The impact of COVID-19 can no longer be ignored. This is happening and the whole world is going through this together. Businesses everywhere are feeling the impact and, frankly, small business owners and employees alike are scared and unsure about the coming weeks and months.

Things you can do TODAY to help your business respond and not react to coronavirus.

Remain Calm: This is unprecedented and global and yeah, we might want to freak out. But, making rash decisions out of fear or uncertainty is not good decision making.

Communicate honestly with your staff: This uncertainty might make it feel like you don’t know what to say, or that there hasn’t been a decision or a change made so then you don’t need to say anything – but you do. You need to tell them that you don’t know all the answers and that the situations are changing rapidly. Allow them to ask questions and allow yourself to answer honestly, even if the honest answer is that you don’t know.

Align your leadership: A consistent message about all that is happening within the company is vital right now. Your leaders and supervisors should all be on the same page about what is happening and communicate that to all of their direct reports.

Learn Your Options: In any decision there are a lot of options. And right now, there are a lot of things that you can do to mitigate risks, reduce costs, and secure capital to keep you running through this uncertain time. Determine what you biggest need is first and then outline a plan. This leads me to my next point:

Collaborate and Seek Guidance: Right now we need to lean on each other for support and guidance. Share things that are successful for you with others, ask for help from trusted advisors, talk to trade associations to hear what recommendations they have for your industry. Talk through scenarios with others to gain insights. As part of our response to COVID-19, People Centric is offering free consulting to anyone who wants to utilize our outside insights – so feel free to contact us.

Practice Grace: Grace is often not spoken about in business terms, but I think that right now this is one of the biggest things you can do for yourself and the people around you. In the coming weeks, I believe we are going to see both the best and worst of humanity. Remember that everyone is on edge and that we all need to allow one another to have a bad moment. Show grace to those who are scared, angry, frustrated, hurting. The virus is contagious, but so is grace, and we should spread that as much as we can!