As communities throughout the world respond to concerns over the transmission of COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus), we know that this time presents unique challenges for small businesses. Here are some tips and recommendations to help you navigate this for your employees and customers. For the most timely information and guidance on COVID-19, please monitor the World Health Organization website.
- Communicating with your customers
- If your hours of operation have changed, edit your Business Profile on Google so customers know if you are open, closed, or have modified hours.
- Use Posts to communicate timely information directly on your Business Profile on Google, like special offers or inventory updates.
- Consider setting an email auto-reply with answers to frequently asked questions to help your customers get information quickly.
- Communicating with your employees
- Store contact information for your employees, vendors, and clients online so it’s accessible from any device.
- Make a business continuity plan, and share it with employees via an email address they can access outside of the office.
- If you have more than one business location, provide local managers with the authority to take appropriate actions in your business continuity plan based on outbreak conditions at their location.
- Working remotely
- Given the dynamic nature of the virus, if possible, be prepared to work from home unexpectedly, e.g., take your laptop home at the end of each workday, have remote access to important information, etc.
- Prepare yourself and your team to effectively work from home with these tools and resources from Grow with Google.
- Collaborate with your co-workers using a shared document, a quick conference call, or by creating an email list or a chat room.
- Make sure you’re able to access important documents from anywhere by uploading them to the Cloud through a product like Google Drive or downloading to your mobile phone or computer for offline access.
- If you’re using Chromebooks, ensure they have the right policies in place to access company resources from home and to keep devices and data secure.
- Modifying your advertising (if necessary)
- Edit your ads as needed to let customers know whether you're open for business and if you offer helpful services like expedited shipping.
- Pause campaigns if your product availability is impacted by supply chain issues or increased demand.
- If your business relies on customers from countries most affected by the virus, consider prioritizing your ad budget to other locations.
For more information, check out the Center for Disease Control’s guidance for businesses. As the situation evolves, we’ll update this page and will also share additional resources, learnings and best practices on our Google Small Business social channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.