Guide to Surviving the Covid-19 Pandemic for Small Businesses

It is a sad fact that the present Covid-19 pandemic can bring serious damage to both small business owners and their employees. Unlike other business owners who own bigger businesses and have their means to survive the pandemic, small business owners have to carry the burden of living with limited cash flow. With this inevitable circumstance, how can small businesses get through it in the coming days? Here are some helpful tips for small businesses to survive during this challenging moment:

#1 Seek for Financial Assistance From Government and Other Institutions

Small businesses are now starting to receive support from governments worldwide.  

Finance advisors at Max Funding say, “as small business owners, you have to be updated with how the government can give you an aid to cut expenditure.Banks and other institutions have social responsibilities to you as well. They add, “in case you  are registered in two or more markets, you may search for different support options in both markets. In other words, you may also try to discover government support for small businesses from other sides of the world.” 

#2 Keep Calm and be Healthy

During this daunting and unfamiliar time, it is not easy to keep calm most especially if we talk of  financial stability and you don’t have sufficient cash on hand. Do not forget that keeping yourself healthy will make you and your employee feel at ease. Being worry-free paves way to brighter and creative ideas. This helps you make powerful decisions during these tough times. Have a positive mindset and approach people for reliable opinions. Bear in mind that you are not alone and you may ask for support from people around you.

Integrative Psychotherapist Natalie Wood stresses that the shock and trauma of a world-wide pandemic can have a huge effect on mental health. Doing regular check ups on your employees and being self-aware of your own mental health are crucial. Always reach out and seek professional help if you feel it is necessary.

#3  Provide Trainings for Your Employees

Your employees depend on you. If you think you have a great team, keep them. Instead of recruiting more people to work with you, you could provide training for your existing employees on advanced skills. This could make them be more productive at work and achieve significant results. There are many affordable online courses and these let them improve themselves as they work on other areas when their department is temporarily unavailable. For example, the marketing team can be helped by those in the sales team since the sales department is down. There are other companies which have started offering an online course on digital marketing for small businesses. It teaches the creation and implementation of digital marketing strategies. The good thing is, having enrolled in this course while you and your team are isolated from everyone, can be done at the comfort of your homes. You may also consider other related courses to match your business needs and your current budget as well.

#4 Look for Opportunities

During this evolving time, you may want to consider answering the following questions: 

Can your business survive these changes caused by the pandemic? What are your behavioural expectations to your customers as they continue to live their lives in this challenging moment? What will and will not be important to them? Can you assist new customers? Is an online offer possible? What about relying on technology this time that you need to balance the loss of income by giving the customers varied options to connect with you? 

E-commerce store owner Mark Douglas experienced new client opportunity throughout quarantine as people were lacking activities and turned to home improvement for entertainment. Mark implemented discount codes to drive sales and took note of buying patterns to optimise his store offerings.

Small business IT spending is on the rise. In fact, only 27% of small businesses do not have IT (SMB Group).This goes to tell that most small businesses are now opening doors to technology-based transactions.

Businesses with specific offerings could also thrive throughout lockdown, with an influx of people staying home all day, home improvement companies like Energy Savers AU saw an opportunity to improve people’s financial situations advertising their energy efficient lives that saved customers up to 80% on their power bills.

#5 Prepare a Three-Month Financial Plan

A small business deals with the following key expenses: employee wages, office rent, electricity bill and other utility bills.You may need to converse to concerned individuals (suppliers and landlord) for your three-month pay and discover the options you may take to keep your business running. It is possible that they may have options in mind and luckily may understand the current situation you are in. Be cautious all the time when you have to prepare for the payment plans with other small businesses. They, too, need to survive so you need to be fair-minded. Check your own finances and have a practical conversation with individuals you may support. Talk to them on how you can economise your three-month expenditures. Ask yourself if what you have to spend is essential and what can be put aside. If there are people  who support the growth of your business, discuss with them your plans for the business. Be honest and open as you talk to them.

Likewise, you must find ways on how you can be economical. Yet, use this final step after you have learned about the damage caused by Covid-19 for two months. Your employees and office rent possibly would be your biggest expenses. To solve this, you may stop hiring full-time employees and consider working with freelancers. To lessen and afford the things you need to pay, you may somehow make your office smaller and work in a shared office space. 

Someone said  it best, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,”.

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