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How to be proactive and strengthen relationships during the crisis

Now more than ever, businesses should step up their communications with stakeholders and look past the current conditions.

Quebec businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as the province grinds to a halt in a concerted effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Attention, speed and agility: that’s what small and mid-size businesses need to lessen the impact on their finances, workforce, strategy and operations.

Financial assistance programs

Several government programs have already been introduced to help businesses through the crisis. This has left people wondering:

  • What programs is my business eligible for?
  • What is the application process?
  • Can I get additional help?
  • How can I prove that my business will be viable once the COVID-19 outbreak is over?

Since these are new programs, you may want to get help to make sure you apply for all available opportunities. More aid means your business takes less of a financial hit.

Take care of your employees

Action needs to be taken quickly, but this can put a lot of pressure on companies and workers.

As recently as a few weeks ago, one of the main factors holding businesses back was the skilled labour shortage.

This issue may no longer be making headlines, but it’s sure to resurface once the coronavirus crisis subsides.
Many companies are being forced to temporarily layoff staff. How can they make sure their top talent returns once business resumes?

Communication is the key. Businesses need to establish open lines of communication, maintain contact, provide reassurance and take care of their laid-off workers with initiatives such as helping them with employment insurance applications.

Since we have every reason to believe that staffing will still be a critical issue after the crisis blows over, business owners should develop an effective internal communications plan that will help them retain the employees they’ve had to temporarily let go.

Keep in touch with partners and suppliers

Your partners and suppliers deserve to know where you’re at. To do so, develop and implement a carefully planned stakeholder communications strategy. Maintaining relationships by providing helpful information and reassurance is sure to benefit your business today and tomorrow.

Modernize your work practices

The way we work is changing. Even before the crisis, thousands of Quebeckers had already started working from home.

Various studies have shown that workers are more productive when they don’t have to come into the office. In order to make telework a success, businesses need powerful tools that make it easy and efficient for employees to do carry out their tasks remotely.

Of course, working from home isn’t a realistic option for everyone. But many businesses should prepare for the future by setting up services that could help you keep employee on board, even if they’re working from home.

One such example is e-commerce. In Quebec’s Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region, businesses haven’t kept up with the e-commerce and transactional website trend. But the crisis has spurred a number of companies to take action. As a result, they’re now able to continue serving customers and hold on to some of their staff, despite the closure of their brick-and-mortar locations.

Take action today

The government-imposed closures won’t last forever. Smart business owners know that the time to act is now if they want to be ready for action once things get back to normal. Companies should try to restore stability as quickly as possible by focussing on:

  • Managing cash flows
  • Supporting employees
  • Stabilizing and boosting revenues
  • Managing procurement
  • Maintaining operations
  • Keeping IT systems secure
  • Monitoring performance
  • Reassuring stakeholders

To give you a hand, our team created Solution PME – COVID-19, which includes concrete customizable interventions and fast-track action plan.

Find out how our entrepreneurial values and standards of excellence can support your business. By leveraging our tactics, shared leadership, complementary skills and professionalism, you can find quiet in the eye of the storm and start planning for a brighter future.

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