Tips for Small Businesses to Get Through the Pandemic

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Tips for Small Businesses to Get Through the Pandemic

I hope you are not missing your Zoom meeting or webinar while reading this! 

As the pandemic continues to impact our lives, its impact on small businesses has already become unmanageable. Some businesses can survive it because of the nature of their businesses like SaaS (Software as a Service) or Telemedicine industries but most of the small businesses are struggling because of the disruption due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

There are many resources online. I am sure you are already overwhelmed with the webinars. But in the end, as a business owner, you are the one who needs to make tough decisions, handle pressure, and keep your doors open. The lesson we have been learning in this difficult time is to be agile and adapt to the circumstances. I can hear that you are saying, “well that’s easier said than done.” But if you are reading this you are taking the first step which is doing something for your business.

In this post, we provide you the practical steps that you can apply today and lessen the impact of coronavirus on your business!

First, believe in yourself and your team. You are the one who has put sweat equity into your business, and you have the strength. So, stay positive!

Steps to Lessen the Impact of Coronavirus

1. Communicate your action plan with your clients, stakeholders, and employees. 
Update your information on Google, social media, website and hang signs if you have a physical location. Talk to your suppliers and distributors and tell them your plan. Keep everyone informed, motivated and focused!

2. Stay healthy and send your employees home.
Lessen the impact of coronavirus and increase your business’ chances of long-term survival. 

3. Talk to your insurance agent and attorney.
See if your business interruption insurance covers coronavirus. 

4. Create a contingency plan at least for the next 3 months. 
No one knows how long this will last. But hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Keep an eye on your cash to cash cycle and know when your payments due. Project your cash in and cash out and project the amount and the time that you may need funding. 

5. Take advantage of low-interest COVID-19 loan programs. 
As you know, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). See our guide to see if you qualify. That said SBA is not the only resource for you. There are local and commercial lenders that offer plans specifically for coronavirus. Talk to your lender and/or join our COVID-19 webinars to find out your options. 

6. Deferring your existing loan
As mentioned above, banks are all offering loans and deferment. They may and/or willing to do to help ease this acute situation by deferring your existing loan. 

7. Extend your non-urgent payables.
All payments are not equal! Prioritize your bills and payments. Talk to your accountant and see how you can manage your bills smartly. 

8. Manage and expedite receivables/collections.
Every penny counts! Set up a process and automate your collections process. Send reminders and follow up. Reward early birds and consider incentives. 

9. Consider alternative revenue streams – invest in Technology.
Every crisis is an opportunity. It’s true! Think about alternative revenue streams, leverage technology, and online tools/resources. Do not just focus on the obvious things. Think about how you can support this virtual space or the healthcare industry. A lot of restaurants have started online delivery. Zoom is everywhere. Carmakers are making ventilators. 

10. File Your Taxes - Tax refunds can help to cover some of your expenses. 

11. Talk to your landlord to see if you can skip a month on your payment.
Landlords certainly do not want to lose your business or the long-term relationship such transactions bring about. Many are poised to offer you some reprieve, see what they may be willing to do.

12. Take advantage of the suspended shut-off from utility providers.
Duquesne Light, The Water and Sewer Authority and Port Authority are some examples of utility providers that are suspending shutoffs. Comcast is proving free Wi-Fi nationally.

13. Sell Your Unnecessary Items/Equipment.
There might be something that you no longer need but there may be someone that can save money by buying it from you. 

14. Diversify Your Distributor Sources.
You can mitigate the economic impact of coronavirus by diversifying your distributors. Some states/areas have not been severely impacted by the outbreak.  

15. Offer gift cards, discounted future purchases/credits to your clients.
For example, if you have a beauty salon, offer discounted services that your clients can use in the future if they pay now. 

16. Offer discounts, free trials
You may need to sacrifice your margins in the short-term but you might end up with long-term clients/customers. 

17. Talk to your suppliers. 
Like lenders and landlords, your suppliers do not want to lose your business or relationship. That said they may agree to suspend your payments.

18. Cut your expenses.
Again, every penny counts. Switch to lower subscription plans, cancel services that are not critical to your business.

19. Brainstorm with your industry experts, advisors, mentors, family and friends.  

Last But Not Least:  Reach out to us! 

You may have already considered or done some of these, but we hope there is at least something that you have missed. 

We are here to serve you and will continue to do so and we will get through this together!
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Tunca Cali
Marketing, Training and Informatics Manager

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