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My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus

By Chris Goodchild of Supportwise IT Services, who works with sole traders and SMEs to provide remote IT support for clients, business IT consultancy, hardware and server installations.

When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business? 

Last week when several onsite visits were cancelled due to the outbreak. Supply chain has been difficult as tech companies and suppliers are finding it challenging to provide orders on time and ship in a timely manner, despite best efforts. Laptops are getting scarce.

What has been your plan to continue? 

Offering services and webinars for free to get businesses ready to work from home. Looking at more remote support than onsite. Will need to start focusing on the right marketing message going forwards, looking at ways to support businesses on an ad-hoc basis, providing immediate solutions to problems. Managed services will continue however we may see an uptick in ad-hoc work as people need to get to grips with their IT and connectivity in  a way they have not had to consider previously. 

What advice would you give to others in business? 

Embrace technology in these strange times. Look at the companies that are ramping up to ensure their infrastructure is coping - they are doing more not less. Google and Microsoft are great examples. Be respectful of your client’s wishes and accept face to face meetings may be cancelled and offer a viable alternative. Follow NHS/WHO advice at all times. See how you can help each other with your skills and what services you can offer that you may not normally. 

What can we do to help each other?

Check in with people every so often, whether it be a quick phone call or email. Whether that be another colleague, business owner or family member. I take some time out of every day to call someone and see how they are getting on. 

What do you think can be learned from this in the business world?

I think we can learn that we should always be talking about Public Health and how critical it is to our infrastructure as a society. The UK was unprepared for this and this is the first time, in my lifetime, that we have had to talk and take action around something on this scale. If we have had had these scenarios debated in parliament or had any public consultation about what would be the repercussions of certain actions, we may have been better equipped to handle a massive influx of patients to the NHS and the massive impact this will have on the important SME sector.

Your parting thought?

Keep calm and carry on!

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