Many people have expressed the sentiment that 2020 has been the most challenging year they have seen in their lifetime. Perhaps no one agrees with this statement more than the small business owner. Already operating on small margins, thousands of small businesses had to shutdown for weeks or even months to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
What has made this crisis particularly challenging is that the coronavirus is novel, meaning it is a new contagious disease the world hadn’t seen prior to this year. Planning during something as new and rapidly evolving as the coronavirus pandemic can be extremely stressful and challenging. It can seem like just when you have adapted to one set of changes or restrictions, anew one takes its place.
We understand and are here to help. You can only do your best and accept that you don’t have as much control over your small business as you would like right now. Below are some small business planning tips we hope will help you during these uncertain times. With 2021 upon us, we are confident that better days lie ahead.
Create a Practical Budget You Can Use During a Crisis
You have probably heard the terms “essential” and “non-essential” during this pandemic. In terms of your small business finances, we recommend creating a budget that eliminates non-essential spending for a month or a quarter, whichever is more practical for you. Completing this special budget helps you see exactly how much money your small business needs for the budgeting period. Another benefit of creating a special pandemic budget is that it can prevent you from panicking at the ongoing disruption it has caused.
Investigate Governmental and Other Resources
The United States government responded quickly to make financial assistance available to small business owners. Unfortunately, some programs ran out of money faster than expected or Congress delayed authorizing funds. Despite these inevitable frustrations and confusion surrounding availability and eligibility, we urge you to visit the COVID-19 Resources for Small Business at the Small Business Administration (SBA) website as often as possible. Some possibilities for financial relief include:
- SBA Debt Relief
- SBA Express Bridge Loans
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan
- Paycheck Protection Program
Uncover New Opportunities
Maybe it seems like it would be taking advantage of a crisis to consider how your company can create new opportunities moving forward. However, it is just reality as the old way of doing business might not work in a post-pandemic world. Try brainstorming answers to these questions to help get your creative juices flowing:
- Does your current business model make it possible to perform at or above the same level that you did prior to the pandemic?
- How well do you know your customers? What behaviors do you expect to see from them both during and after the crisis? Can your company adapt if customer demographics change dramatically?
- Would it be possible to introduce new technology to help your small business catch up on lost revenue faster?
- Can you make any of your products digital?
These are just a handful of questions to help you start thinking of your small business in new ways. You may find that the ideas just keep flowing once you have written down a few. Remember that our small business consulting company is always here for you. Please request an appointment today to receive additional guidance.