As Australia’s businesses adapt to the growing impact of COVID-19, we’ve collated some of the best tools and advice for business owners and leaders.
Businesses of all sizes are being affected, and for small businesses, the impact may be felt more keenly. The flow-on effects had by restrictions on events and travel, and guidelines urging people to work from home and practice social distancing can have larger effects.
As a business owner, you not only have to consider your own health and wellbeing, but also your staff and your business.
Having the most accurate information and up-to-date data helps you get a sense of what actions you can take and what is out of your control. By ensuring you are listening to the right information sources and advice from experts, you can avoid buying into or perpetuating information that may not be accurate.
Department of Health
The DoH gives Australians the most current information about case locations and government recommendations for further prevention.
This website provides regularly updated visual information about the state of COVID-19 across Australia, broken down by various demographics. It’s a great resource to find relevant information and also show the importance of limiting contact to limit transmissions.
The ATO has a number of solutions and resources available for businesses during this time, including extensions and special considerations.
Planning is crucial in this time – having solutions in place for a range of different potential roadblocks can allow you to pivot when necessary.
Create a comprehensive list of potential issues and solutions or communications you should have prepared in each instance
Crisis communication plan template
For many businesses, this may be their first experience of operating through a crisis – there are lots of great resources and examples of what to do and what not to do as a business owner in a crisis. Hubspot provides some great templates for you to map out your own plan.
A good way to ensure you have the most essential information easily accessible to your audience is to write it in the style of a press release.
In times like this, you can learn a lot by reading the information provided by other businesses similar to yours.
Read more: Why Your Business Needs a Contingency Plan
Communicate to and enable your team:
Your employees are going through the same things as you right now, with different financial and business considerations. Being transparent and supportive of your team, including enabling them to work from home.
Allow for flexibility
If your business model relies on physical presence, try to assist social distancing by allowing your employees to come in at off-peak times. Consider offering a restructure to shifts and allow for risk minimisation actions.
Offer solutions for vulnerable team members
Support team members who are vulnerable by offering for them to work from home and minimise their risk – a little empathy will go a long way.
Read more: 5 Ways to Retain Your Employees
Support each other
The coming days are going to be tough for small businesses and sole traders especially – if you have flexibility or financial capability, do your best to uphold your existing commitments to contractors and partners.
This situation is a temporary one and the way we band together will be key to how well Australia’s businesses and economy recover and survive.
Being not only supportive as a business but also as a person helps set a great example for anyone looking up to you as a leader – we’re in a world with plenty of toilet paper and resources for everyone, and a little empathy will go a long way in times like these.