As an unprecedented virus wreaks havoc around the globe, it is also causing major economic disruptions. If you own a small business, then you might be experiencing some financial difficulties. You are not alone!
Small businesses across the country are struggling to make it through this trying time. It is possible for small businesses to survive the coronavirus. However, it will likely take some adjustments throughout the pandemic.
Take a look at the tips below to help your small business come through this unfortunate situation stronger than ever.
Tips For Businesses Surviving COVID-19
Every small business is different. With that, you’ll need to decide for yourself which tips you’ll be able to implement in your small business. It’s important to keep an open mind and look for ways to apply as many of these strategies as possible.
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, it’s becoming clear that the details of this pandemic change every single day. With the spread of the virus, different areas of the country are forced to respond in different ways.
If you’re a small business owner, the key to surviving this is to stay flexible at all times. The situation as we know it today will likely change in the coming weeks. You’ll need to be able to adapt your business wherever possible as new information becomes available.
Assess What You Have On Hand
In certain industries, you’ve likely seen a steep drop off of revenue. That can put tremendous pressure on you as a business owner. After all, you still have bills to pay and employees to take care of regardless of the current economic climate.
If you have some cash reserves on hand, take the time to lay out exactly what you have available.
Slash Costs Where Essential
As you look at what you have on hand, evaluate your expenses: which need to be continued, and which can be cut?
Of course, your fixed costs such as rent and debt payments might be a top priority. You may find an opportunity to cut back on variable expenses. If a variable cost is not producing any revenue or maintaining an essential business function, then it might be time to cut back.
Map out how you will stretch out the cash reserves you have on hand. If things are extremely tight, then consider calling your landlord and lenders to potentially delay payments for now.
Consider Reducing Payroll As A Last Resort
As you look to decrease costs, payroll is an obvious option. However, it’s important to remember that people are what ultimately makes your business successful in the long-term. Small businesses are especially reliant on their employees to create a positive customer experience.
If you have no other option, then you may be forced to make the difficult decision to cut back on your staff. Do your best to take care of your employees. But ultimately, you may be forced to cut back on the labor costs of running your business.
Creatively Adapt Your Business
With the new rules about social distancing and essential staffing, life is changing everywhere. That also means that the way customers are able to interact with your business must also change.
Many businesses are finding ways to minimize customer interactions. A few good examples include curbside service, home deliveries and virtual chat sessions.
What are some ways that you could bring your current products to your customers during this strange time?
Pivot To Assist Customers In The Face Of COVID-19
In the same vein, you may need to consider pivoting to a new business model that is in line with the times. Many products and services are in high demand due to an effort to support those fighting the virus.
Is it possible for you to pivot your business? Can pivoting really help your business survive the COVID-19 pandemic? As a small business, you are likely in a better position to pivot than some major corporations where the wheels of change churn slowly. Get creative to find ways that you could repurpose your current operations to help those struggling in the face of the crisis. Not only could you position your business to survive the situation, but also solve a problem for your customers.
Consider Remote Work Options For Your Employees
As you adapt your business’ operations, consider remote work options for your employees. Although it’s not practical for every employee within a small business to work from home, some may be able to.
Do your best to implement the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. You want your employees to stay healthy and keep your facility operational.
With so many things changing constantly, it is important to communicate all of your adaptations clearly to anyone who is affected. That includes both your employees and your customers.
Be clear in your expectations for your employees. It’s also important to share with your customers the new ways that they can interact with you. You can share the updates via social media and your email list to get the word out about your adapted services.
Small Business Coronavirus Relief
Even with your adaptations, you might still need some financial assistance to make it through these difficult times. Luckily, there are a few ways that the government has stepped in to help small businesses.
The first is that there are loans available through the Small Business Administration to help you keep your doors open. The federal government recently authorized loans of up to $2 million dollars for small businesses with flexible terms and low-interest rates. However, it’s still a loan that you will need to repay.
A second financial helping hand is the delay of federal taxes for 90 days. With the delay of tax payment deadlines, you can use that capital to keep your business running for now.
Small Business Help During Coronavirus
It can be difficult to ask for help. However, if your business is in trouble, now is the time to ask. Send out a call to your valued customers for help. Many people are ready and willing to help their favorite small businesses make it through this unprecedented hardship.
Make it easy for your customers to support you.
Check Your Business Insurance Policy
If you have a business insurance policy, you may be able to receive some sort of payout based on this current economic hardship. Many would consider this a period of business interruption. If you aren’t sure what your insurance policy includes, call your provider to find out more about what’s covered.
Take This Time To Up Your Game
One productive use of this downtime is to tackle any projects that you’ve had on the back burner for a while. If you’re anything like me, you have a list of ways that you could improve your business with enough time. Well, now is the time to make those changes.
You can improve your process and build a stronger business that is ready to make a comeback in less turbulent times.
The Bottom Line
As you find ways to help your small business survive during COVID-19, the key is to stay adaptable. It’s likely that things will continue to change as the situation progresses. Find opportunities to pivot your business to solve a current problem and survive the crisis.
We live in strange times, but it’s still possible to keep your business going strong.