COVID-19: How I'm helping my clients prepare
Businesses are operating in unfamiliar territory at the moment. The normal working day for many has changed dramatically already including myself. I have been busy the past week helping clients plan as much as we can for COVID-19. I thought it might be helpful to provide a list of the things we have been doing which might serve as a starting point to assist you in doing the same, if you haven’t done so.
Communicate with your clients – your clients will be looking to you for direction in the coming weeks, so it’s important to keep people up to date. Let them know about changes to procedure, work hours, shipping delays or event/service cancellations etc. Our dog groomer sent out a great email detailing their change in procedure for dropping off pooches and reassuring us in terms of hygiene practice. Update people via social media, email and your website. And if you don’t have that many clients, then why not get personal and actually have a chat?
Move things online – now is the time to start thinking about moving events, workshops and meetings online. One of my clients is a therapist and instead of seeing people in person she is offering the opportunity to have sessions via video conferencing. For some this is a difficult step, so we have prepared a document to support this. Zoom is a great tool for video conferencing and Microsoft is offering its Teams service free at the moment. There's also Loom and of course Hangouts in GSuite.
Prepare for remote working – how prepared is your business for remote working? All of my clients work remotely, so for us, the systems are already in place, online folders, documents, and branding. How will you communicate? Slack is great tool as it takes the conversation away from the Inbox. Have a practice day to see how it works and make adjustments. If you are going to be working from home get a space prepared, it's a great opportunity to finally sort out the junk room... Ask staff to take home laptops each day. Take a look at the Resources page on my website for a list of online collaboration tools.
Managing (possible) Absence - What happens if a couple of members of staff go off sick? Do you know what they do on a daily basis? Ensure people are happy with each other’s roles and responsibilities just in case people need to step in.
Scheduling social media content - Quite simply scheduling social media content in advance is one thing less to do. Make sure you check your Facebook ads for content if they are already scheduled. I had a sponsored ad on my Facebook page from Red Online advertising holidays???
Finally, please ensure you are following the most up to date advice from the right sources. I have seen some absolute rubbish on social media.