Small businesses, especially, have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The mandatory shutdowns and social distancing have pushed businesses to the brink of bankruptcy or permanent closure. But several strategies exist to help keep businesses running amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
First and foremost, business leaders are urged to take steps to protect the health and safety of employees, customers, and themselves. No one knows how long the coronavirus pandemic will continue to disrupt businesses. Be prepared for long-term changes to standard business operations.
1. Analyze Expenses
Certain business expenses are completely avoidable after a worldwide crisis. Examine these and other expenses to determine areas where costs may be reduced. Consider excess marketing, rent and the size of the company. A number of businesses operate on excesses, so now is a time to cut costs.
Efficiency is key at this critical, unprecedented time and is necessary to stay competitive. Reduce costs wherever possible while retaining the quality of the business. Pinpoint areas where effort may be increased, and spending decreased. The immediate goal is to run lean without sacrificing value.
2. Apply for SBA Loans
Small businesses may connect with lenders via the Small Business Association and apply for loans. Types of loans include the Express loan, which has a turnaround time of 36 hours for approval or denial. This loan program provides up to $350,000 in loans and provides an option to revolve.
The 7(a) loan program, also through the SBA, offers all-inclusive loans of up to $5,000,000 for eligible US small businesses. Proceeds may be used toward working capital, lease-hold improvements, seasonal line of credit, inventory, expansion and renovation and new construction.
3. Adapt New Business Angles
Now is the time to reoptimize the business’ positioning. Prior to COVID-19, businesses may have provided sales and services strictly on an in-person basis. Given the drastic changes to business strategies nationwide, many companies have begun to include online sales and services to stay financially afloat.
After rehashing with team leaders, business owners may realize they can provide services remotely. Company leaders might see that brand repositioning is in order. Being flexible and capitalizing on the current situation may lead to new revenue streams once the coronavirus pandemic is over.
4. Market to Stay Relevant
When businesses quiet down amidst the COVID-19 restrictions, customers may be asking if they are operational. Rather than drift into oblivion during the pandemic, adjust marketing strategies. Try to reach customers where they are now and communicate how the products and services are still relevant.
Flexible marketing tactics allow business owners to influence customers who are advised to stay at home and limit time in public places, which is a major challenge for businesses. Brainstorm with team leaders to uncover new (and safe) ways to deliver products and services amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
Now is also a good time to think outside the box and attempt to gain the loyalty of a new pool of customers. Generating new leads will establish a whole different set of potential customers and will help sustain business once the coronavirus health crisis winds down.
5. Examine Competition
Successful competitors can offer a wealth of business insight. Look at the new or revised strategies implemented by competitors to see what they are doing right amidst the pandemic. Even tactics used by competitors outside of the industry may be adapted to fit businesses in other industries.
One thing the coronavirus has not wiped out is opportunity. To better match the competition, take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. Once the pandemic subsides and business returns to normal, owners that have understood their competitors will be a step ahead.
Time is invaluable, and business owners only have so much of it to dedicate to their business. Use this downtime to determine whether specific business pursuits are worth the time and energy invested into them. Compare output with profits. Question whether these endeavors are worth the time.
In the short term, devoting resources and time into certain aspects of the business may be futile or even cost the owner more money than he generates. Consider looking at other ways to temporarily earn money, and then ease back into the business when the COVID-19 dust settles.
The coronavirus pandemic in the US may either worsen or improve. The current situation is volatile and predicting the future of business and customers is nearly impossible. As a business owner, it is imperative to gather the team and brainstorm potential situations and appropriate solutions.
Being prepared for all hypothetical scenarios puts business leaders ahead of the pack. A practical move is for owners and staff to convene and deliberate how best to respond to a range of unpredictable situations. Invest the effort in preparation and strategy now rather than be caught unaware later.
Get Help from a Business Attorney
Running a business in the midst of a national public health crisis is a challenge. Business owners will need the help of experienced lawyers to handle the many aspects of corporate and business law. If you run a company, turn to a reputable law firm, like Allen Gabe Law, P.C.
The Allen Gabe Law, P.C firm will assist you with a range of business issues that can impact your company or employees. We handle business formation, employment and labor laws, contract negotiations, litigation and the purchase or sale of a business.
Whether your issue is complex, like the sale of a business, or straightforward, like contract reviews, the lawyers at Allen Gabe Law, P.C., will expertly handle your case. Our business attorneys provide sound legal advice to ensure that you make the right decisions that benefit your business.
Countless area customers find the Allen Gabe Law, P.C., team to be honest, reasonable, and knowledgeable about the changing laws. If you own a business in the communities surrounding Schaumburg, Illinois, consult Allen Gabe Law, P.C., for trusted legal advice and services.