Businesses can plan to react to coronavirus situation

Scott Chauvet
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
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Scott Chauvet

Like many of you, I sit and shake my head, as I try to understand and personally plan for this coronavirus situa-our a calm logical head will prevail and our community will get back to a resemblance of normal in time.

I read a good article entitled “Lead Your Business Through the Coronavirus Crisis” and listened to a good podcast about the topic. While you may be a little tired of thinking and talking about it, I thought this would be a good time to share some of the high points of these two pieces.

The main idea of social distancing and shutdowns should be to contain and alleviate the virus, it should not be total isolation, as that makes people feel they have no control of the situation.. Stay in control by keeping in-touch with people, call, text, FaceTime, email, and let them connect you. are at on-line communication and may be able to teach us during this time. Stay connected and social, it’s healthy!

For businesses, the economic impacts of social distancing can be significant and cannot be forgotten. Many companies are trying to understand and react to all that is going on in a short period of time. Some businesses have prepared ahead of time and some have not. If you have not prepared, some of the following tips may help you work through this:

• Keep your staff informed of happenings on a daily basis. Post and share important information that keeps things in perspective

• Be aware of fake or hype news. Think about the source before sharing.

• Don’t assume your employees are keeping updated on the situation. Time stamp your updates so employees know that it is current.

• Assemble a business team that can come together quickly in case major decisions need to be made in a hurry.

• Create a that addresses: remote work, travel, supply chain, and business forecasting.

• Develop a plan that is resilient, efficient, and has the ability to survive through unpredictable and changing events. Look beyond normal solutions and include a diversity of ideas.

• Consider worst case scenarios and develop strategies to deal with them.

• Don’t forget your economic values and continue to try and follow them through this situation.

• Document impacts, responses, and lessons learned.

• When this ends go back and reflect on what worked and what did not. Adjust your plan so if you have to go through it again, you can better

This time will require out of the box thinking, such as options of take out, online shopping, deliveries to homes, offer gift cards, etc. If the people can not or are not coming to you, how can you go to them? If you don’t have an online presence, this may be a good time to create that. Use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to stay in touch with customers. Include items such as special delivery options, on-line shopping, or customer services you have available. These may be markets that expand your business into the future and be a good thing that comes out of a tough time.

Scott Chauvet is the Central Montana Workforce coordinator. He can be reached by email to, or phone (406) 39o-5126.


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