Protecting Your Small Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Albatross Editorial Team

If you’re a small business owner during this time, you’re understandably concerned. With the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve seen the world change in just a short period of time; Purchasing has simultaneously increased and slowed down (depending on the business or product), people are staying home more, and priorities for people worldwide have shifted. While everyone is feeling the impact in their own way, small businesses across the board are definitely seeing and experiencing the change.

So, as a small business owner, what can you do to see your company and its employees through this potentially massive disruption? 

That’s an important and nuanced question that demands attention from all of us at present. We are all certain to feel the effects of COVID-19. But, by remaining proactive, implementing the right steps, and supporting one another, we can work to keep all of our doors open.

We’re all in this together, and we want to do our part within the business community to help; So, we did some research. Below, we’ve gathered some action and steps currently being recommended for business owners to navigate their way through this crisis. We hope this helps.

Enact a Disaster Policy for Your Business

Has your company planned out what to do in the case of a disaster? If not, now is a good time. Address things like employee travel, meeting schedules, cleaning policies, emergency contacts, work from home procedures, and “plan b” for when things go wrong in certain situations.

Amp Up Your Cleaning Policies

Most businesses pride themselves on keeping things neat, tidy, and organized; That being said, it’s best to double or triple what you’re doing already for the time being. Keep cleaning supplies easily accessible around the office or business location and wipe things down and sanitize often throughout the day. Surfaces that come into contact with customers should be paid special attention. By amping up your cleaning, you can help prevent you, your customers, and your employees from getting sick.

Restrict Travel

Non-essential travel should be minimal or not at all currently. By reducing business travel and resorting to video conferences, message, or phone communication, you and your employees can significantly reduce your chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

Be Flexible with Your Employees

With the country locking things down that are essential to daily function, now’s the perfect time to exercise flexibility with employees. Schools, stores, daycares, and other businesses are closing or experiencing overwhelming volumes right now; Given the circumstances, expect possible employee absences, lateness, or other schedule and work modification requests.

Keep Up Communications with Customers and Employees

Transparency is essential right now. If your company is facing a severe issue with the current crisis, being honest and upfront with your employees and customers can go a long way to building and maintaining relationships; Remember, we are all going through this together and should reach out and support one another.

Get Your Work-From-Home Tech Up and Running

Working remotely is one of the best things companies can offer their employees now. Check into remote working options and software that can help you and your employees conduct business and stay in touch with each other and customers. 

Here’s a list of software that can help you work from home while staying productive.

Choose Alternatives to In-Person Meetings

To support the need for social distancing, non-essential in-person meetings should either be canceled or done via phone, video or chat conference. This can help everyone reduce the possibility of virus spread through your company and with customers and clients.

Think and Plan Far, Far Ahead

As business owners, we already think ahead most of the time; however, you’ll need to think a few steps further for the time being. Communicating with investors, suppliers, and other services you rely on and discussing their plans and situations can help you adjust your company and procedures as needed.

Conserve Your Funds

Save, save, save. If it’s not essential to purchase, don’t buy it right now. Because a loss of business is inevitable for most of us during this time, funds must be reserved as much as possible to keep things running.

Check Your Insurance Policies

Some business insurance policies have what’s called “business interruption insurance.” This insurance option can help cover financial losses due to significant events, disasters, or other problems.

Consider Getting a Line of Credit (Just in Case)

Going ahead and speaking with your bank or creditors is a good idea. Ensuring you have a line of credit established or available can help you when problems arise.

Keep an Ear Out for Government Disaster Loan Options to Come

The U.S. Government is working on making loans available to small businesses during this time to help. Check in with the Small Business Administration regularly so that your business can take advantage of resources as they’re made available. 

Hire Us to Manage Your Tech

With Exceptional Tech Support

24 / 7 Help Desk

Let's face it, downtime, hiccups and technical challenges are unavoidable in every business and they can be frustrating and downright costly.

Our Solution

  • Any time 24/7 access to live person that can help
  • Proficient help desk staff means quick resolution
  • We are very friendly
  • Dedicated consultants that understand your environment

Software Challenges

  • Every small business relies on a handful of software to operate smoothly  (Outlook, Office 365, G-Suite, MS Office, Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, Cloud Software, QuickBooks)
  • Software needs updates, can be buggy and just simply doesn’t always work
  • Employees may need a hand in getting something done (exporting printing as PDF, shrinking an image, etc.)

Our Solution

  • We manage your software 
  • Your users can open tickets and we can help them live 
  • Software updates are all done by us

The Challenge with Laptops

  • Computers Break
  • Laptops get lost or stolen
  • Need to be replaced periodically and requires budgeting and installations costs

Our Solution

  • Desktops are Automatic and cloud based
  • No desktop or stolen laptop issues
  • Hardware is seamlessly upgraded
  • Performance is guaranteed

Malware is a Real Problem

  • Small Business are infected by viruses and malware at unprecedented levels
  • Malware can cost you money to fix if you are lucky to recover your data
  • Data leaks and breaches can put you out of business

Our Solution

  • Our seucirty packages are standard and include anti-malware
  • Employee controls are in place to prevent installation or download of malicious software
  • We are fast at identifying and responding to incidents to minimize any damage
  • Backups are automatic with every plan so you will never lose your data.

The Challenge with Printers

  • Printers run out of ink
  • Printers suddenly stop printing
  • Printers fall offline

Our Solution

  • Our staff is on standby to support your printers 24/7
  • We identify root causes to printer issues to avoid recurring problems.

Vendor Challenges

  • Too many tech vendors to manage (ISPs, Software vendors, hardware, apps)
  • Creating tickets is time consuming and frustrating process
  • Many issues are left unresolved with vendors because of poor support

Our Solution

  • We provide 24/7 support on your vendors
  • We open tickets for you and follow up till resolution
  • Our existing relationships with vendors allows us to efficiently navigate the vendor support process

Employee Management Challenges

  • Employee on-boarding is time consuming (emails, desktops, software) all need to be setup for new employees
  • Employees may encounter issues with access, logins, password. Their downtime can be costly
  • Departing employees require data to be transferred, laptops returned, accounts locked, etc, passwords changed

Our Solution

  • Our cloud option provide quick user setup for new employees meaning quick employee on boarding
  • We lock down the employees that leave and document the changes made

The Need for Monitoring

  • Monitoring is an essential component of any technology-dependent small business
  • Small businesses don’t usually invest in monitoring although it is a key component in preventing issues from happening (such as disk space, updates, high CPU pegs, and other connectivity issues)

Our Solution

  • Monitoring is built into our service, therefore you don’t have to plan, invest or worry about setting things up
  • Monitoring means smoother business operations, we reach out to you before a problem occurs

The Audit Challenge

  • As a small business owner, it is important to be able to prove accountability for compliance or employee reviews
  • Today’s small business don’t have any insight into who is doing what on the system and lack of visibility can mean higher risk

Our Solution

  • Our system is equipped to log every user’s account access from email access to desktop log-ons
  • We can provide you with reports that you need 

Learn about Legal Workspaces