Tips to Maintaining Business Operations During COVID-19

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Nuthawut Somsuk

Despite the issues going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, your business needs to keep running and assisting people with its products. If your staff faces problems with business operations since they can't meet, then look over these tips from Liquid Web to help you maintain your business during COVID-19 and ensure you continue to meet your customers’ needs.

Transition to a virtual workforce

While quarantine may prevent you from physically working with each other, you still need to handle your business operations. Because of this, you can transition to a virtual workforce where everyone works from home. This way, you can cover everything that you need to while following pandemic regulations.
It requires each person to work remotely. People also need to be responsible for their work and do everything necessary by your designated deadlines. Make sure you make your requirements and expectations clear for your employees so they understand what tasks they must accomplish and when to finish them.
With a virtual workforce there are additional layers of business security to ensure, especially with highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance. Follow these points to maintain data security while working remotely.

  • Establish a policy.
  • Use VPN access.
  • Guide your employees when setting up remote workspaces.
  • Create a strong password policy.
  • Use endpoint management software.

As you follow these guidelines, it is possible to create an effective and safe virtual workforce for your business, regardless of what industry you are in.

Create a virtual command center

A virtual command center will work as a guiding point for your business. It allows your business leaders to meet daily and to discuss business operations so they can keep things running smoothly. After making decisions, they then inform their team members about the situation and their role in the process.
Virtual command centers help employees in multiple ways. They have a place that will guide them and let them know what they need to do. Some employees struggle when they don't have set plans or tasks that they need to address, so virtual command centers give leaders the chance to establish these tasks. This then makes the process smoother for everyone.
On top of this, team members need not worry about finding answers since they can ask their team leaders questions. After doing so, the leader can then bring it up to the virtual command center and they can decide what they should do with each situation. In short, a virtual command center will keep your business well organized while maintaining efficiency.

Consult your host provider

Many businesses use a host provider to maintain their website and keep it running and secure through a period of increased digital activity. Since too much activity can cause a website to slow down or crash, a managed host is a safeguard for keeping systems running, troubleshooting problems around the clock, and maintaining security throughout each step of the way. As your employees transition to working on the business remotely and more business transaction happen online, talk with your host provider about expected needs, and get the right capacity and shifts in service in place ahead of time.
When talking with your host provider, ask about:

  • Increasing your website’s capacity
  • Optimizing load speeds by compressing images and files
  • Analyze and monitor the process
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to offload certain elements of your site

Go through the process slowly and stay in contact with your hosting provider to keep your website running smoothly.

Keep customers informed

As a business, and especially during unprecedented times of uncertainty, you need to keep customers happy up to date. Go out of your way to keep your customers informed about different changes to your business and how it affects them. Doing this will avoid a situation where customers get upset because a change happens that they didn't know about.
Use customer notifications on various channels to reach your customers and staff for up-to-the-minute changes. For example, you can use email, text messaging, a new page or alert your website and social media accounts to easily send updates to your customers. Many businesses use these channels because they want to keep their customers informed and avoid confusion and problems. Depending on your business, you may even want account managers or sales reps to reach out to contacts to verbally confirm business continuity.
People will not follow all of your channels, but many of your customers will follow at least one. That's why you need to share these updates and changes to all channels where it makes sense. Customers need you to communicate with them and share important changes that affect them, even more so now during these times. Make sure to use all of your channels available to get the message to everyone.

Keep going

Despite the pandemic and required physical distancing, you can still work with your business partners to keep the operations running and revenue coming in. Make sure you apply these tips and do everything in your power to remain organized during these difficult times.

Rick Klemm, vice president of technology at Liquid Web, wrote this article. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends. Photo credit: iStockphoto/Nuthawut Somsuk