Crafting the right message to your employees, customers and Board of Directors is an important step in preparing your business for the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic. In any real-life situation that can affect the health and well-being of the people in your organization-not to mention the health of your enterprise-the right message is important. Even though “the message” is singular in term, it really is a process composed of several messages delivered in various formats to reach your intended audience with the right timing, information and tone.Below are five tips to help you stay on top of internal communication during the H1N1/swine flu pandemic. You want to convey much more than that you are simply ‘prepared.’ You want your employees and stakeholders to know that you have anticipated the impacts of the illness on your business, individuals and their families, and that you are ready. At the end of the day, it’s about building trust and confidence. Think about these things:Educate: By now, most have heard a lot about the H1N1 virus. There has not been a shortage of coverage on the evening news. We’ve found that the information may not always be accurate, however, and important information may get lost in sensationalized communications. If you find fear of the pandemic is a problem, then knowledge is the solution. It should be delivered in a straightforward and factual manner, without an alarming tone.Open and honest: Your message should not be complicated, and you do not need to explain every element of your pandemic plan. Generally, employees just want to see that you have all the bases covered. If you create a feedback loop, employees will feel empowered to respond with questions. This will bolster confidence and allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of employee concerns about pandemic impacts.People-centered: Stress that you are concerned for all the individuals that make up your organization-as well as their families. Include relevant home health information that includes resources related to vaccinations, home care, and the most up-to-date local/regional news. Instill confidence that the employer has their best interest in mind.Actionable: You cannot address all the elements of your message in one burst of communication. Since the first wave of the pandemic, you have probably already internally addressed many of the points mentioned here. Simply deliver short messages that address key points or relevant company issues.Targeted: Choose the best resource to deliver your message, such as text-messages, emails, posters, etc. Be creative. Remember, too, that not all employees will have access to computers at home or in the workplace. Communication is not effective if it never reaches your intended audience. Whether the impetus comes from human resources or other managers, it is important not only that you are prepared to face H1N1, but that your team knows you are prepared. Take the time to communicate the right messages at the right time.
As you begin to build your At-home business, look for the strengths of others to help you succeed. The pressure of starting any business is enormous, but a home-based business is always with you. Take the time to enjoy your family, enjoy your quiet time with God and enjoy your business. My tips are:
Begin your day with praises and thanks to God for your business
Have a plan for the day. Schedules and planning is very important. If you want to have lunch with your child at school, put it in your planner for the day, then look at it as just another appointment (but a very important appointment)
Look to others in your life that might want to work from home and enlist their help when things become overwhelming. You can pay them as a sub-contractor and build a great support team for your business
In the beginning you will take every job you can, but as you begin to sift your client base for the perfect clients or your niche clients, you will be happier and they will receive greater benefits from you.
When the work day is over, close the door and let it be over. There is always that impulse to “just do this one more thing” but try very hard to separate work time from family time and stick to it.
And end your day with thanksgiving to the One who gave you the gift of your home-based business and the opportunity to serve Him through it.
Provide original content.The key to a successful Online Business strategy is to create excellent content that your audience will want to share. Do not expect people to visit your site on a regular basis if you do not update it regularly with quality content. Your content will be perceived as valuable if it is original, instructive, is relevant to your readers’ interests and helps them get better deals on your products. Share your best tips, experiences, discounts and write about any popular topic your audience can relate to. Experiment with different formats too; you will find that certain types of articles get more attention, such as top 10 lists.Go ViralGet your content to go viral. You should consider creating a series of video or info-graphics; people will be more likely to watch an entire video than read a whole article. Use these videos to present your products but focus on providing your audience with quality content. You could, for instance, start your own cooking show if you sell cookware, or demonstrate different fitness workouts if you sell sporting goods or supplements. Share your content efficiently; post it on social networks, message boards, and your blog and get more people to share this content by including coupon codes at the end of your videos for instance.Become a CelebrityBecome a celebrity in your field of work. Take the spotlight in your own videos and sign every article you write with your name and a link to your site. Start your own blog and develop a strong presence on social networks. People will eventually recognize your name if they see your articles featured on their favourite blogs or publications. You should also attend as many events as possible: go to conventions, fairs, festivals and organize your own events too. Do not miss an occasion to speak in public about your products. Make sure everything you do is documented online and network with other professionals and potential customers as much as possible. Dress and behave like a professional and you will soon be considered as an expert in your field of work.Interact with your audienceInteract with your audience as much as possible. Make sure that you give people several options to contact you and be available and helpful with everyone. Create a blog, a message board or a group on your customers’ favourite social network so that your customers have a place where they can share their own content, have access to quality articles, pictures or videos they will find interesting and make new friends. Do not befriend your customers; you should remain professional and remember you need to convince these people to buy your products. Creating online communities and staying in touch with your customers is the best way to develop a good branding strategy.Apply these tips and keep looking for new Online Business strategies that would be relevant for your niche. Implement new strategies on a trial basis and keep track of your results to make sure you are going in the right direction.