Now, we aren’t going to do any medical stats or handwashing advice here – but we do need to talk about coronavirus.

If you ever worked in corporate you’ll know that disaster recovery plans are right now being dusted off and creaking into action – but as a virtual business owner, what can you be doing to help yourself and your business over the next few months?

We’re covering some simple but essential advice for you to handle the situation as it evolves.

What if you get sick?

As for any illness – if you are sick you need to stop working and get better. Struggling through when you should be resting can lead to mistakes, stress and your symptoms lasting for longer. Use your associates (and if you don’t have any this is a great prompt to get some in place) to hand over any work that needs to be done if it can’t wait a couple of weeks and take the time you need to get better. Powering through like a hero won’t help anyone and your business is bigger than just you.

What if your family get sick – or have to self isolate from work/school?

This is one of the harder ones to answer, as always family and health come first – but if you work from home the thought of noisy, messy, desk and internet hogging partners or children around is not easy! Do your best to set boundaries and work in the best way for you – notify your clients and be realistic about what you can achieve with the situation. It might be a difficult time, but remember it won’t be this way forever!

What can you do for your clients?

What is every day to you may be incredibly daunting for your client. Depending on their tech abilities, business area and personality type they may be worried or excited about the prospect of a couple of weeks self-isolating at home. 

Proactively offer to help – you are very likely to have something to suggest whatever they are currently feeling about things. It doesn’t have to be big strategic things – adding a couple of extra face to face calls in that first week may be remembered long after that ridiculously under-appreciated bit of research you did last month ever will be!

Consider putting together a cheat sheet for ways that you work effectively from home. This allows a bit of humble bragging about what you do ALL THE TIME for them (though please don’t claim you set the alarm at 5 o’clock in the morning for some yoga and to make a healthy breakfast or you’re out the group forever!) In reality this will contain some ideas that anyone who’s not used to working from home just wouldn’t think about otherwise.

Although not a pleasant situation, this is an opportunity for you to do what you do best – give your clients the advice and support they need.

In summary

This isn’t a time to look to make a quick buck from existing clients or to market heavily for extra weeks work from sick people here and there.

It is a real chance to build deeper relationships with people who will remember the ways you could help when things were tough.

So you get to feel good and grow your business – which in the middle of all the scary stories is a pretty nice place to be.

For more advice about Corona Virus (COVID-19) and any updates that come to light, visit the GOV.UK website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response