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Communication is the key to navigating a crisis

With business owners facing unprecedented challenges, maintaining clear communications can be the key to solving challenges within and outside the business.

One of the side effects of the COVID-19 crisis has been that many business owners are feeling isolated and cut off from their usual sources of advice, at a time when many are dealing with issues they may have never encountered before.

Reviving and Thriving

To help rectify this, the team at Business As Usual When Nothing Is Usual invited small business owners to put their questions to a panel of small business experts.

The first question asked how a manager could keep employees motivated through this difficult time, to which Boost Juice founder Janine Allis responded by saying the key was to ensure the team was more deeply involved in the business than ever.

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"Make sure you ask them questions and ask them how they believe they can help motivate the team," she said. "They know your business as much as you do, so they will have some great ideas about motivating each other and the team."

Communication was also the key to another question that asked how a business might deliver better outcomes in a time of crisis, with Dell's General Manager for Small Business Roddy Perkins suggesting it was important to reach out to your customers.

"Where you have provided or services to your customers, talk to them," Perkins said. "Is it delivering in the current environment, and what can you do to help? The time you invest now speaking to your customers will pay dividends moving forward."

With businesses today being more reliant on customer loyalty than ever before, another question asked what small businesses should be doing to maintain loyalty, to which Dell Technologies' Chief Technology Officer Melissa Osborne suggested focusing on customers would build and solidify their trust in your business.

Janine Allis also suggested businesses should be doing their best to be noticed, especially online. However, she added that even traditional offline activities were important, so long as they enabled a business to connect with people in their homes.

"Is there a way that you can go to good old-fashioned letter dropping again?" she asked. "But the best way to get your business noticed is to make sure you deliver an incredible service or product to your customers."

Another important tip from Melissa Osborne was to ensure that as businesses ventured more and more online that they were ensuring their digital assets – and the people behind them – were being kept safe from cyber-attacks.

"I have a long cyber security background so I really urge you to look at how you are securing your working-from-home workers, and try not to introduce new risks into your network," she said. "There is a lot of free information out there, there is a lot of great associations, so really 'lean in' to the cybersecurity conversation."

Business owners should therefore take advantage of the free resources available to them. Sites such as the Australian Cyber Security Centre's Small Business Cyber Security Guide also provide a great resource and guide for helping business owners protect themselves from the most common cyber security incidents.

Dell Technologies offers a range of services to help small businesses, including the Dell Expert Network. Find reliable small business advice and tailored solutions via Dell's Small Business solutions page