The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely caught many people unaware and brought the world to its knees. As the virus continues to spread, everyone is now on the edge and many industries are forced to shut down, especially small businesses.

If you are a small business owner, you may be wondering what the future holds as the crisis is still ongoing.

To keep your spirits up, here are 10 tips you can abide by to help you during this COVID-19 crisis.

1. “This will pass”

Like other pandemics and natural disasters, COVID-19 will definitely pass. It may not be today or tomorrow, but the day will come that a cure for it will be discovered. Man has always stood strong in any challenge and in this current climate, we are slowly adapting to the new normal and patiently wait for the solution to be discovered.

2. Stick to your company vision and values

Your business will definitely take a hit, especially the people who work for you. To give them your support and offer encouragement, stick to what your company believes in and be there for each other.

Read More: Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19

3. Duplicate in-office experiences through online means

Even if regular services are on halt depending on the industry you are in, you should still make it a point to help your employees continue working and feel as if they are in the office even while online.

Check online apps like Zoom and Google Meet so you can do your regular meetings. For an extra twist for interactions, you can use productivity apps like Slack so they can relax after working.

4. Stay positive and hopeful

As noted in number one, this crisis will be over before we know it and until then, it is important that we stay positive that it will happen soon and everything can be back to a somewhat normal pace.

You should also stay hopeful that there will still be a future for your business after this and use the time to find ways to improve.

5. Open doors for communication

Since most of your workers may be working from home, it is important that you open doors for communication.

You should always be with your team even online and do it daily. Even if its not work related, ask them if they are ok and need support. Never look down on the power of open communication, it can boost an employee feeling down.

Importantly, you should consider transparency in your communication to your employees. If your business is going through a rough patch, it actually helps to be open about it and talk through with your staff while presenting them the confidence that you are working on it.

6. Provide support for one another

No matter how big or small your business is, you definitely built a second family in it. Make it a point to support each other during this trying time, especially those who are hit the hardest.

It doesn’t have to be with monetary support. Your workers will definitely appreciate it if they know you are there for them to lean on.

My friend’s company started a buddy system where a coworker will be assign to another coworker in a different department. The purpose is to have the buddy check in with each other once a day for 10 minutes via a phone call, not talking about work but just usual chatter about how each other is coping. 50% of his company is still remote working so this buddy check-in idea is brilliant in making sure that everyone isn’t feeling left out or lonely.

I think this is a fantastic idea!

7. Always sanitise and disinfect office spaces

If your business can work on a small capacity, make it a point to disinfect and sanitise your workspace regularly.

This will provide some comfort to your workers who are still reluctant to go back to work with the virus still spreading. If anyone on your team still feel uncomfortable going to work, have a contingency plan where he or she can opt to work from home at the moment.

Read More: The Fear of Returning to Work is Real

8. Be quick to respond to anything

Whatever the issue may be, whether your workers are asking for assistance or just want to talk, you should be quick to respond to these inquiries.

If you respond late, they may become uncertain if they are still needed in the company and feel more stressed than before. Give them time off as well because it can get stressful working in a different environment.

9. Stay calm and thankful

Working in these uncertain conditions can be very stressful, especially for those working remotely from home. Stay calm and show to your workers that even though it is an uncertain period, you are thankful that everyone is still there and you are with each other.

10. Take things one step at a time

Finally, it is not sure when we can safely say it’s ok to go back to work. Even if you could go back to your workplace, rushing things can be dangerous. Take things slowly and see how you can improve your workplace and stay safe at the same time. As we all wait for the cure to be made, small businesses must stay strong if they want to get back on their feet. Let these tips guide you and always remember, together we can do this!

For more pandemic related articles to help you and your businesses, here are some:
Being an Entrepreneur during COVID-19
What should we do to minimize COVID-19’s economic impact?
Covid-19: Employees asked to Take Unpaid Leave by Companies
Covid-19: Malaysia Movement Control Order Announcement – Biggest Impact will be Workers

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46 replies on “10 Tips for Small Businesses during This COVID-19 Crisis

  1. Providing support for each other in the workspace is a key aspect to cope in these trying times. ‘Cause you might not know who has been affected personally or if it’s their relatives. So some kindness and genuine fellowship towards each other might go a long way to bring happiness to someone who needs it. 💚

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you very much for the lovely message of hope for the troubled and suffering people during this pandemic .Your post will certainly support and enable all such helpless people to persevere in their endeavours and find ways and means to stay on in the fight against this monster virus.Take care.🌹👍🙏

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I can see in my minds eye, this list being stuck on the staff fridge. I too like the idea of the buddy system. It’s a great idea, and it does work. I have done this with a couple of colleagues and friends during the last five months. They were really struggling at first, but now they are out the other side.

