How to Run Your Business from Home During a Pandemic

Lidia Staron, author at OpenLoans
Lidia Staron   OpenLoans Marketing Manager
Personal Finance
I enjoy navigating people through important financial decisions.

People who run businesses are vital for the economy, and they drive growth in pretty much every country in the world. In the U.S., there are 30.2 million small businesses. You don’t need to be an Elon Musk or a Bill Gates to run a business, and people running small agencies and one-person businesses are absolutely vital.

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There is an old saying that it is better to create a job than to get a job, and making money in these entrepreneurial ways is a wonderful thing for the country, but the recent pandemic that has hit us has led to a huge number of issues.

Naturally, these issues impact people who make money online, in person, and even people who have traditional employment. The knock-on effects could cause a global economic crisis to go with the global health crisis we already have to tackle together. People are taking out personal loans in order to deal with the fallout financially.

Being able to run a business from home is an option people didn’t have 20 to 30 years ago, but now, the internet has made it possible, and in some cases, even more productive, but it is a big change of pace for most. How do you run the business from home and still make money, get new business, and protect your future?

Working from home

How to work from home and stay productive

Work from home and productive work from home are not one and the same. There are some simple time management tips and approaches to make sure your mind doesn’t wander while working from home:

  • Turn off the distractions, including the news. At this time of panic, it can be hard to stay away from the news, but ensure that you don’t get sidetracked by it. That means switching off social media, too.
  • Stick to a routine. Structure your day to have a start time, a finish time, and break times. These time management tips help with your pandemic plan as they can ensure the uncertainty of the times doesn’t take over your mindset.
  • Reward yourself. Motivation and productivity go hand-in-hand. Set yourself little rewards throughout the day to ensure you get through and finish all the tasks at hand. 

Tips for running a business from home

Running your business from home can be a very difficult thing to do. It sounds fun, but as well as your personal productivity, you have to think about all the other things that can get in the way.

It’s a good idea, if you can, to set up an office, even if this is just a desk in a room used for something else. Stay abreast of the latest technology. Video tech such as Zoom has spiked during the coronavirus pandemic. This sort of video conferencing means you can still do the same things in a virtual setting that you are used to doing in person, e.g., meetings and even screen sharing.

Use your extra time, too. No more being stuck on the roads on your way to work? Start 30 minutes earlier. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and keep the routine you’d have in person.

In some cases, you might have to innovate. Run a store in-person? Your pandemic preparedness plan might involve moving your sales online, for instance.

Being able to run a business from home is usually a positive thing, but in these scary times, you will need some sort of pandemic plan. How can you stay as productive?

Business during a crisis: what to expect

“Uncertain times” is the term that keeps getting discussed during this pandemic. If you are a small business, you’re unlikely to have a pandemic business continuity plan in place already, but you can create one. More on that below.

In business, people tend to panic in these times. Stock markets reflect this, and they may drop or at least wobble a little but may recover in time. In the meantime, a lot of people, even if they don’t have the best credit ratings, look to personal loans for fair credit for help.

A business will run in a different way during a pandemic, and peoples’ priorities change, both on a personal level and on a business level. People are suddenly not so bothered about certain things, and being able to run a business from home can depend on your ability to flex to the things people do still care about.

In some areas, food delivery is still allowed, but eating out is not. Restaurants adapt by offering a takeout service when they didn’t before. This is a pandemic plan that is simple enough to implement, but it could make all the difference to a business surviving.

A pandemic business continuity plan

Pandemics may be times of cuts, and you might look to reduce the bottom line of your expenses, but it is also a time of opportunity for some. Think of Zoom as an example; their market cap doubled.

Think about the business impacts, can you reduce costs as you aren’t going to have to travel? Are there things you can do for clients that they can’t get elsewhere anymore? A pandemic preparedness plan is your way of adapting. And, in the world of business, it truly is a case of adapt or die.

We recommend a business continuity plan checklist. A way to work out how your business priorities have shifted. You may want to strip away luxuries. Do you really need that new software at a time like this? Can you find ways to make do or to keep your outgoings low? Do you need long-term personal loans to get you through the temporary dip in income and survive?

Identifying what is “mission critical” should be the main aim of your business continuity plan checklist. Which things cannot be stripped away in order for your business to survive? Which contracts and income must you keep?

Also, a part of your pandemic business continuity plan should be looking into what aid is available. Governments will suffer if businesses fail, so they have created packages to make sure they can provide help for people who run businesses from home. There may be new forms of lending, grants, or other support available for small businesses.

Conclusion

When a pandemic hits, your first thoughts are usually about keeping safe and keeping those you love safe. This doesn’t just mean protecting them from the virus, though, it means protecting them from the economic impact. Making money is essential to survive and to be able to give your family what they need through the pandemic, and if you run a business, it can be a scary time.

The best tips are to manage your time effectively and to become streamlined, efficient, and, if you are really fortunate, you may even spot the opportunity that inevitably lies in such uncertainty. There are ways that we can potentially come out of this stronger, with some innovative thinking and the willingness to adapt and improve on your business model and your business plans.

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