5 Tips for Small Business to Prepare For the COVID-19 Pandemic
The world is currently witnessing an unprecedented time. As the Coronavirus cases and deaths are increasing, the fate of the world and the future of the American business becomes more uncertain. From a multi-billion-dollar company to a lemonade stand, the Coronavirus outbreak has affected all of our lives dramatically. However, financial struggles for small businesses during this tough time is inevitable.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of small businesses across the USA are feeling the cash crunch after closing their doors to uphold social distancing practices. According to Forbes, 30 million American small businesses are high on the Coronavirus’ list of victims. As per the Special Report on Coronavirus and Small Business from Metlife & U.S Chamber of Commerce, one in four (24%) small businesses have shut down temporarily in response to COVID-19.
Is your business suffering due to the COVID-19 outbreak and looking for ways that can help you keep your business afloat? Don’t fret! At ForwardAI Predict, we’re committed to ensuring that small businesses have the support they require. Have a gander at our top 5 tips to stay ahead of the Coronavirus epidemic.
Confront the Reality
You’re not alone – Coronavirus is affecting everyone. Dig in, put a good amount of thinking and evaluate your situation. Before you can solve a problem, you need to know exactly what the problem is. Take your time to think about what is affecting your business cash flow, spending, inventory, and resources, and implement strategies to make your small business survive and thrive during this tough economic time.
- Is your business unable to provide products and services in the current situation?
- Have you lost many of your customers due to Coronavirus?
- Which clients are not likely to renew their contracts?
- How much money are you burning through?
- How many receivables have canceled or postponed?
Discovering the nerve to confront reality and make a definitive move is your way forward.
Cut Back Your Business Expenses
Figure out how to cut back your business ongoing expenses. Track your expenses and identify ones that you can eliminate. Fortunately, there are various software and apps that businesses can use to manage and track their expenses. Though you will have to go through some changes in your organization, every little effort will help you get your business back on track.
The following are some quick tips to help your small business cut costs during the pandemic.
- Move your business to reasonable quarters or negotiate with your existing owners for better lease terms.
- Make sure you don’t waste your money on a luxury.
- If you’re a business that requires vehicles, save on fuel and servicing costs by using your vehicle to essential travel only.
- Cut supply costs by checking for discounts and exploring alternate sources for your wholesale purchase.
- Review your employee policies & procedures such as bonus, overtime, allowance, and increment.
- Use your website and social media channels to cut advertising costs.
- Switch to cloud for your business computing needs.
Protect Your Cash Flow
Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. It’s an unprecedented challenge for you to keep your cash flow positive, your staff healthy, and your business afloat. In a time when the president has declared an emergency over Coronavirus and many parts of the USA are under lockdown, many small businesses are struggling to keep their cash flow positive.
Here are top tips to manage cash flow for SME’s and startups during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Leverage the latest technology to keep your cash flow positive. Use cash flow forecasting and management software such as ForwardAI Predict, to get an accurate picture of your past, present and future cash flow.
- Encourage customers to pay up faster with which you can take control and close the gap between invoicing and payment.
- Keep payment terms short and simple
- Cut off all unnecessary expenses that increase outflows
- Buy used and sell idle equipment
- Barter products for supplies and services
- Create and stick to a business budget
- Ditch your landline and go paperless
- Reduce credit card debt
Whether it’s a restaurant, book shop, or a coaching institute, any business can adapt and use digital tools to continue to serve its customers. If you are sending tangible items, you can win your customers’ trust by sharing policies and processes you’re following to keep them safe as they engage in business with you.
Depending on your type of business, there might be other ways you can continue to offer services online. For example, a gym or yoga center can contribute to offer personal training session using some free and reliable video conference software such as Zoom, Skype or TeamViewer. Or, if you run a professional services firm (i.e., consulting, accounting or law firm), you can use video conferencing, email, and phone to continue to provide services to your clients. Besides that, you can leverage social media and email to stay in touch with your customers.
Look to the Government for Help
The government is working hard to approve emergency funding for small business owners to maintain the health of their businesses. In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the State and Local COVID-19 Small Business Assistance and CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are struggling to protect your financing during the Coronavirus, this ever-growing list of loans may benefit your small business.
The following are some of the major resources available to small business owners during COVID19.
- SBA CARES Act funding programs – Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL Advance, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and SBA Debt Relief.
- Amazon’s Neighbourhood Small Business Relief Fund
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
- Federal Tax Filing And Payment Deadline Extension
- State Emergency Relief
- Disaster and emergency relief program in different states such as California’s Small Businesses, Florida Small Business Emergency Loan Program, Kansas’ HOST Relief Program and more.
There are many alternative lenders who are preparing to accept the Application for Paycheck Protection Program loan, including many that are on ForwardAI Predict. We’re partnered with many top alternative lenders who will help you connect and seamlessly apply.
There’s absolutely no definite way that will solve all your small businesses’ financial problems during COVID19, but it all boils down to taking some smart decisions. Implementing the practices above will help manage your finances and keep your business afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.