Here it is five months after the coronavirus was declared a national pandemic, and not much has changed. Sure, some states have started phases to reopen, but the latest stats on new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths show that the threat is still real. Though the health and safety of the general public trump the economy’s state, it’s hard to ignore the financial strain this has caused for small business owners.
Between the record-breaking unemployment rates and the widespread fear resulting from the current health crisis, sales significantly declined. With no money coming in and expenses adding up, some entrepreneurs have had to close up shop while others hang on by a thread. If you’re a small business owner that identifies with the latter, you’re probably wondering how you can prevent the former.
When things happen that are beyond your control, there’s nothing you can do to change it. The only thing you can do is make adjustments to adapt and weather the storm. Here’s some advice below.
Get a Clear Picture of Your Finances
Trying to solve your financial problems without first understanding how big your issues are is counterproductive. The truth might be hard to deal with, but it’s time to create a promo video with a company such as MakeWebVideo.com. Review your budget, sales, expenses, and savings to get a clear understanding of how bad (or good) things are. As you evaluate these documents, accounts, and reports, the main objective is to determine whether you’re generating enough sales to cover operational costs.
Restructure The Budget
If you’ve determined that the business isn’t performing well enough to your expenses, you’ll need to adjust your budget. Analyze your expenses to assess whether you can cut costs. During uncertain times, survival is the main objective. So, anything you’re currently paying for that you can eliminate or reduce, now is the time to take action. After lowering your out of pocket costs, draft a new budget, reflecting current revenue and expenditures.
Apply for Assistance
There is help available for small business owners who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. While some of these opportunities are available nationwide, others are state-specific. Therefore, when searching for programs, be sure to use key terms like Texas small business assistance. Review the guidelines, complete the application, provide any required paperwork, and await a final decision, and, hopefully, payment.
When state and city officials mandated that all non-essential businesses close, many establishments transitioned to digital platforms. The shift not only made it possible for them to continue business amid the pandemic, but it saved them a lot of money on overhead costs like lease payments and utility bills. You can do the same by creating an eCommerce site and structuring remote teams. Now, your employees can keep working, and customers have 24/7 access to your products or services.
Rethink Your Business Strategy
Depending on how badly your business is struggling, you may need to rethink your sales and customer service strategy altogether. Mom and pop restaurants, for example, started selling fresh, uncooked, or frozen ingredients so customers could recreate dishes at home. Some entrepreneurs enlisted same-day delivery services to get products and services to customers safely. On the other hand, service-based companies went mobile, taking the business to their client’s front door. The owner of a massage parlor might become a mobile massage therapist. Similarly, a hairstylist or barber book personal appointments and meet at the client’s residence.
Consistent Yet Creative Marketing
The last word of advice on keeping your small business alive during the pandemic is creative and consistent marketing. You don’t want your customers to assume that you’re not open for business. You also want them to know that you’re willing to do what you can to accommodate their needs. Use your digital platforms to your advantage. Ensure that you post any changes to company policies, educate your audience on steps to access your products or services, and continue to provide savings or perks to paying customers to keep them interested.
The coronavirus pandemic has taught entrepreneurs that emergency preparedness is vital. As you can see, you just never know when something could happen that inadvertently impacts your company. So, use the advice listed above to devise a plan to get you through the pandemic and beyond.