With all this talk about Coronavirus (COVID-19) it’s important to keep in mind how a pandemic can affect your business. Especially if you’re a small business owner. Here’s some ideas on how to pandemic-proof your business to lesson the impact of a viral epidemic in your area.

How to Pandemic Proof Your Business

How I could handle an epidemic is something that’s been on my mind lately thanks to the real world threat that’s unfolding around the world. So far there haven’t been any cases where I’m from but it’s only a matter of time. What’s more, I have a weak immune system and tend to get sick easily meaning it’s quite scary to think about a deadly, contagious virus in my area.

Not being able to work can have a huge impact on a business no matter the size. But small businesses will get hit harder than most if we end up shutting society down even for a short period of time. With a several week quarantine period, it’s important to have a plan in place in case COVID-19 disrupts your normal business practices.

Set up work from home abilities now

If you or your employees don’t already work from home start preparing for that possibility if you can. For retail, consider offering an online store or look into home delivery options.

If you have a service based business start getting all your important documents on a cloud server and make sure you can access your accounts from anywhere.

Take precautions with your staff

Brush up on your hygiene practises with staff to make sure they know the best ways to prevent spreading germs. You could also have hand sanitizer available for staff and your customers.

It’s essential to have the discussion with employees now about what will happen should they become diagnosed with Coronavirus. Obviously they won’t be able to come into work. Create some kind of agreement where they can either work from home or be excused from work during that time.

Set aside some money

You might get shut down for some time but you’ll still have bills to pay. If there’s any room in your budget set aside an emergency fund just in case. Delay any major spending, if possible, so those funds are available just in case.

Be prepared for slow business and possible closures.

Stock up on essentials

If you there are supplies that regularly have you running to the store, consider stocking up on them. The less you go out in public, the better. Or source those products online and set up home delivery.

If you have a retail location, don’t let yourself run out of things like hand soap and toilet paper. Make sure you also stock up your home so you are covered in the event of a quarantine.

Make sure you have a benefactor and/or will

It’s no fun to think about but what happens if you get sick and can’t run your business? Or worse? Make sure you have something in place legally so that you assets and money are secure and can be passed on to your loved ones.

It’s also vital to have someone who knows the business ready to help should you be unable to run it. Your kids, your spouse, or a trusted employee are all good candidates. .

You can’t completely pandemic proof your business

Remember, some of this is out of your control. The best you can do to keep your business running is have a plan in place. The world isn’t going to come to a halt, and will recover, so it’s important to do what you can to keep your business alive.

One thing I cannot stress enough is do not make sick employees come into work. That’s how viruses spread! If you can afford to, offer employees under COVID-19 quarantine who can’t work from home flextime. That way they can make up the time at work when they’ve recovered but won’t lose income while ill.

If you take these steps to pandemic proof your business the a virus might not harm your business all that bad.

Want some more COVID-19 prep tips? Here’s some other great resources!