Operating a small business during the best of times is far from easy. Amidst the pandemic, many business owners have been forced to make the hard decision of whether or not to close their businesses permanently. With many brick-and-mortar locations closed to the public for the past several months, small business owners have been more focused on survival than ever before.
Surviving the Pandemic
While surviving the COVID crisis hasn’t been easy for entrepreneurs, it’s forced many of them to rethink their approach to their business operations. If you’re a small business owner, now is the time to practice the following strategies to make sure your business stays afloat:
1. Stay Level-Headed
Operating a business in these difficult times can send anyone’s stress levels into overdrive. However, the key to keeping your business together is to operate from a healthy mindset. As an entrepreneur, you are your business. If you hope that your business will survive the pandemic, you must first focus on surviving it yourself. Adopting a healthy mindset will help you calmly assess the state of your business. By working with a problem-solving attitude, you’ll be better equipped to develop ingenious ideas to take your business to the next level.
2. Find New Opportunities
Surviving the unexpected is all about getting creative and taking advantage of what you already have. Now’s the time to reconsider your business practices and come up with creative ways to maximize your opportunities. For example, many restaurants that closed as a result of the pandemic reopened with takeout-only service or with outdoor dining. Likewise, other businesses have turned to e-commerce to stay connected with their audience and reach new customers.
3. Look for Resources
Many business owners are working overtime to find new ways to keep the cash flowing amidst closures, quarantines, and a lack of business due to COVID. While resources are limited during these times, small business owners have the unique opportunity to tap into financial resources for entrepreneurs and founders. Research funding for small businesses offered by various financial institutions to learn more about your options for financial support. In addition to learning about resources like grants and other financial support, be on the lookout for ways to cut costs. Finding ways to conserve the limited amount of cash you have right now is important. For example, many lenders are offering their clients the chance to put their payments on hold until they become financially stable again.
4. Update Your Financial Plan
Though much of the future is uncertain thanks to the pandemic, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place. While some things will change, preparing for the future with an effective financial plan is a great way to start moving forward as a small business owner. Start updating your financial plan to include COVID-related concerns like employee salaries, utility bills, rent, and other expenses affected by the pandemic. In your effort to create a new financial plan, focus on the next three months, and figure out how much money you need to survive. In the event that you’re stretched too thin, be sure to speak with your landlord, suppliers, and anyone else expecting you to pay them in the upcoming months. In many situations, you’ll likely be able to come up with a payment plan that will allow you to get back on your feet.
5. Find a Side Hustle
You can increase your profits by taking on other side projects in order to bring in cash. Know that every business has rough patches but you can get through it if you work hard and smart. The pandemic has created a lot of unknowns in the business world so in order to make it through the next year, you should consider working on a side hustle. Having one business is hard enough and takes up a lot of time, so think about hobbies that you already enjoy and spend time doing. Is there a way for you to make money from it? If so, start sooner rather than later so you can ensure you have extra money in the bank to care for your family.
The COVID crisis doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. Keep this guide in mind as you work to keep your small business afloat following the pandemic.