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Protecting Your Small Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak

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With the stock market in free fall and coronavirus fever literally and figuratively wreaking havoc on people, businesses, and economies, the question is, what can you do to protect your business from the worst effects?

Here are some tips to help safeguard your business:

Disinfect: Have hand sanitizer out for all, and if you can’t get any, make some. Regularly wipe down public surfaces with disinfectant wipes.

Have sick employees stay home: Over the next few months, you’ll want to exert an abundance of caution, especially with regard to employee health. Tell employees who are not feeling well to stay home, and consider not having any sick days count against their sick leave time. Extraordinary times and circumstances require novel responses.

Encourage remote work: Consider encouraging employees to work remotely if possible. There are a plethora of tools that make working remotely yet still collaboratively possible. Here is an article that can help, and here is one of our free tools that would be of assistance.

Check out OpenforWork.org, a consortium of companies like GoToMeeting and Microsoft who are offering free tools to help your team work remotely.

Additionally, Zoho Remote is offering its suite of remote working tools for free until July 1.

Communicate: If some of your staff is going to be working remotely, it is incumbent on the businesses owners and managers to keep the lines of communication as open as possible. Call, text, have regular conference calls and zoom meetings.

Follow guidelines: Yes, we are saying be cautious, and look to the new website, CoronaVirus.gov for the latest info and tips. But, at the same time, remember that people are still going out. Planes are still flying. And the fact is, there are discounts to be had if you are smart, cautious, and not fearful. If that conference has not been cancelled, and you can safely go, go.

Invent some new strategies: It’s possible that we are heading into a recession and one thing that offers is the opportunity to affordably brainstorm, invent, try out, and test some new ideas. Maybe there is an online part of your business you have been looking to launch. Now may be the time. Consider implementing a new marketing strategy.

Stay informed: No, there is no shortage of info out there, but some of it is more reliable. The best unbiased resource we have found so far is the once daily monitor from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Brought to you by Allstate

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Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is the senior small business columnist at USA TODAY, the Editor-in-Chief here at Small Business Connection, a speaker and spokesperson. He can be reached at MrAllBiz.com.

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