Business is slow and I don't have enough work for my employees. What can I do about this?
Updated: Apr 22
Unfortunately, this is likely to be the case for many businesses. The government has pledged $10 billion in a credit facility administered by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. There are also steps you can take to determine your business’ future:
Review your finances: Look at your revenue vs your expenses – are you able to meet your basic expenses? Speak to your accountant/bookkeeper about your options and whether it makes sense to stay open, pause your business, shut down until an opportunity in the market arises, or close your business.
Make a Business Continuity Plan: Weathering the storm will be difficult, make sure you have a plan as to how to do it. Restarting a business that has been suspended will take thought and time to bring back to its former level. Are there other options for your business to stay open? Can you find new suppliers? Can you change your business model to continue to serve your clients (i.e. provide delivery of food instead of having sit-in customers)
Email examples to guide your changing business plan: As more countries, states, and cities choose how they respond to COVID-19 outbreaks, businesses are forced to follow suit, leaving many with a dilemma of how to shift their products or services to meet the current environment. And it’s important to identify ways to shift your approach sooner rather than later. Not only are many businesses following strict shelter in place guidelines, but consumers are doing the same. It’s more essential than ever to consider how your products or services are applicable to your customers in the current climate. And, if they’re not applicable, how to pivot and adjust to provide solutions to their changing needs.
We’ve been inspired by a variety of businesses doing just that, and thought it’d be helpful for our own audience of marketers to see how many companies are shifting their focuses, offers, content, and promotions to accommodate the current state of affairs.
Speak to your commercial insurance provider: We have been hearing from you and insurance companies that Covid-19 is very rarely covered. Some insurance companies require that you have physical damage in order to access your Business Interruption insurance, others just do not cover diseases. Because every commercial insurance policy is different, we recommend that you speak with your insurance provider to better understand what coverage is available to you under the terms of your policy. If anything, you should check if any flexibility exists with your insurer and figure out what you may need to know to keep your commercial and personal insurance policies valid for when you are ready to open your business doors again. For more information visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is implementing a series of consumer relief measures to ease the financial burden on insurance customers. These include immediate auto premium reductions and waiving NSF fees charged by insurers for insufficient funds to cover a customer’s premium. IBC members will also work with small business to help manage costs, exploring flexible payment options for those in a vulnerable position or facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. For more information about business interruption coverage, read IBC’s FAQ. You should review it before calling your insurance provider.
COVID-19 and business insurance: How coverage is triggered
With COVID-19 causing global concern, we understand many Canadians will have questions related to commercial insurance. IBC has produced a brief Q&A document outlining how coverage is triggered and how business interruption policies work.
Communicate with your employees twice a week:
Let employees know what safety measures/policies you are putting in place to keep them safe.
Post educational posters and share safety tips.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Awareness resources
Ensure that there is a way for employees to notify you if they are sick whether that be through health and safety representative/committee or though their manager.
Talk to employees about their job security/health status/income options. Are they entitled to employment insurance?