The shift into Phase 2 of the Circuit Breaker lockdown in Singapore brings with it a glimmer of hope. Since the circuit breaker in Singapore, managing business has posed its challenges for organisations globally. With a forced down-time due to the circuit breaker, enterprises have experienced a dwindling amount of customers and clients. It isn’t surprising that many businesses find it challenging to plan for the foreseeable months ahead. As we enter into Phase 2 of our Circuit Breaker, there is still no telling when this Pandemic will end and how it may affect businesses, which is why it is crucial to crisis-proof your business as much as possible.
Whether you belong in essential services like security, cleaning, plumbing and electrical works, or non-essential services like office supplies, we’ve collated some tips that might assist with combating pandemics, remote access and more to help companies sustain, evolve and hopefully excel despite CoVid 19.
Security and Surveillance Businesses
1. Offer Thermal Fever Screening Equipments
During these times, security is one of the primary defences in containing the spread of infection. This can be done by actively screening visitors and preventing those who are unwell from entering the premises. With that being said, individually scanning everyone’s temperature is time-consuming, especially in densely packed, high-traffic buildings. Therefore, consider investing in and offering thermal fever screening equipment to your clients for increased efficiency. Such types of equipment allow your business to handle large crowds in an efficient and foolproof manner, saving time and possibly improving the overall patrons’ experience. Such infrared thermal detection systems can be fairly pricey but make an excellent investment in the long run. It can also position your services competitively against other security agencies. Here’s one affordable option such as iThermo, an AI-driven temperature detection device.
2. Increase Local Talents within your Business
With the outbreak of the coronavirus, Malaysia has since closed its borders for safety precautions. This puts firms with a higher proportion of Malaysian foreign talents at a tight spot as their operations are mostly reliant on supplying such manpower. To combat a lack of foreign workforce, such firms could:
i) Consider reducing the reliance on foreign talents and instead start hiring and growing a pool of locally-trained security manpower.
ii) Apply for government subsidies to train and upgrade new hire’s skills and expertise.
No idea as to where to get started? Try posting for job positions online at some of these sites to get started.
3. Provide Digital Management Systems
Digital management systems are probably an excellent way to ensure a safer, more efficient workflow process given the current pandemic – forcing most companies to Work-from-Home. Softwares such as:
a) Visitor management systems like SwipedOn and Proxyclick might just be a boost up when sold as part of your service solution to clients. Having a competent and efficient sign-in system is becoming necessary for clients needing contact tracing, as it also offers effective visitor control.
b) Digital surveillance management systems like SODA VISION and innotec are also rising in popularity as it helps with motion detection, population counting and other useful analytics to make surveillance easier for the client.
With security concerns heightened in this current climate, implementing technology into your service offering could be instrumental in boosting your business positioning, setting it apart from the rest.
4. Offer CCTV Surveillance Options
Adding hardware supplements such as CCTV surveillance is a great way to differentiate the competency of your organisation. Because of new laws like wearing a mask and social distancing are now mandatory, but it takes some effort to ensure compliance, which is why there is now a rise in demand for CCTV surveillance to ensure visitors abide by the law. Offering CCTVs can help offset the lack of security manpower surveillance – abiding by the law by reducing physical contact.
5. Consider utilising Smart Security Tools within your Solution package
Solutions like igloohome’s smart locks can help ensure the safety of properties remotely and conveniently. Help reduce the need for physical visitations through the use of their many intuitive digital lock options. Provide the ability to lock, unlock and restrict more smartly and safely for your clients.
6. Offer Cleaning Solutions Based on Tripartite Advisory
According to the tripartite advisory issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), cleaning sectors are advised to reallocate cleaning resources such as manpower, time and sanitation supplies based on priority. This allows the prioritisation of cleaning important places with higher traffic. Cleaning vendors should educate clients and develop new cleaning routines that are acclimatised accordingly.
7. Use Self-Sanitising Coating Disinfectant in Your Cleaning Solutions
While disinfectants are useful and can eliminate germs, it is not a guarantee that all disinfectants are as effective in removing lingering bacteria. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a list of approved disinfectants for consumers to fend against the virus. For added protection, consider introducing self-disinfecting coating solutions (Sdst) as part of your cleaning supplies to help clients keep surfaces clean and virus-free for up to three months longer.
Plumbing and Electricity Businesses
8. Provide Online DIY Consultations
Introducing DIY consultations as a safer alternative to on-site visits can be especially helpful for businesses and customers alike to reduce interactions, particularly during this no-contact season. Plumbers or electricians can make use of virtual video calls like Whatsapp video, Facetime, Skype or Zoom to help quickly analyse the severity of a situation, as well as communicate basic solutions to clients quickly if needed. While it may not be the most convenient way, offering virtual assistance can be a lifesaver for messy situations. It is a great way to warm clients up to your service offerings, build trust and future patronage.
