The Covid-19 Pandemic has upended life for many small and large business owners across America and the world. Thousands of businesses have been forced to close their doors to prevent further spread of the disease, while others have been dealing with radical disruption due to much of our nation’s workforce and consumers having been asked to shelter at home. For business owners who are unsure of what steps to take next to give themselves the best opportunity to successfully navigate Covid-19, here is an easy-to-follow, to-the-point action plan of steps to take.
- Take immediate Financial Triage – Where do you stand? What’s coming in? What is going out?
- Reduce Expenses – Consolidate loans; reduce credit card debt and interest; develop a budget and stick to it; look for cost-effective ways to market using social media, blogs or other digital marketing; consider bartering.
- Reduce Salaries – If needed, reduce salaries, furlough employees or shift some of your workers from full-time to part-time. Try to support your employees by looking at all options prior to cutting staff. Remember, you don’t want to lose them if you plan to bring them back.
- Collect Past Due Bills Quickly – If things get worse, this won’t get easier, so your best bet is to be proactive! If people have issues paying, agree upon a payment plan.
- Delay Your Tax Payment or Use Your Refund to Help the Business – The filing deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020.
- File immediately if you have not for the PPP loan/grant. If your existing bank did not come through you may be able to now do it through a new lender, here. Consider filing for Disaster Relief Programs – There are significant grants available for employers who keep their workers on payroll, as well as fast, low interest loans to for immediate assistance.
- Investigate Your Local Municipality Loan Options – The City of Jacksonville and others around the country are offering their own assistance to small business. Take advantage of every opportunity that makes sense.
- Rely on Credit Lines – While not the preferred manner of operating, these are the types of situations where relying on credit is useful and reasonable.
- Create Covid-19 Policies for Your Company – If employees are working from home, develop a simple set of policies to ensure effective communication and productivity. Use free technologies like Zoom, Google Docs and other apps to facilitate virtual business.
- Increase Revenue – Easier said than done, we know. But consider what products or services you offer that make the most sense right now. Then focus your efforts on marketing those.
- Adjust Your Business to the New Economy – If none of your current product or service offerings offer great appeal in the current market, consider how you might shift. (i.e. Like a liquor distillery that begins manufacturing hand sanitizer).
- Create a Structured Marketing and Outreach Strategy for Current Customers and Prospects – Remember – email, phone calls, social media- these are all inexpensive tools at your disposal.
- Begin Planning for the Reopening of the Country – Remember, this won’t last forever and there may even be a big bounce due to pent-up demand for many products and services on the other side. How can you take advantage of it?
- Acquire Your Competition – Sadly, many businesses will struggle to survive Covid-19. If you find yourself in a favorable position with the resources to weather the storm, you may find it an opportunity to acquire a competitor or other new business, perhaps one with a very strong brand that just wasn’t able to survive the current crisis without assistance. This can be a win-win for both businesses.
If you need assistance keeping your business on track through the current pandemic, do not hesitate to reach out to us here at Brock CPA.