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Business Continuity: Weathering the Storm of Coronavirus

Business Continuity: Weathering the Storm of Coronavirus

What spreads faster than coronavirus? No, it s not a joke - but it is cause for concern. Fear and uncertainty have spread across the globe, seemingly faster than the virus itself. Stock markets worldwide have lost trillions of dollars. Business confidence indexes for numerous economies are tumbling as manufacturing and supply chain issues climb. It s a perfect storm of unfavorable conditions that have hit businesses hard. It s not doomsday, though, and companies aren t helpless.

Macroeconomic influences outside of your control will always exist. What you can control, however, is how to react to those influences. So, how can you identify the strategic opportunities, ensure business continuity while weathering the storm, and prepare for the more positive days ahead?

Analyze what s already happened

Other countries, such as China, have been impacted more immediately - and are several months in front of other nations in the Asia-Pacific region, and other parts of the world.

As explained further in a recent article from Harvard Business Review, China already appears to be seeing the early stages of an economic rebound. Some notable actions that Chinese companies swiftly took during the coronavirus crisis included.

Reallocation of resources. Employees are the lifeblood of the organization and have a wealth of knowledge and experience about the business. Instead of laying off valuable resources, many companies chose to reallocate them to recovery planning and strategic, forward-looking activities.

Clever use of social media. With physical store visits declining and customers staying indoors, Cosmo Lady, a Chinese lingerie company, chose to divert promotional efforts to social media channels. The company cleverly leveraged the social connections of its employees to bump up sales. Employees used channels such as WeChat to promote the company s products and became part of a company-wide sales ranking initiative to motivate staff to participate.

Strong, top-down management focused on keeping employees informed on a regular, timely basis. Early media reports about COVID-19 in China contained confusing and often contradictory information. Several Chinese companies, however, implemented specific operational guidelines and instructions on preventative measures and emergency plans. Those companies  top-level management quickly disseminated updates and information to staff to keep the uncertainty and worry minimized.