Covid-19 and Business Continuity in Retail Audiology

We live in interesting times, and they don’t seem to be getting any less interesting soon. I think to say unprecedented situation, may, in fact, be under egging the situation at this stage. The world is at the centre of a Pandemic, a disease spiral that has perhaps not been seen for 100 years.

COVID-19 Virus Particles
COVID-19 Virus Particles

This Isn’t Going Away

While steps are being taken to try and mitigate the impact of this deadly disease, they will not eradicate it. Western governments will not have the stomach for the steps that need to be taken. We, unfortunately, do not have a Churchill in any western government. Someone who will make the decisions to do what is unpalatable at best and horrifying at worst.

Those steps would mean the enforced quarantine of a nation. It would mean governmental control of all movement. It would mean that citizens, actually engage in their part of the social contract. I am afraid, that probably isn’t going to happen in places in the world and certainly not in America where there really is no social contract as such.

So What Are We To Do?

With all of this in mind, we need to face up to the fact that this will not go away anytime soon. It will not be better until, we have a reliable treatment regime, or we have a reliable vaccine. During the period between now and then, what can we do? There are in fact many steps you can take to help mitigate some of the fallout. There are also parameters we need to look at to continue trading, even in a lower capacity.

So let’s take a look at what we can do:

  • Renegotiate the rent of your practice if indeed you have one
  • Cut back on your marketing spend
  • Renegotiate your terms and conditions with your suppliers
  • Institute an in-depth and broad infection control protocol
  • Offer car park or curbside service for repair and troubleshooting
  • Institute a broad remote service strategy
  • Consider how you will continue to offer full services with the new reality in mind

Each of these steps, or points, will at least begin to mitigate the impact of the current crisis. However, the last step is the most difficult one for us to negotiate. How are we to continue to provide services with the new reality in mind? It will need both imagination, and adherence to local guidelines.

In general, the people we deal with are squarely within the highest risk group for mortality from this disease. How can we continue to see them in person, without threatening their ongoing health? Personal Protection Equipment is one answer, however, it presents problems in and of itself.

If people are to wear masks to protect themselves, how are we to continue to do what we do with ease? We need to consider it, because in the short term, actually mid-term, if we are to continue to deliver our services, we need to.

About Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling is an Irish hearing care blogger and the author of The Little Book of Hearing Aids and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World. He has been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession since 2007 when he qualified as a hearing aid audiologist. He has worked in private practice and for a major hearing aid manufacturer. He has become recognised as an authority within the field of hearing care and hearing aids.


  1. Jonathan Leiterman

    This may end up destroying the industry….private practices who rely on marketing, physician referrals and private pay patients are at a stand still… way of generating revenue. I couldn’t imagine a company that is strictly retail getting trhough this time.

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