9. Coach Plumbers and Electricians to be tech-savvy
As a supplement to our previous business tip on providing online consultations, it is recommended to coach plumbers and electricians to be proficient in using technology to perform video calls to assist distressed clients quicker. This includes educating plumbers and electricians about virtual tools like Skype and Zoom on how to set it up, use it, and basic troubleshooting to ensure minimal disruptions. Producing basic easy-to-read diagrams can help both employees and clients facilitate an effective virtual consultation with a positive outcome.
Office Supply Businesses
10. Adopt an e-Commerce Channel
Many office supply businesses are primarily store-based, with very few having any online presence, apart from a website. As office supply businesses are not an essential service, it can pose to be a challenge for many HR personnel when it comes to acquiring office supplies to sustain business operations. Branching out to providing an e-commerce platform that enables customers to access supplies and order them freely could be a viable option to help such office supply business sustain through such circumstances. With affordable and straightforward platforms like Shopify, setting up your e-commerce platform is as easy as ABC.
11. Offer Work-From-Home Stationery Packages
With Work-From-Home being the more recommended choice of working style these days, evolving to match such practices is crucial for the survival of office supply businesses. Especially when the prediction for this trend may long boil over even after the circuit breaker ends. Offering Work-From-Home stationery packages to companies for their employees could help ease the burden of having to acquire their office supplies at their own cost. This can help minimise, if not motivate, employees to continue daily administrative tasks while Working-From-Home.
12. Take the Opportunity to Upskill
Certain businesses will inevitably experience lower demand for goods and services during this CoVid season, but organisations need not be idle about it. On the contrary, it can also be the perfect time to encourage training and skill development. Consider sending your team to courses, workshops and classes on improving sales calls, effective communication, negotiations, critical thinking, product development or strategy related topics. There are also government support schemes that offer subsidies for training and upgrading of skills, so you get an enhanced team at a fraction of the original cost. In turn, this can only benefit your business in the long run.
13. Manage Organisation's Cash Flow
To ensure continuous operations for the future and reduce the risk of having insufficient funds during this period, businesses can learn to manage their cash flow by following this rule: reduce outward cash flow whilst increase inward cash flow. One of the ways to increase cash flow would be to explore government grants and other finance options. A way to reduce outward cash flow would be to rely on lower resources like freelancers to complete part of your business operational needs. Check out more of such tactics here.
14. Shift Marketing Tactics
Instead of billboards or posters, businesses can consider trying out online ads such as social ads, like Facebook or Instagram, or search ads like google ads to advertise and create awareness for your business. Direct mailing could also work in this season, more than ever, as most clients are stuck indoors. Best to divert your marketing resources and campaigns according to the customer’s daily routines. Online ads can also provide key stats and data to understand the profile of your audiences, potential and existing ones better.
15. Incorporate Digital Payments
To lessen the chances of a second wave of infection, promoting contactless or digital payment methods, even for small businesses, could be extremely effective, not to mention forward-thinking. Minimise transmission of any viruses through cash today! Singapore is already beginning to roll out its nation-wide campaign to encourage the adoption of digital payment methods for businesses. Numerous cashless payment methods are widely accessible, ranging from Nets to Visa. Therefore, there is no better time to start than now!
16. Seek Funding from Singapore's Support Schemes
These times can be especially trying to many businesses, which is why employers should not hold back when it comes to seeking grants and financial aids wherever possible. Singapore government has designed a range of support schemes from levy payment extensions to Work-Life Grants for flexible work arrangements and more. Get help promptly.
17. Increase Digital Security with Business VPNs
Work-From-Home practices now expose businesses to digital hackers more than before, as employees utilise unguarded networks to perform daily work tasks. Companies’ materials and confidential information may be at risk without the employment of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that provides encryption. Softwares such as Perimeter 81, Cyber Ghost VPN and Cisco AnyConnect all offer business-grade VPNs while larger organisations could go for an approved VPN solution for heightened security coverage. It is essential to stay safe physically, and also virtually!
The onset of circuit breaker regulations in Singapore has led to the realisation of the gravity of the COVID-19 situation. No one knows how long before COVID-19 becomes a thing of the past, hence rapid adaptation to current circumstances is critical in helping a business sustain through to healthier times.
For more tips on how to stay safe, check out our other blog on preventing coronavirus infection at the workplace.