Tips On Staying Afloat During The COVID-19 Lockdown
By Nandini Sharma | July 1, 2020
In this economy, matters have gotten from sensitive to scary. The Coronavirus pandemic has caused our work lives to completely shut down. Remote work has been mandated and your team has gotten limited to the confines of their home. But that doesn’t mean that all control is lost.
The only word that can describe the current economic climate is overwhelming. However, keeping your company afloat amid this crisis is priority number one. As a leader, there are abundant steps that you can take to identify the kinks in the chain and effectively help your company get through this.
In our line of work, there are often ups and downs but this is different. Protecting your business is of the utmost importance. Moving on unscathed this time may not be easy but it is also not impossible. And hence, I hope my advice helps you get your business out of this period unscathed.
Keep Tabs On Cash Flow & Resources
The thing is that during this sensitive period, managers need to seek the best options to keep their businesses afloat. It’s no doubt that with remote work in play you will get to cut on various operating costs, however, prioritizing expenses and rationalizing resources is the calling of the times. Here’s what can be done:
If your free cash flow seems to be narrowing, you need to take a deeper look at everything your company is spending on.
One way to take proper care of the money related part of handling the business is to maintain a worksheet that extensively presents everything you are investing in.
Registering what you are putting out will help you manage your remote freelancers through these tough times.
Setting a record about the expenses is important so things can run smoothly.
Prioritizing assets is of the highest importance at this point.
Also, keep in touch with your clients so that you can take care of the influx of cash.
Prioritizing And Allocating Expenses
As mentioned above, prioritizing resources is a major step in keeping the business afloat. Keeping track of expenses and saving big bucks becomes easier when you prioritize the things that need your money and attention. The factors you need to focus on are as follows:
You need to have a clear presentation of resources that are a definite must-have.
Invest in multi-purpose tools to effectively cut costs. This will help you consider the best options while you run your business remotely.
Set priorities using the principle of “urgent and important”, “important, but not urgent”, “neither urgent nor important”, and “urgent, but not important”.
The key to prioritizing is scheduling. Scheduling will help you decide what’s urgent, important and needed.
It will also do your company good if you prioritize the revenue-generating expenses above those projects that do not generate revenue.
It is also my suggestion that you prioritize the projects that are relevant to the times and what works in the current climate.
Be In Constant Contact With Your Group
Now when I say keeping the communication alive, I mean the guidance that you need to save and to stay afloat in the market comes from a collaborative effort. Therefore, even when you go remote, you will always be needing the input of collaborators in your business. This will give you an array of diversified opinions to choose from. Here is everything you can do to be in contact with your group:
Debriefing freelancers about the troubles your company is going through will bring out unnoticed issues, loopholes, and solutions.
Having multiple sets of eyes on one problem is better than having just one pair so include your group in all discussions and brainstorming sessions.
It would be great for your group if you make the wise investment of providing them with a shared space where everyone is free to present their ideas.
Investing in a tool that helps you with task allocation, project management, collaboration, and discussions, will help your group keep track of everything and be updated about all ongoing processes.
Use Your Biggest Strengths Wisely
With this pandemic messing with the economy and the natural way in which we conduct business, it is better to be attentive and prepared for what might happen. By this, I mean that this is the time to bring in the big guns and start composing your group for tougher times. Now, I think that the steps you take now are the ones that will provide security to the future of your company. Here’s how applying the biggest strengths of your collaborators can help you a lot in the current climate:
Conduct meetings and little projects to identify your group’s strengths and valuable skills.
For this, you need to pick which kinds of tasks are most suited for which members.
Not only will this increase inclusion and loyalty but also increase the efficiency and decrease the project timeframe.
With focussing on the strengths of your group members with a little nurturing and guidance, you can make your goals more achievable.
This is a solution to getting a more confident, more accountable, and more loyal workforce.
Use Feedback Sessions To Improve And Improvise
Now that you have pointed out your group’s strengths, and are using them to your advantage, all you need to do is keep them on track. Debrief them about the changes, let them know what you expect of them, etc. would be a starting point to managing your remote contractors in the right way if you want to keep the company afloat at a time like this. Here are all the reasons that make the feedback process of the utmost importance:
Stating goals and helping your group achieve them can be easily done with scheduled sessions for feedback.
