Many small businesses in the United States—most, actually—are in a catch-22 of sorts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While reopening too soon could contribute to a resurgence in infection rates, there is also a very real risk associated with reopening too late. To help avoid either scenario, the right technology solutions will prove to be indispensable.
The COVID-19 Situation
Assorted state regulations have imposed lockdowns across the country that have caused various issues for businesses. As you would imagine, many of them are not good, and when compared to a few recent trends, they only seem worse. For instance, in the first quarter of this year, the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence Index demonstrated a generally positive outlook, and mere weeks later, it plunged from 64 to 48. The National Small Business Association saw similar drops in confidence, witnessing a benchmark far below the levels seen during the Great Recession.
With 2019 serving as a great year for many, businesses have truly been thrown for a loop across the board. 72 percent of business owners are predicting that COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the way their businesses will operate in the future, and many businesses simply won’t be able to outlast the pandemic. Adding to these concerns, many businesses fear that the uncertainty and inherent issues with restarting operations on a regional basis could create issues pertaining to competition and other crucial market factors—in addition to the potential health risks associated with reopening too soon.
The hard truth of the matter is this: moving forward, businesses will need to redefine the status quo to survive (especially as the tide of the pandemic ebbs and surges). With the future still uncertain regarding how COVID-19 will play out moving forward, businesses need to adapt and move forward to any extent possible.
What Businesses Will Need to Do
There are a lot of factors that organizations of all kinds will need to consider as more people return to (some approximation of) business as usual.
People all over the world are really concerned about their job security, in addition to all the other concerns that COVID-19 has brought up. Maintaining an open stream of communication with your employees in addition to what your operations require will prove to be crucial. Face-to-face contact is also likely to be seen as a largely unnecessary risk, so other forms of communication are more likely to take over for some time. This all means that your business will need the tools to make this possible.
While we have already touched upon the concerns that your employees may have working face-to-face, many businesses will likely re-examine their approach entirely. Using more of their digital tools and the improved opportunities that they offer will only make it safer for your employees to do their jobs effectively. If these tools don’t fit your business’ operations, other means can work great for you—such as staggering your employees’ shifts to ensure social distancing.
Look to the Future
Of course, with the future so uncertain right now, you need to prepare as best you can for any eventuality. The technology that is available today enables your employees to work remotely while still collaborating with their fellow team members. Ensuring that you have the capability to scale to meet your needs by using the cloud will be more than helpful, it will be crucial.
Businesses have always needed to shift and adjust to meet the changing times—the current situation we are all facing is just another example of that, dialed up to eleven. Technology has always been developed to address these complications.
One Up Solutions Northwest can help you to do so with the key IT solutions and services to support your operations. For assistance, give us a call at (503) 278-5011.