodation than smaller companies. This will put significant financial strain on a lot of organizations. So, there will be a drop in the pace of operations. The focus has to be on enabling work from home, wherever possible, so that it’s just a proportion of the employees that are impacted. Even when we open up, not everyone will be allowed into office at the same time. You have to create schedules where teams come in at certain times during the day complete their work, and leave.

We all know that the condition is grave but there is always a silver lining. The fact that more people are working from home is making it easier for some organizations to reach their clients, current and potential. People have learned to engage more effectively over video calls than they did earlier which opens an opportunity to utilize untapped markets – countries that until now have been either too far, too small or difficult to penetrate. We know that we will overcome this grave situation with our smart strategies. Hope you all stay safe and healthy.

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