COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the entire country, but especially on small businesses. Non-essential businesses have been forced to close their doors indefinitely, leaving millions of Americans with no income. And with government assistance programs unable to fulfill their promises, many business owners are now faced with tough decisions. So what can you do during this unprecedented time to ensure your business is still standing when the country reopens? Read on to see our suggestions.
Make sure everything is in order
Your first step as a business owner is to dive into the small details you may have been able to previously overlook. Review your income statements line by line to determine needs versus wants. Of course paying your employees that are currently working, rent, utilities, etc. are non-negotiables. But that big advertising campaign you were about to launch may be able to wait a few months. And since you’re not working at the office, the usual catered lunches and coffee runs are money back in your pocket. It’s important to stick with just the essentials during this time.
Don’t forget about any tax or payroll obligations. Although the date to file has been extended to July, we have no idea how long it will be before the economy fully reopens which may directly affect the revenue of your business and your ability to make timely payments. Don’t fall even more behind by making late payments, or worse, not paying at all.
Talk to your people, we’re all in this together
As stated above, your rent and utilities are the baseline of your business expenses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate better rates. Give your landlord, internet company, and electric company a call to see if you can get a lower rate for the time being, especially if your building is closed. This is also a great time to look into becoming more energy efficient which will get you cash back both monthly and when it comes time to file taxes. Also talk to your vendors about possibly delaying payments until you reopen. All of this is temporary and these companies need your business just as much as you need theirs.
Get in touch with your bank. Many lenders have been deferring payments during this time of crisis and may be able to help you out. They can also walk you through the overwhelming process of seeking out and applying for assistance through the Small Business Administration loans. Be transparent about your needs and they’ll do their best to help you get through this.
Now more than ever, entrepreneurs are being forced to use their skills to keep businesses afloat. And many owners are taking this opportunity to expand to new arenas. Gyms are offering interactive online fitness classes, bakeries are selling “make-your-own” kits, and companies are even renting out equipment they are unable to use. Jump on this bandwagon and think about how your business can adapt to an online or contactless model. Who knows? You may even want to continue these options even when you open your doors again.
Additionally, think about how to get creative with your supply chain. Businesses and their supply chain are so codependent, that one cannot survive without the other, but many are currently experiencing disruptions because of material shortages. Look for alternatives to your traditional supply chain. Maybe you can find a local vendor to supply your material. Or perhaps you’ll discover a new vendor that better meets your needs. Forcing yourself to think outside the box may result in a change your business will stick with even after the worst has passed.
Think about the future
At some point, all of the struggles associated with COVID-19 will be behind us and the economy will once again flourish. But that doesn’t mean you should resort back to old ways of doing business. The suggestions we’ve provided will help in the short term, but consider adopting them as long term practices. Cutting back on unnecessary expenses, negotiating rates, getting creative, and always thinking one step ahead are all good ways to increase your revenue and grow your business even when social distancing is a thing of the past.
If you’d like to discuss any of these matters, we’re happy to provide our expertise through our business consulting services. Call (603) 601-4515 or email info@MarcMichaudAssociates.com today.
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