Shut Down Due to COVID-19? These Resources Are Here to Help
Guest post by Elena Stewart
Small business owners are struggling. 22 percent of small business owners say they’re within eight weeks of closing permanently, and more than half are worried about their cash flow according to a recent poll by MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Are you one of them? There’s no denying these are difficult times for small businesses, but there are things you can do to help your business survive and even thrive through the coronavirus pandemic. Use these resources to guide your small business’s strategy during COVID-19 and beyond.
Steps to Take if COVID-19 Shuts Down Your Business
Some things can’t wait. If your nonessential business is closed due to the pandemic, these are the immediate steps to take:
- First, apply for small business relief programs.
- In addition to government-backed programs, look into small business grants offered by private organizations.
- Next, identify your business’s essential staff and set them up for remote work.
- Determine where your business can cut costs, such as renegotiating with landlords and suppliers.
- If you need to lay off employees, use the Harvard Business Review’s advice to deliver the news compassionately.
Ideas for Pivoting Your Small Business’s Strategy
After dealing with the immediate blowback of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s time to start looking for a way forward. While few businesses will avoid taking a loss during the pandemic, these resources can help you generate enough cash flow to keep business moving forward:
- Without a doubt, e-commerce is the best way to generate sales without a physical location.
- If your product can’t be sold online, see if curbside pick-up is an option.
- Service-based businesses can turn to live video streaming to reach customers while respecting social distancing.
How to Get Your Business Ready to Reopen
Eventually, it will be time to open your business’s doors once again. When that happens, will you be ready? Here are some things business owners can do to prepare for reopening:
- Make necessary updates to physical locations, like installing low-cost carpeting.
- Consider how you can make your business a safe place for employees.
- Establish policies for cleanliness and social distancing in retail locations.
These are unprecedented times, but you don’t have to navigate them alone. As small businesses around the country and globe grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, a wealth of resources and knowledge is emerging to guide companies through the pandemic. Instead of letting the challenges ahead overwhelm you, turn to resources like these to find a way forward for your small business.
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