The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has created a planning toolkit for businesses who are trying to stay afloat in this crisis. It is a ten-point instruction guide on making your business resilient and operational during the COVID-19 crisis.
1. Stay informed.
Identify one person in your business who can help you staff your people, disseminate new information, and create readiness activities needed. Follow reliable sources and stay updated about the crisis.
2. Identify your core products and services.
What products or services you must continue to deliver to remain operational? Be prepared to change your business practices if needed (Limit number of customers, suspend some services).
3. Communicate with your employees and customers.
Inform them of the products and services still offer. Let them know if you are still open, when you will be back, or what your new business hours are. You should also inform your employees about the changes around your business and involve them in the decision making process.
4. Establish policies for physical distancing and sanitizing workplaces.
Consider work for home for some employees. You can also change workplace layout or use different time work shifts to reduce contact between them. Take note of employees who travel to affected areas. Those who are sick or show symptoms should not report to work.
5. Protect employee health.
Ensure proper hygiene behavior among employees in the workplace. Provide hand soaps/sanitizers, tissues, and reminders around the workplace. Regularly clean surfaces that are always touched (doorknobs, tables, toilets) with an appropriate cleaning solution.
6. Plan how you will operate with absent employees.
You can assign back-up people who can perform work functions when employees are unable to meet responsibilities. If not, you can train employees to perform other work functions if the assigned employee is absent.
7. Prepare your supply chain.
Talk to your suppliers for any plans on how to continue supplying. Some suppliers might find it hard to deliver because of checkpoints and other restrictions. Deliveries can also be delayed or cancelled. Find alternative suppliers that are nearby your workplace.
8. Plan to modify your service delivery to customers.
Try handing in your products to your customers through pick-up and delivery, or transacting with them online or through phone. A helpful option to your community is to change the products you produce that will help your customers during the crisis, such as making PPEs or face masks and serving healthier foods.
9. Apply for crisis assistance for businesses
The government and several private lenders are offering business loans for MSMEs who are affected by the crisis. These loans have more flexible and lenient loan terms. Contact your LGU for any more government assistance such as grants or subsidies.
10. Exercise your COVID-19 plan.
Create a strategy plan on how to operate your business during COVID-19, and also when the crisis ends. It is also best if you implement a plan for your business whenever a crisis arises. To have more comprehensive decision-making, try to involve everyone in this process to make fair and clear decisions. Seek feedback on your business plan from business experts to ensure its effectiveness.