Article provided by Old Mutual
For small businesses, this is a very uncertain time, not knowing how long business will be interrupted by the impact of COVID-19. Only time will tell whether the actions we are taking now are necessary and proportional, but it seems clear that everyone has to do their part to slow the spread of the virus, and protect those who are most vulnerable. There have already been devastating impacts seen in the markets, and there is concern that smaller businesses will feel this pain even more acutely.
For the fight against this pandemic to succeed, we will all need to care and collaborate like never before in order to help to flatten the curve.
Government has set up an initiative for all small businesses to register at www.smmesa.gov.za and there is a privately funded R2bn rescue package for business set up at www.solidarityfund.co.za
One of the great things about small business is the ability to be agile and move quickly – it’s important for small businesses to use this to their advantage. So we’ve drawn together a few of our top tips to make the best of a very difficult time:
- Consider whether you can pivot to an online business model by creating an online store, and advertise your services online.
- Encourage customers to review you on Google and Facebook to build your online presence.
- Let staff work from home where possible. Use tools such as Zoom, Skype, Slack, and Trello for remote working and collaboration.
- Acknowledge the need for work/life balance for your staff – and their difficulties in managing work from home (especially balancing child care with work).
- Prioritise your staff welfare – consider SME Staff Cover for life, disability and funeral cover that you can buy all online (no medicals or blood tests required) .
Follow the Dept of Small Business to keep up to date with initiatives of support – www.twitter.com/DSBD_SA
Don’t forget to register on the SMME Support site here – http://www.smmesa.gov.za/
For more tips and tools aimed at small business, see The Small Business COVID 19 Survival Guide.