With the COVID-19 infection rate rising, local lockdowns across the UK becoming more common, and the threat of another national lockdown rearing its head, we look into what businesses can best do to prepare themselves.
Now, there are no certainties on what is going happen next, but we wanted to make sure that no matter what, your business is getting the advice it needs. You’ve already been through one national lockdown and you’re probably thinking the last thing you need is another one. So, below are five top tips for you to consider should local or national lockdowns become a reality for your business.
1. Looking after your staff & customers – Hands, Face, Space
Whether you work in retail, hospitality or in non-customer facing operations, keeping your staff and your customers safe should always be your top priority. Be sure to consider individuals circumstances and do you best to reassure staff concerns. Remember mental health is just as important as physical health.
Failing to do this could result in a fine of up to £10,000 for companies who do not comply, something we can all definitely do without.
2. Revisiting your initial COVID-19 response plan
Look again at: What you think when went well during the local lockdown earlier this year, and what did not go so well. Think how could you improve things for a second lockdown?
By understanding where the strains were the first time round, you will be able to put yourself in a much-improved position should a second lockdown occur.
A focus on cashflow is also critical. Reviewing payment terms, debtors, stock levels, etc can help put you in a stronger position should tighter regulations be put in place. If you need to reconsider support options like local government grants and Bounce Back Loans. Please remember, if you are taking out a Bounce Back Loan it is not free money and it will need to be paid back. Make sure you understand the repayment terms, and plan how you are going to pay it back.
4. IT and out of the office infrastructure
At Modus, during the first national lockdown we had all of our workforce working remotely and invested heavily in IT and out of office equipment. This ensured people could work comfortably and efficiently from home. If you have not done so already assess your ability to do this and look back at the pain points of doing this the first-time round.
As with your response plan, by looking back at this you will be able to understand where you can improve things for your staff and customers.
5. Marketing & Data
Throughout the pandemic marketing activity has become a difficult challenge for many companies. Methods that you have relied on may have stopped working, and your ads may no longer be delivering the same impact they did before lockdown in March.
What is important here is that you do not panic, and you continue to gather data on the basics like; what you are spending, where your leads are coming from, the cost of these leads, and the messages you are using. Gathering data will allow you to identify what is working and where you need to change your approach.
Now is also a great opportunity to look at your customer journey and see where your pinch points are. Ask yourself is your on-boarding process working the best it can? Where can you add value?