There are some situations in life that are almost impossible to prepare for. Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing one of those hard to navigate situations. As COVID-19, or the Coronavirus, continues to disrupt our day-to-day lives, almost everyone is feeling some impacts from the illness. One group of people that is facing an especially difficult time is small business owners.
Owning a small business can be difficult enough. However throwing in a widespread pandemic where entire cities are shut down, and keeping that small business going makes owning a business even harder. While the best businesses should be equipped to handle any situation, the Corona epidemic is an outlier. No business is truly safe right now, but there are measures you can take to mitigate the impacts that the epidemic is having on your business. This guide will provide you with some resources to help navigate any crisis situation that may arise in the future.
I know it probably seems obvious, but staying as informed as possible on the outside world can help you better understand how to navigate a crisis situation. If you don’t typically follow the news, there is no better time to start than now. Keeping up with the current news will help you better make judgments on what to do in regards to your own company.
Sometimes, cable news can be bloated, misleading, or just plain uninformative. Luckily, in modern times, traditional news outlets are not the only way to consume information. There are many online resources available that may cater more towards your viewing preferences. One great way to get just the “meat and potatoes” of the news is to subscribe to a daily newsletter. Sites like the Skimm offer straight to the point news that is delivered daily right to your email.
Keeping up on the news cycle will help you better make decisions regarding your business. If every business in the area is closing down, it may be wise for you to follow suit. This is not to say that you should always blindly follow the news, and what others are doing around you, but keeping up with the world around you can help you make your own smart choices for your company. You might even discover some resources that you can utilize such as government assistance.
Keep A Healthy Cash Flow Going
It certainly is easier said than done, but keeping some influx of cash is a necessity during a crisis situation. Try to keep your bottom line as low as possible, as your business will likely experience a decline in sales. Cut back on unnecessary costs as much as possible. Keep a close eye on your records to make sure that you can take a loss for a few months if necessary.
Depending on the industry your company is in, you may need to think outside the box when it comes to sales. If you are a restaurant or retail business, try offering curbside pickups and delivery.
Not all industries will be able to adjust their sales process on the fly. If your business cannot maintain enough sales to keep up your cash flow, don’t panic, there are other options out there. Small business loans are a great way to maintain your business’ finances through uncertain times. Usually, in a time of need, loan providers will be able to offer more lenient rates, longer terms, and can speed up the approval process of applying for a loan. A loan will allow you to continue to pay your employees, keep your product stocked, and maintain the many other business expenses you may have.
Whatever route you decide to take, maintaining your business’ finances will be key during any crisis situation. Just remember not to panic if things look grim at first, there are many options available to help small businesses keep afloat during trying times.
Use Every Resource Available
It can be difficult to rely on others during a time of need. Humans, in general, tend to try and do things on their own and often wait too long to ask for help. Do not see asking for help as a sign of weakness. Every person goes through hardships in life and other people will be there to help. This is true when it comes to navigating a troubling time with your business.
When looking for resources to help you through your time of need, a great first place to look would be the U.S. Small Business Administration website (SBA). The SBA site has loads of information, resources, and guides that can help you keep your business afloat. During especially tough times, such as the one we are currently facing, the government should be the first place you go if you think you need assistance. If the Coronavirus has impacted your business, check out this list of resources that may help your business during the coming months.
Besides using the government for assistance, try contacting the people in your community for help. The local news outlets and small business groups can all be very helpful during times of crisis. You never know who might be able to help your business. Something as simple as a call to an action news story can help keep your business afloat during difficult times.
As you navigate through whatever hardship is impacting your business, be sure to put your ego aside and ask for help.
Keep A Clear Head
Pushing on through difficult times can be tough. Depending on the severity of your situation, it can seem like there is no way out. This is almost never the case. A great leader will remain calm under pressure. When your back is against the wall, it is fight or flight. Being proactive, using the resources around you, and asking for help when you need it are all great ways to counter any crisis. Keep your head up and your eyes on the prize.
We will get through this.