COVID-19: Crisis Management for Businesses

#By Parvathy Suresh Kumar

The COVID-19 pandemic is  not only creating a massive human impact but also an enormous commercial impact. There exists an uncertainty about the future, and an imminent restructuring of how businesses are operated has never been more imperative. Amidst the uncertainty, pause to assess and anticipate the needs of your business, and then act!

The following actions may aid businesses of all scales in the navigation of the COVID-19 crisis:

Set up a proper response team

Members from every functional activity and discipline within the company are imperative to this step. Ensure that the right people are empowered, and focus on employee wellness, finances, customer relations, and long-term business priorities.

Protect employees

Develop a plan that is consistent with the guidelines issued by the concerned governing authorities. Support employees and provide them with a safe space to express their concerns, while also enabling autonomy and proper adherence to the policies put in place.

Ensure sufficient liquidity

Identify the factors that may trigger cash flow difficulties and then build a contingency plan. Consider cost reduction, manage payable and receivables, use existing resources to generate alternate revenue and analyse present value of investments made for longer term gains.

Maintain close relations with customers

Continue to invest in your core customer group and anticipate their needs. Explore what other business opportunities with this core group may be available and profitable at this stage and deliver accordingly.

Stabilize your supply chain

Ensure the resilience of your supply chain. Plan how to manage the supply for products that see an unusual spike in demand. For stabilization, frequently update your demand planning, search for and qualify new suppliers if required and further optimize your network.

Be purpose driven

Support communities you are part of wherever possible. In times of struggle, communities can learn to mutually lean on each other for help. Money, manpower, and expertise are invaluable to pandemic support efforts.

Remain empathetic as well as attentive to your own well-being and that of your employees. Maintaining realistic optimism and carrying out a rapid but measured response can have a powerful impact on your company’s future.

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