COVID-19 put the biggest impacts on the business all over the world, especially small businesses. The local and state governments are already lockdown their country, asking residents to remain home, provides essential supplies to them, the small businesses are on life support, facing difficulties to survive in the U.S.
There is no doubt that the small local businesses are important institutions to the country’s GDP contribution (5.9 trillion, according to the 2014 GDP data); employing 47.5% of the total private sector workforce and about 59M people in the USA. This data proves that these small businesses play a vital role in the nation’s economy. But due to the coronavirus outbreak, they are fighting to keep their existence in the market. How they can survive? Well! Here are some important steps that small business entrepreneurs like you to prevent temporary closure of your business and help to protect your business now.
Steps You Can Take Now To Protect Your Business
We know, COVID-19 affected your business too. Here are some steps and round-up advice that you can take to protect your business.
1. Work from Home or Be Serious About Your Workplace
We all are stressed and facing the uncertainty of this situation. We don’t know when we can go back to work. So, it is wise to work from home if possible to keep business running. Organize your remote work. There are many tools and ways are available for remote collaborations. Using regular Skype calls, Zoom or Hangout meetings can keep you attached to your business which also allows you to track the workflows without losing productivity. Schedule a daily meeting, it will keep your employees motivated and on duty.
The problem is, not everyone can work from home. If you still want to use your workplace, take must needed precautions and be serious about it. Limit your social contact, keep a safe distance away from others, and wash your hands often and disinfecting communal areas and equipment.
2. Be Open and Connected With Your Customers
Be honest with your customers. Communicate with them, tell your customers what actions you are taking to solvent your business during this coronavirus outbreak. Apprise them any changes about your business like are you closing temporarily, switching to doorstep deliveries, or operating limited opening hours? And the most important thing is, asking for the feedback and recommendations too. Be open! Ask your customers for their input on social media. They’ll quickly tell you what they want and what they’d be willing to pay for.
3. Move Your Business to Online
One of the great ways to keep running your business today. By offering your customers to get their needs from online and home deliveries, it can give you an extra revenue stream. Just drop the parcel on the customer’s doorstep, they will collect it from there. So simple, there is no contact involved in doing business online, which helps the most vulnerable people in your community get the goods they need. Offer your customers a voucher or a gift card instead of money-back refund policy. Notify your customers of any updates including your opening hours, new local pickup option, and anything relates to your business. Creating a Facebook page or a business website is the most helpful way to move your business online.
Social Media: Today, most of the online business use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote their products or business. Social media is the easiest way to interact with customers. Create your business page, and keep posting to keep your customer updated. Social media like Facebook Page will keep in touch with your customers which creates a stronger buyer-seller relationship with them.
Business Website: Today, most of the company has a personal business website, which is a great way to let your customers know about you and your business in detail. Create a website for your business.
Google My Business: If you have Google My Business Page, update it. Log in to your account and make the necessary changes to your business information. This will help your customers find your business online.
4. Apply For the Small Business Administration Loans
Local state governments and authorities already executing the required measures to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19. These range from loan schemes for small businesses to help employers claim back sick pay. The UK has announced plans to offer various grants, loan schemes, reduced business rates, and statutory sick pay relief for SMEs. In U.S. Some state government is offering disaster loans. Find out what help your government is offering. Explore private sector programs too to get small business loans. Facebook announces to offer $100 million in grants to small businesses. Small business loan companies like Fintech, Boston Arts Relief Funds are also considering ways to support small businesses. GoFundMe creates a “Small Business Relief” initiative for companies affected. You can also get a loan from them.
5. Secure Liquidity & Manage Your Finances Wisely
Business involves risks. When it comes to small businesses, they are vulnerable and riskier. According to the federal government’s Small Business Administration, only about half of the small businesses last longer for more than five years. Accessing cash is the biggest challenge for small businesses. Moreover, after paying the overhead costs like payroll, rents and other utilities, owners do not have much cash or revenue from the business. To fight this global pandemic, small business owners should advocate for efforts to provide immediate liquidity and to keep the business running.
The Small Business Workforce Stabilization Fund provide immediate cash to the most vulnerable businesses, keep employees on payroll, and allow businesses to grow once customers return. They will forgive financial assistance provided to those small businesses which were solvent prior to the crisis, so long as the same number of employees are rehired within 12 months after the crisis. The legislation would also increase the loan limit for SBA Express from $350,000 to $1 million. During this global crisis, this program can be a good way to stabilize the market and provide relief for owners, workers, and their families.
I know, due to the novel coronavirus, like others, you are also struggling with your business. Here are some little suggestions that may help you to pivot your business during this coronavirus Pandemic.
I suggest you not to get frustrated. If possible work from home, adjust your workflows, management, business strategy and goals, If possible move your business online, don’t lose your customer. Apply for a loan and supports from Government or small business loan companies. Don’t forget, we all are fighting with this situation. Stay safe!