In light of the coronavirus hysteria that is spreading quicker than Nutella on toast, and because I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl – here are 19 reasons to stay positive in your business during coronavirus.
In this blog, I will provide you with helpful hints and tips to prepare your team, open up opportunities (yes, there are lots of those), and remain positive.
Remember, you can separate yourself from the competition in times like this! Be a positive business that gives a damn.
“In a world full of thermometers – be a thermostat.”
Dr Krystina Woods
Covid-19 positive reason one: roll out home working
There has never been a better time for your team to work from home. There are lots of tools to keep everything on track:
· Microsoft Teams & Google Meet (connected team chat)
· Zoom and Google Hangouts (video conferencing)
· Cloud-based files (so everyone can access everything)
· Google docs (so you can share documents and comment on them from home)
· Monday.com (keep track of what everyone is doing remotely)
If you’re struggling for cover staff as someone is ill, why not dip into the pool of working parents who are looking for temporary remote working – believe me, it’s brimming with experience.
Covid-19 positive reason two: opportunities
Yes, Covid-19 reason number two is opportunities – they are everywhere.
Use your content, whether it’s a blog, video, or a podcast to tell everyone that its business as usual (kind of). You can even separate yourself from the rest by telling people:
· You are set up for home-working.
· You have enough loo rolls for workers – despite the panic buying.
· You are offering a drive-by coffee service from your café.
· You are happy to wear a mask while in their home.
· You can offer training and meetings via video link.
· You have stock of anti-bac (whoa be careful there).
· That your holiday or flights are covered if they get cancelled.
· Our shelves are full – look.
· Tips on law, insurance, and other things your clients might be worried about.
Ultimately, you have an opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors by placing people’s mind at rest.
Covid-19 positive reason three: clean is good
Let’s face it – some of our workstations have been a bug haven – all praise the new hygiene rules. Just think how many other viruses we’re killing too!
Plus, before Covid-19, only 1 in 3 people washed their hands, which is frankly just gross.
I’m now using my scarf to open the toilet door (I know you are too).
So, if everyone starts being sensible, we’ll also kill Norovirus!
Covid-19 positive reason four: flexible working
If more people work from home and do a grand job, then it might open more businesses up to the idea of flexible and remote working.
The fact of the matter – you get more done without distractions.
Just imagine, you could see a huge productivity uplift.
Covid-19 positive reason five: show your team that you care
By showing your team that you care about their health, you are increasing their wellbeing. Don’t forget that some people will also be carers who might be concerned – offering support goes a long way.
People come together in times of need and planning to manage something like this can bring out the leadership skills in your team. Keep an eye on those who remain calm and rise to the challenge. They might be a line manager in waiting.
Covid-19 positive reason six: a retention opportunity
If you handle the situation well, you could get some fabulous reviews and retain more customers.
Why? Because how you handle elements like ‘out of stock’ really counts. Be clear, fair, and not misleading, and your customers will thank you. You don’t have to always get it right, but be gracious in communicating when you’ve made a mistake. Make it easy for customers to choose an alternative product or get a refund.
Covid-19 positive reason seven: reduced carbon emissions
Just think about the reduction in carbon emissions with everyone using video conferencing instead of flying – phenomenal.
If you then take away the car miles – you’ve got yourself some serious fresh air.
Covid-19 positive reason eight: political union
Coronavirus has united politicians and put them all in a room to focus. So, rather than bickering, they’re all working together to look at putting in place some measures:
· Sick pay from day one.
· Access to benefits.
· Not being penalised for self-isolating.
· Closure of areas that might increase the spread of the virus.
In fact, it is well-timed with the budget due out on Wednesday – where we hope to see some measures to help people.
Covid-19 positive reason nine: focus on people
The virus has also shone a spotlight on the vulnerable, who are most impacted. Unlike flu and many other viruses, people are now considering the impact on people who are most vulnerable.
The stories are coming in hard and fast.
However, we also need to remember that people in other countries are fighting dengue fever and malaria on a daily basis -- which kills people every day.
Covid-19 positive reason 10: a wealthy country
Unlike other countries, we are relatively wealthy and advanced, so we have more chance of fighting any virus.
Let’s be positive and praise our high-tech systems, access to the internet, and hard-working NHS staff.
We need to have faith and work together to fight any challenge we face as a country.
Covid-19 positive reason 11: we’re an island
Ultimately, we’re an island; so, we can stop people coming in. It’s not ideal, but other countries have far greater challenges, as they don’t have the sea to separate travel links.
So, although it’s not ideal, we could choose to shut our doors for a bit while the bugs burn themselves out.
Covid-19 positive reason 12: we will come out of this
Whatever the impact of this virus, we will come out of the other end, and it will go down in history.
How we choose to handle it is up to every single person.
The choices we make, like buying 100 toilet rolls when we only need nine, will also go down in history.
We can choose to support each other, to rise to the challenge – to wash our hands.
Covid-19 positive reason 13: everyone is talking
Everyone is united on discussing one topic – we’re all talking about the virus. So, at least we’re talking and taking it seriously.
Whether you’re just washing your hands or outraged at panic buying, it would be far worse if we did nothing and didn't talk.
Some of the greatest lessons have been learned during a crisis.
Covid-19 positive reason 14: we can learn from other businesses
We’ve been fortunate in the UK to have a warning, which is far less than businesses in China had.
Businesses can learn from those in China and Italy and try and be one step ahead.
If you haven’t had a chance, take a look at the lessons learned here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/02/coronavirus-chinese-companies-response/
The article covers:
· Keeping supply chains running
· Providing necessary infrastructure updates
· Fighting misinformation
· Helping people get back to work and school – virtually
· Sharing tech solutions to accelerate medical responses
Covid-19 positive reason 15: symptoms you can spot
We know that the virus starts with a fever. Why is this positive? Because we can identify and screen for it. It could be far worse -- it could be silent.
We can fight what we can see.
Covid-19 positive reason 16: scientists on overdrive
The UK is fortunate enough to have high-powered technology and brains that are working on overdrive to find a vaccine.
Although this might take a little time, we will get there and will have a vaccine. Scientists are starting to understand how immune systems work.
We know that the immune system is very powerful, but viruses are good at playing hide and seek.
Scientists just need to find a small, safe dose of the virus to show to the immune system, so our ninja antibodies can kick in and bust some virus butt.
Covid-19 positive reason 17: delivery services
We have a fantastic delivery service for food. If we can find a way to protect our delivery drivers, we already have a network to support people.
We need to consider how we can keep the distribution networking going and protected, as our Uber and Deliveroo drivers might become essential.
Covid-19 positive reason 18: some people will gain
It might not sound positive, but some businesses will thrive. The rush in products to protect people will give a welcome boost to some businesses.
Those that try to hold their prices, even during high demand, have the opportunity to support the UK.
Covid-19 positive reason 19: We’re the UK
When we put our minds to it, we are, and always have been a formidable force.
We might be small – but we are mighty.
"This article does not play down the seriousness of coronavirus; rather, it aims to bring everyone together." Sarah Powers