Since March 2020, 39% of established small business owners have furloughed or temporarily laid-off workers, and only 3% have hired new employees, according to the SCORE. Unlike large corporations, small enterprises survive on limited cash flow. So when a situation as significant as the coronavirus hits, it can be challenging for entrepreneurs and their employees.
There is no simple answer on how small businesses can improve cash flow amid a pandemic. But there are few key steps entrepreneurs can take to navigate these challenging times. Below are a few ways small and medium enterprises are coping with the COVID-19 crisis.
Creating New Business Opportunities
For your small business to stay afloat during a pandemic era, it requires new approaches. This entails making adjustments to your current business structures. Many small enterprises have reinvented revenue streams like converting production lines to produce products that are in high demand, such as face masks and sanitizers. You may also implement other tactics.
For example, if you own a store, consider setting up an e-commerce website if you don’t have one already. This step will attract customers because they can shop without leaving their homes. Also, provide deliveries at a discounted fee or zero cost to entice and retain clients. Creating new opportunities for your business can help you survive the economic impact of the ongoing health crisis.
Taking Advantage of Business Financial Support
With many consumers practicing self-isolation, millions of small and medium enterprises are likely to close their doors completely, leaving employees jobless. However, you can overcome the challenges by seeking financial assistance. Besides applying for government relief, there are many places you can get business funds to enhance your cash flow. Check with your credit card company if you can get financial aid to boost your business. Most credit card lenders are supporting small businesses by giving a 30-day waiver on the service fee. You may also want to try crowdfunding or apply for grants offered by organizations in your state.
Reinventing The Workspace
Maintaining safe and healthy workplaces is crucial for surviving in the business world during tough economic times. If you’re still running some operations or plan to resume work, make sure to follow the government’s health and safety protocols. Disinfecting your premise should be your top concern. You want to guarantee customers your shop is safe, so they can continue doing business with you.
While you may disinfect the workplace yourself, it’s advisable to hire experienced COVID-19 cleaning service providers. Most importantly, advise customers and employees to wear face masks, use hand sanitizers, or wash their hands. Prioritize social distancing by reducing the number of people entering your premises and discourage lengthy face-to-face discussions between clients and workers.
Revising Crisis And Continuity Plans
Many entrepreneurs are coping by reviewing their business crisis and continuity plans regularly. And while you may already have a crisis plan, it may not address the unique challenges linked with a health pandemic. To ensure you succeed during this unprecedented time, revise your generic plans, and tailor them to help you cope with challenging situations. For instance, if your employees need to work from home, ask yourself if you have the technology required. You should also determine if you need to outsource freelancers and how you’ll collect data accurately. Doing so will help you create an effective crisis management plan to navigate difficult times.
Navigating the current health pandemic isn’t easy, but entrepreneurs can cope and thrive amid the hardships. As a business owner, you need to look for new opportunities, revise your crisis management plan, and improve workplace safety. It also pays to enhance internal communication to avoid misinformation, which might interfere with smooth business operations.