The global pandemic has had drastic effects and reshaped common ideologies in almost all areas of human life. For business owners—especially those of the online variety—the impacts of the pandemic exposed crucial areas where you are vulnerable during unusual situations.
If you are one of the many owners reeling to figure out how to protect your online business during a pandemic, you’re not alone. If you want to protect your online business during a pandemic, you need to create a pandemic protection plan that considers four key areas.
These four things are:
- Re-evaluate Your Financials
- Develop a Pandemic Operating Plan
- Make Sure All Online Data is Up-To-Date
- Connect with Your Customers
By taking a few moments to focus on each of these areas, your business will become more dynamic and weather this pandemic or the next.
Re-evaluate Your Financials
Re-evaluating the financial situation of your business is the first step in creating an effective pandemic protection plan. This is critical because during an unusual situation—such as a pandemic—the high level of uncertainty affects numerous elements within the typical financial plan.
This means that you need to develop a new understanding of your business’s financial state to establish a baseline and develop a plan you can use to move forward.
Financial Aspects That Need Re-evaluation:
- Cash On Hand
- Sales Predictions
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
These are the fundamental financial areas that are going to experience the most variability during pandemic conditions. This makes it essential to understand these areas before building your pandemic protection plan any further.
Develop a Pandemic Operating Plan
Now that you have a much better picture of your online business’s current and future financial status, you can develop a pandemic operating plan. This is not a permanent operating plan but an alternative to be used during unstable conditions.
It provides a way to minimize operating risks, which protects your online business against uncertainties during pandemic conditions. Developing this alternative operating plan is not as complex of an endeavor as the original, as only the areas with the highest levels of risk should be evaluated.
- Employee Policies
A pandemic is a great time to assess the work-at-home policies of your business for employees. If you have employees with no means of working from home, their inability to do their part and keep your online business running could spell disaster during pandemic conditions.
- Supply Chain
During a pandemic, a supply chain that was previously free-flowing may become congested—or completely immobile. This could be due to a massive spike in demand, or because of reductions incapacity to deliver the essential medical items required during a pandemic.
This makes it the perfect time to check in with all the different connections within your supply chain and make sure you will be able to receive and distribute your products.
- Marketing Strategies and Objectives
Because of the drastic change that comes with pandemic situations, you’ll likely need to re-evaluate marketing strategies and objectives.
This could mean changing the message of your online brand or putting any marketing campaigns that could make your business seem insensitive to global situations on pause.
It’s the perfect time to let your customers know that you understand times are difficult, and you’re there for them.
Make Sure All Online Data is Up-To-Date
Among the best ways to build credibility for your business is to have consistent, accurate, and well-maintained entries throughout all online presences.
This extends beyond your website and involves checking accuracy for any channel that a customer may use to learn more about your business. This is crucial during a pandemic because of the substantial increase in the volume of customers shopping online.
Not to mention, ensuring that all of your data is up to date has advantages that extend well beyond pandemic conditions.
Online Records to Check:
- Your Website
First and foremost, you should look at your website and ensure that all of the data is accurate and up-to-date. This is vital because your customers are going to look here to see information about your business, and search engines will pull data from this portion of your website as well.
- Google My Business Profile
After confirming the validity of your website data, you’ll want to check your Google My Business profile and make sure that everything is accurate. If you have not set up this profile for your business, then you should use this time to take a few moments to create one.
- Social Media
The next thing that you want to check is that everything related to your business, on all social media accounts, is updated and accurate.
Social media is one of the primary ways your customers are going to find information about your business, whether in a pandemic or not. An out-of-date social media profile can be a death sentence to an online business.
Connect with Your Customers
Speaking of social media, the last step in protecting your online business during a pandemic is connecting with your fans and customers. Your business’s social media accounts provide a direct line of communication with all of your most loyal customers.
This is the perfect way to communicate any changes that you might have made in your pandemic operating plan and avoid any potential aggravations that could harm your business, and it’s relationships.
Connecting and communicating with your customers through your social media accounts will let them know that you care about them and that your business is there in their time of need.
The last thing you want to do during a pandemic is to ignore your customers and make them feel like your business has turned it’s back on them.
In Closing – Create a Dynamic Online Business with a Pandemic Protection Plan
Running an online business is difficult, no matter what the situation is. Then when a pandemic strikes, it can be overwhelming. If you are having a hard time protecting your business during the pandemic, it is vital to remain calm and target your focus.
Taking a deep breath and developing a pandemic protection plan encompassing each of these four elements will enable your business to be dynamic and quickly adjust to changing conditions.
In turn, this will protect your online business through any pandemic and give you a strong foundation on which you can build upon going forward.
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