According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), over 90% of small businesses have been negatively affected by the coronavirus outbreak. So, how does small business rebuild and come back from such a hit. Well, the short answer is, “slowly”. Of course, this will be dictated by industry. But now, is a good time for small business owners to assess the damage caused and to strategize a recovery once things, hopefully and slowly get back to normal. Here are some things to consider:
ADJUST YOUR GAME PLAN
So, how did business work in the past? How will it be able to adjust to a new normal? For example, if you used to rely on foot traffic to a physical store location for your sales, you should look at becoming active in digital marketing strategies to attract the scores of people now shopping from home. Remember, you are not in this alone. Small businesses need to take advantage of any help being offered. Whether it’s Small Business Administration (SBA) loans or other online assistance such as that offered by SCORE. Partnering with the SBA, SCORE provides small businesses access to mentors for guidance and resources as you plan your business comeback. Help is provided remotely along with webinars that address COVID-19 business issues. The best part is that it’s FREE.
REVIEW EXPENSES – CUT COSTS
Review all of your monthly expenses and determine essentials. Look for competitive pricing from other vendors who now, may have offered lower or more competitive prices. One area we always see people overpaying is in payroll. If you search, “what’s the average cost for a small business to run payroll?”, you will see a variety of ads and prices that range as high as $200 per employee or as low as $25. That adds up. Especially so if you’re a small business. It’s important to check out alternatives that can in many cases save you more than half that amount and charge one price for payroll – regardless of how often you pay employees. Keep in mind there are offers of FREE payroll services small businesses should be taking advantage of in the meantime.
WORKERS’ COMP POLICY PREMIUMS
Sure, Workers’ Comp is a necessity for every business. And did you know that companies, when reducing staff headcount can and should be paying lower premiums that adjust to their headcount? Well, if you didn’t it’s likely your overpaying. Sure you may get a small refund at the end of the year but why not hold on to that money and “pay as you go”. Doing this will improve your cash flow considerably.
CREATE A CONTINGENCY PLAN
No one wants to think about it, but a smart business owner is always prepared. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything it is that we should always be prepared for anything. Just as many businesses did post-Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012. Given some of the strategies and money-saving tips we provided already, a small business owner would be fiscally sound with a significant amount of savings even if it’s just for the short-term. The pandemic also may have taught us the importance of being able to adapt. Keeping your business fluid, such as many restaurants who began curbside picks up and home delivery is one good example. But not every business is a restaurant. If you’re in an entirely different industry with employees who didn’t have the option to work remotely before, you may want to consider incorporating that into your business model for the future.
The more creative you can be in order to prepare for a worst-case scenario, the better. Having a Plan B and more will certainly increase your small business’s chance of surviving and thriving.