The spread of COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. With almost one million infections currently, and possibly quite a bit more than that, many people are wondering how to survive the current stay at home order and economic shutdown.
Of course, some businesses may thrive during the pandemic. Doctors, nurses, mask manufacturers and more may all stay just as busy, if not busier, during the pandemic. Restaurant workers, bartenders and corporate employees, on the other hand, may find themselves without a paycheck and with no ways to earn a paycheck. As the spread continues, the number of people that require assistance may grow exponentially. There simply is no where to hide from the virus and its economic impact.
Small business owners could be hit especially hard. As the stay at home order continues, small businesses may be forced to lay off workers and to stop spending money. This could lead to an even deeper recession than is already forecast, and could put many into serious financial risk.
There are a few steps that business owners can take, however, to try to wait out the storm. Here are a few guidelines to consider if you own a business:
There really is no reason to be spending money right now. Capital spent on advertising, for example, could lead people to your business. Even if they contact you, however, you are unable to do the work currently. You could even call and speak with your insurance providers and other vendors to see if they are offering any type of assistance or payment forbearance. Whatever you need to do to save money, do it.
Stay in Touch With Customers
If you were performing jobs before the stay at home orders were implemented, make sure to stay in contact with those clients. Although you may not be able to offer them any information they don’t already have, they should feel a little more comfortable having heard from you. Even a quick weekly call to let them know you plan on coming back out as soon as the state will allow should keep them at bay. You should also contact clients you have done work for in the past. A quick call to see how they are doing really shows that you and your company care, and those calls could lead to more business from repeat customers.
While this pandemic is extremely difficult in the short term, it does offer business owners a chance to step back from their business, to reevaluate, and change their business plan where applicable.
Perhaps you had been considering an expansion before the virus hit. Or maybe you were thinking about a large project that you’d like to tackle. If that’s the case, use the time you have to run those numbers and figure out a way to move forward with confidence. With little to no distractions, you may be able to accomplish a great deal during the workday and put plans into motion that could propel your company to the next level. The bottom line is to use your time wisely.
Keep Key Employees Close
If you are able to, paying key employees or all of your employees is one expense that is worth it. It is very difficult to find good people these days, and the last thing you will want to deal with once work resumes is a need to find new people. It makes sense, therefore, to take care of your employees as much as possible. Pay them their regular wages and/or benefits if possible. If it is not possible, pay or offer them what you are able to do. Most will greatly appreciate this, and they will stick with you during good times and bad. If you are unable to offer them any financial incentives, make sure to keep speaking with them. Keeping them close to you will let them know you care, and that can go a long way towards keeping them.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a very challenging environment to deal with. The global economy will eventually bounce back, however, it is just a question of when, not if. In the meantime, follow instructions and stay safe. Your health and the safety of your family is the most important thing to consider.