The ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic has hit business very hard, especially small businesses. That generally lack the resilience for overcoming market downturns. It can be extremely challenging for entrepreneurs to deal with the fact that their customers are no longer able to access them, the demand for products and services may have disappeared; there is a complete disruption of the supply chain and the employees themselves not able to attend the workplace. While there is no denying that the going will be extremely tough for many small businesses to get back to strength. Here are some practical action points that business owners. Can take to save their businesses from going under and come out stronger than before:
Take Stock of the Immediate Financial Situation, Advises Robert Trosten
With the COVID-19 suddenly pulling down the shutters of the majority of small businesses. The primary concern of business owners is how they can pay their bills from one week to another. It is important to create a budget specifying the cash flow and identifying the fixed costs that you have to pay. Even among these costs, you should prioritize and negotiate with those you cannot pay. Go over your costs thoroughly and exclude whatever is not essential to immediate survival. However, terminating employees can be sensitive so consider wage cuts, furloughs, or layoffs. Try and identify alternate sources of revenue by altering your product mix to accommodate. The manufactures of essential items in high demand in this time of crisis.
Tax Payments Must Be Kept in Mind, Warns Robert Trosten
Even though the Fed has given a 90-day extension for tax payment till July 15 for small business owners owing up to $1 million in taxes, they still need to file their returns or extensions. While there are no penalties for not paying taxes till the expiry of the extension, you can face fines if you don’t file your returns. Do note that there has been no extension in the date for payment of payroll taxes and you can face very still penalties for non-compliance. You should make it a point to file your returns promptly if you are eligible for a refund.
Consider Taking Out an SBA Disaster Assistance Loan, Recommends Robert Trosten
According to https://www.inc.com, small business owners are now eligible to take a loan of up to $2 million to cover operational costs, payroll, and business debt if they are unable to access debt elsewhere for more than $350,000. The repayment can be done over 30 years with the rate being just 3.75%. To qualify, the business’s financials along with personal guarantees. From all individuals owning 20% or more of the business.need to be submitted with the application. Take the loan only if you are confident that you can pay it back. And avoid taking on additional debt if you already have lots on your balance sheet.
Follow Safety and Hygiene Protocols, Advises Robert Trosten
If you can keep your business open, you must ensure that you follow all safety protocols. Advised for businesses by the CDC regarding sanitization of work areas, social distancing, taking body temperature. Maintaining good personal and environmental hygiene advises Robert Trosten. Reduce the opportunity for workers to form groups of more than ten, cancel participation in large events. And try to avoid personal meetings by video call, text, and email. Take your employees into confidence so that they understand the need for health and hygiene practices in the workplace and ensure you comply. With the directives of the local, state, and federal governments.
Be the Leader for Your Employees, Remarks Robert Trosten
As a responsible business leader, you should be the calming force in these turbulent times when employees. Will be apprehensive regarding what the future holds for them and their families. You mustn’t appear to panic even if you have had to close your business temporarily because you know very well that if you going to survive. It will be due to the efforts of your employees.
This is the reason why you should assure them that you are looking to the future with positivity and that they are valuable to you. Robert Trosten thinks you should not make any rigid plans at this time. Because the environment itself is extremely fluid and you will need to adapt quickly to the changing circumstances. Make arrangements for working out of home for functions that are amenable to this. Be ready to grant extra sick leave so that employees do not feel compelled to attend work. Pause your fresh hiring and take a hard look at salary cutbacks, layoffs, or retrenchment so that you can minimize them. Establish a clear line of communication with your employees to eliminate confusion.
Keep Talking to Your Customers, Advises Robert Trosten
Even if you are temporarily shut due to the effects of the pandemic, you should keep communicating with them. In one way or the other with value-added information that your customers will find useful. If you are open for business, explain to your customers how they can keep interacting with you and update. Them with any revised hours of business or store timings. Make it a point to communicate with them the safety, security, and health and hygiene protocols.
You have established to keep customers and your employees safe. Use multiple channels to reach out; social media, email newsletters, websites, text messages, etc. are useful ways of keeping your customers in the know of what is happening. This is a very good opportunity to refocusing your business to try to deliver. What your customers want and also find new ways of delivering your products and services to minimize the risk of infection.
The pandemic can be a very effective wake-up call to the need of reevaluating your business. Objectives and aligning your business to the new reality. The effects of the pandemic are sure to make lasting changes to the way customers behave. And you have to change yourself to come out tops. Even though you will not be able to predict the next business challenge. It is still a very good idea to plan additional sources of revenue and how to bulletproof your business by strategic diversification.