This is also helpful in a way that you can keep all the contractors that you hired on the same page all the while keeping tabs on their progress.
It definitely helps in nurturing your collaborators and making them more accountable for their tasks at hand.
Documented feedback and visualized goals can go a long way when you are managing a remote group that is in crisis.
Lastly, feedback sessions are a must if you want your group to know about the goals your company is working towards and also the role that is expected of them to play.
Relevancy Of Your Services In The Future
Thinking of the future is of the utmost importance right now. Sorting out plans, scheduling meetings, discussing contingency plans, if you haven’t started with following the cautionary steps, start now. Well, the part where you keep your services relevant in the future only means that you have to keep your service credible and useful to people even after the lockdown ends. If your product makes it out alive, so will your company. Therefore, here are some steps that can be followed:
I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to be aware of the newest trends in the market right now.
You must promote critical thinking among your group members to strategize and prepare.
It is important to know what people want to buy and what they expect of your services.
This is also an evaluative hour where it is important to know what kind of offers your customers expect and your competitors have started to give.
To do this you will need to be in contact with your clients and take customer feedback regularly.
Adapt With Times & Revisit Your Strategies
Attention to detail is the need of the hour. This is no time to make mistakes and fix old errors. It is time to revise your strategies and improve your tactics. Adjusting and adapting to the changes that the world is going through and making your services more at par with the needs of the people is absolutely essential. Hence, I advise taking the following steps:
You must pay attention to the global economic situation corresponding to different parts of the world.
You must delegate responsibilities to the freelancers that you hired pertaining to just researching what your competitors are up to.
You must also keep up with the trends by making changes to your services corresponding to the recent needs of the people.
Keeping up with the news will also give you an edge and help you be more prepared for what is to come.
Responding to wants of the people and listening to them like they are valued customers is also one thing that will give you more credibility.
Update your social media and increase your availability as much as you can to try to reach the demographic in newer ways.
Establish the changes you make to your company and style of business with your social media presence.
Browse Contingency Plans
There are many ways to be aware of what you spend on. Having contingency plans is great when you prepare for the future, you need to reevaluate your present. Sometimes just focussing on high-value targets is not enough. You need to have a plan B, something off the books that you can fall back to when things are uncertain and time is changing. Browsing options for creating a contingency plan is not as hard as it sounds, just try following these points:
Identifying the threats and opportunities and categorizing them as such can do wonders for your campaign.
The basic step to build up a contingency plan is to establish operations that are absolutely critical to the working of the business.
Define possibilities and run diagnostics on several probable scenarios.
Find triggers for loss and failure and subsequently point out your doable responses.
Decide on everyone’s responsibilities so that they can be engaged with the task at hand at the right time.
Maintain a risk impact chart for eliminating the reasons for failure.
Establishing threats is highly important. Work on how many things you could lose if you lost the essential freelancer, change in policies, or absence of resources.
Use The Resource Of Time Wisely
Time is of the essence! This is true with the coronavirus outbreak and consequently, the media shoving the economical statistics down our throats that time needs to be utilized wisely. Now more than ever prioritizing projects, delegating tasks, weighing the strengths against the weaknesses and the risks with the rewards. However, the only factor you have to beat is time. Here’s why this is an important factor:
Time management is a critical and deciding factor for your company in this economic climate.
It is not about achieving more than what was on the agenda but about what exactly you achieved and how much importance it carries.
Treat every action your team takes as a stepping stone to success so that every action you take counts.
This means that you need to prioritize your projects according to the strengths of your team and the calling of the times.
I hope I covered all the basics of keeping a business afloat while we all go through these tough times of infectious diseases and lockdowns. Let us all use our time wisely while we still have a chance to make things right. Always remember to be attentive and be prepared while keeping your efforts team-centric.
By Nandini Sharma
She is the Assistant Marketing Manager at ProofHub - a project management software. With years of experience in marketing, she has found some amazing ways to reach a large audience and create a connection. She also loves doing art and craft and trying her hands-on creative handmade cards & gifts.