This year has been difficult for many people, but some have been hit especially hard. Take business owners, for example. While it is never easy to run a business, this year has seen a number of unexpected troubles that have made things next to impossible, especially in industries hit hard by quarantine and social distancing measures.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the economy severely, and that, of course, has had a domino effect on local businesses. Fortunately, there are things that business owners can do that will help them to stay afloat and to prepare for the future.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at just a handful of actions that Jacksonville businesses can take to make sure that they’re as well-protected as possible.
1. Focus on Communication
In many industries, your repeat customers are the backbone of your business. While there’s space for winning new customers, it’s first important that you have a strong relationship with the ones who have already given you business.
During this year, customers are naturally worried about all factors related to COVID-19: they’re concerned for their health, their livelihood, and more. You should communicate with them the steps you’re taking to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, be it through increased protection protocols or operational adaptations.
Developing your communication practices now through simple things like limiting wait times, making a good first impression, and dropping the fake customer-service voice will serve you well in the long term.
2. Upgrade Your Marketing
With everyday, outdoor life on pause for a little while, this is a good time to take another look at upgrading your digital marketing.
Companies have long known that a strong presence on social media and other content channels can be beneficial to their bottom line, but today it’s less “beneficial” and more “essential.”
Building your online brand is all about delivering high-quality, timely content that’s of real value to your customer base. Even if the physical operations of your business are still on hold, you can work on creating a robust marketing campaign now, so that it’s ready to be launched when you’re back.
3. Update Your Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity has never been as important as it is right now. Instances of cyber crime have been on the rise in recent years, costing many billions of dollars of loss for companies all across the world. And during the coronavirus, such cases have skyrocketed as hackers take advantage of consumer panic, organizations go remote, and people everywhere spend more time online.
In the case of a data breach, not only do businesses lose money, they also lose consumer trust and face reputational damage that persists for months or years.
So it’s a good time to review your cybersecurity practices and make sure that they’re as comprehensive and proactive as possible. If they’re not, then work with a company that offers IT support in Jacksonville; a professional IT team will have the expertise, experience, and know-how to ensure that your business is kept safe from potential cybercriminals.
4. Create a Business Continuity Plan
Jacksonville is a great place to live, but there is a downside: its geographical position makes it more likely to get hurricanes than other places. A business continuity plan can help mitigate the negative impacts that your business may incur as a result of a hurricane or other disaster, whether natural or man-made.
Disaster and business continuity planning is the process of identifying what could disrupt your business and creating a clear plan to keep things moving forward, even when you can’t be fully operational.
5. Take Care of Your Employees
Finally, be sure to equip your employees with all they need to work effectively. This is important whether they’re in the office or working remotely, but especially as businesses set up remote workstations, it’s essential to ensure your employees have access to the resources they need to be productive.
You should also check in to make sure that they and their families are coping well with the coronavirus, and see if there’s anything you can do to help them. Employers who take genuine interest in employees’ lives are more likely to create a positive work environment and retain talented, happy employees.
2020 might not be the greatest year for businesses, but as we’ve seen, there are things that executives can do to ensure that the damage is kept to a minimum. Incorporate the above tips into your business operations, and you’ll find that you’re in a strong position to push forward in the future.