Keeping your business and your customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic
Unsure what you need to do to keep your business running in today’s times of business disruption? Consider these tips to keep your business operating.
Across the U.S., social distancing and stay-at-home orders are in place to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. As a result of these efforts, many businesses are experiencing significant disruption to their day-to-day operations, or have been forced to close.
Use the following to help assess your business operations and determine how you may be able to sustain throughout the pandemic.
Is your business permitted to operate?
While more companies are being allowed to slowly increase their services and operations, many restrictions still exist for non-essential businesses. If your business is non-essential, review your state and local government websites for recent executive orders. That legislation should list any restrictions on business operations, such as limiting retail stores to telephone and online orders only.
Even if you are allowed to keep operating, it’s vital that you don’t risk exposing yourself or your team to the disease. Touch on these areas to keep both your employees and your business healthy.
Preparing your people
- Keep your team informed. Outline any restrictions on your operations and describe the response strategies you are using and how any new roles will be filled. Also, explain the actions you will take if any workers test positive for COVID-19.
- Reduce the spread. Routinely clean and disinfect work spaces, ask workers to self-monitor for potential exposure or infection, and strongly encourage sick employees to stay home. Spaces that may have groups of employees or customers present should enforce social distancing guidelines. This could include limiting the amount of people present or delivering products and services through no-contact methods.
- Adjust your work from home policy. Promote remote working and consider adding additional communication points to your work-from-home policy to make the transition smoother. This effort may pay off in the future if you decide to keep more of your team remote once the health crises passes.
Protecting your business
- Protect your data. As you communicate more sensitive business information digitally, cybersecurity is even more important. Make sure employees are aware of an increased risk of fraud, review your security policies and consider adding additional security standards.
- If needed, seek financial assistance. Learn about some of the relief programs available to help you stay open. Remember to reference credible pages such as the SBA’s Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources page for the latest, most accurate information.
Planning for the future
- Anticipate obstacles. In a survey on COVID-19 disruption, the Institute for Supply Management found nearly 75% of companies are experiencing supply chain disruption.1 To prepare for your existing supply chain being disrupted or diverted, try to identify alternate suppliers and plan for potentially longer wait times to source the goods or services you need to run your business.
- Adapt to meet new needs. Some businesses are weathering disruption by embracing entirely new business models. Parts of your business that were minor before the pandemic might be the most viable model now, at least in the short-term. Consider redirecting resources to support new or varied business models. As one example, Kidadl was previously an online platform for families to browse and book family events. When the pandemic heavily reduced the interest in their service, Kidadl reworked their site to offer content and activities for families sheltering in place — and they are seeing strong growth after their pivot.2
The immediate changes we are all making today might result in longer-term shifts in how businesses operate. Making short-term changes may help position you well for the “new normal” ahead.
To learn more about how Wells Fargo is working to help its customers, visit our COVID-19 resources and support page.
1“COVID-19 Survey: Impacts On Global Supply Chains,” Institute for Supply Management, 2020.
2“Four Startups That Pivoted Their Way Out Of The COVID-19 Crisis,” Forbes, 2020.