If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, chances are you’re all too familiar with the challenges of operating during a pandemic. Unfortunately, the past year has been fraught with difficulties, from supply chain disruptions to employee absenteeism. Here are three of the biggest problems businesses have faced during the pandemic—and how to solve them.
Supply Chain Disruptions
One of the most common problems businesses have faced during the pandemic is supply chain disruptions. With factories and warehouses shutting down due to Covid-19 outbreaks, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep shelves stocked and products flowing.
The solution? Diversify your supplier base. By sourcing from multiple suppliers in different geographical areas, you can hedge your bets against local shutdowns and ensure that your business always has the supplies it needs to keep operating.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to utilize online options. Some suppliers now offer digital solutions to help keep your business running smoothly, even during the pandemic. Inquire your suppliers whether they have an online service, and take advantage of that.
Another big problem businesses have had to deal with during the pandemic is employee absenteeism. When employees get sick or need to quarantine, it can be difficult for companies to keep operations running smoothly. Thankfully, there are solutions to dealing with this. Here are three of them.
The cost of employee absenteeism due to the virus is high. It’s estimated that the average cost of COVID-19 absenteeism per employee is around $600. One way to deal with this challenge is to provide employees with solid health insurance. Health insurance will help cover the costs of employees who need to quarantine or get tested for COVID-19, helping your business stay on track during this difficult time.
Another solution is to implement a remote work policy that allows employees to continue working even if they’re sick or in quarantine. Remote work policies have been proven to increase employee satisfaction and improve productivity, so it’s worth considering as an option for your business during the pandemic.
Finally, consider other support options like on-site meals or childcare if possible. These additional benefits can help retain employees and reduce absenteeism during this difficult time. In addition, it can help struggling employees and help those who are quarantined by allowing them to work from home. Try out these strategies and see what works best for your business.
Cash Flow Problems
With reduced customer spending and difficulty accessing essential supplies, many businesses have trouble maintaining a positive cash flow. This can quickly lead to financial difficulties. However, there are four main ways you can deal with this problem.
Diversify Products and Services
It might be a risk, but diversifying your product range and services could benefit your business in the long term. By expanding beyond your core products or offering new, valuable services, you might be able to attract new customers and increase profits even when times get tough.
Another solution is to cut spending where possible. If necessary, consider downsizing staff or scaling back your marketing budget. Of course, you’ll want to keep what’s required to continue operating efficiently—but cutting back on unnecessary expenditures can give your business more breathing room during these challenging times.
Partner With Other Businesses
Another option is to partner with other businesses and share resources. For example, you could share warehouse space or other supplies with another company to reduce costs. This might be a good option if your budget for the next few months is tight.
File For Bankruptcy
Many might not think this is a solution, but bankruptcy can save you and your business. It will allow you to restructure your debt and continue working on a more stable financial footing. Of course, bankruptcy is not suitable for everyone, so speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to help you. They can help you determine if bankruptcy is the right option for your business and help you through the process.
Finally, many businesses have also struggled with declining sales due to the pandemic. With people spending less money and fewer people out and about, it’s harder than ever to drive revenue. The solution? Get creative with your marketing and advertising efforts. From online discount codes to social media giveaways, there are plenty of ways to attract new customers and boost sales—you need to get creative.
The past year has been challenging for businesses, but fortunately, there are solutions to even the most challenging problems. By following the tips above, you can overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and continue running your business successfully. And remember, don’t be afraid to seek help if needed. Good luck!