    Where I am, as we have worked our way out of a locked down situation (and hopefully) it stays this way, many businesses, whether large or small have had to, by law, have a safety plan in place. Others are encouraged to put one in place regardless of their industry. Even the various sporting codes have had to do the same. Essentially, the safety plan sets out in broad terms the number of people the facility can hold (it has progressed from 1 person per 4m2 to 1 person per 2m2, confirmation that social distancing is in place of 1.5m, state how often cleaning and sanitisation will be carried out, that the organisation understands the COVID-19 requirements and outline how staff are trained in the application of the plan. The plan is updated as we progress through each phase of leaving the contained environment. The plan’s safety certificate must be publicly displayed and outline what’s in place e.g. number of people that the facility, customer service area can hold, confirmation of commitment to social distancing and so on. Should we need to reverse and re-introduce restrictions, the plans will be very easy to update and implement.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you, Sean for the valuable insights. The buddy system is really a great idea. Many times, these buddies ended up as good buddies as well.

      Most of the companies here are doing the Team A-Team B plan. Where each team will take turns to go to work in the office hence allowing a much bigger space for each team to spread out while the other team will work from home.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have had a combination of things here. At least half closed their front doors voluntarily and had all their staff work from home (except those that had to close by government order so pubs, events, tourism facilities and the like). One in five were able to redeploy staff to other roles. Some did the buddy approach, and the more I think about it, the more it makes sense, as you point out.

        With one local government I support, I am on the Local Recovery Coordination Group. So, it’s about recovery for both the organisation and the community. We constantly look at what is happening around us and make informed decisions from there regarding service levels and what level of support the community needs. We did close the doors for several months, but said to the community they could still access services by making an appointment and so controlled exposure that way.

        We really need that hub or tool kit of collective ideas we can all access going forward. We have such a vast array of information out there now including what is here on MiddleMe which is so practical and full of commonsense.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. So how will you get the hub or tool kit of collective ideas going for the Local Recovery Coordination Group?

          As for the buddy system, it is effective on two points:
          – one being that the company an still “sort of” function properly with half of its employees working on site.
          – the other one if you think about it is that the half that works in the office stays off the streets until it is time to go home. And that can be further mitigate by having that team stagger their work shifts.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I apologise for the lengthy response, but it has allowed me to shape my thoughts around your question.

            We have learnt so much in such a short period of time. Which means when faced with a secondary outbreak or another disease in future, we will be able to respond even faster.

            The key pandemic plans have been updated here and key organisations do have resources available on-line and keep them updated. Some of them also send out regular email updates that have links to the latest resources, reports, analysis and so on.

            Perhaps it’s more a case of the peak bodies repackaging what there is in a way that is more user friendly and others following suit.

            I was fortunate to access a ministerial briefing yesterday re the plan for the next six months.

            So, the LRCG does have in place a COVID landing page which links to these resources and so on for community members. It doesn’t summarise official information, but rather links to such information with a view that there must be one source of truth. This has been key to managing our overall response.

            From an organisational perspective an intranet resource wouldn’t necessarily be effective as a resource hub, but Fluix is in place which might be the way to go as members are spread over a wide area and its mobile access capabilities are quite good. Although we use Teams, I find it quite clunky from a collaborative tool perspective. I am more partial to Dropbox etc.

            Yes, I am going to add the buddy system to the working from home policies and procedures as a viable option (should this be needed in future).

            Liked by 2 people

          2. No need for apologises. In fact, I am happy to have this platform for you to sound out your thoughts.

            It does sound like you are heading towards the right direction in gathering information on one local source and making contingency plans which is very important.

            Just a suggestion regarding tools, you may want to find out which tools are the most commonly used and adapt from there. I find that if the tool is already being widely used by most, it is easier to get everyone to accept/adopt the intranet resource. Rather than to introduce a new tool and have it sit like a white elephant if nobody is willing to use it. Food for thought. 😊

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Another terrific post, well thought out, and sending a really positive message to everyone. I love the ‘open communication’ as this is particularly important, especially during this pandemic. And you’re right, if we stay calm and open, we can get through all this – together.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes, we all need to be transparent to one another. No shame to say “I am not feeling well so I am going to get myself tested.” instead of pretending you are doing well and still go into office.


  5. Wonderful advice, Kally! The first (“This Will Pass”) is the central theme that unifies all the others and compliments each, in various ways.

    Caution for today, yet still….hope for tomorrow. That’s what will get us through this. Best to follow your advice now, Kally, which will allow us to look back in satisfaction when we’re beyond this.

    Thanks for that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for elaborating and sharing your thoughts. I totally agree with the caution for today and hope for tomorrow. We also mustn’t rush tomorrow and be patient for things to return to normal.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. thank you for this wonderful post. at my senior age, i still keep learning. and i have nothing but great admiration for you young guys who provide such inspiration. keep writing, my dear.

    Liked by 3 people

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