The COVID-19 outbreak has posed a financial and health threat not only to our country but around the world as well, leaving many families and businesses struggling to make ends meet. While the impact varies by industry, it’s important to consider what will come next. Having a plan for establishing a new norm for your business can help you prepare to rebuild after the damage that's been done. If you’re not sure what your post-COVID plan should look like, keep reading for some tips for getting your business back on track.
Assess Financial Damage
Unfortunately most small businesses have suffered from this outbreak, so your fist step should be to determine how much your small business has been affected. There’s a few steps to take, starting with updating your financial statements. If you haven’t yet, update your profit, loss and cash flow statements and compare them to last year’s numbers to determine what your business is down by. This can be difficult, but you might be pleased to see the numbers aren’t as bad as you thought. There are a few other factors to consider when making your plan, such as any layoffs, cutting back on advertising, or lost customers. These factors can help you determine if you’re eligible for any coronavirus relief funds to help you recover.
Review Your Business Plan
There’s no doubt this pandemic has thrown a curve ball at your business model, so part of your plan should involve adjusting to a change in business. Although many businesses rely on foot traffic at store locations for sales, there has been a huge increase in online shopping with everyone staying home. If you haven’t done so already, now would be a good time to expand your online services to accommodate those who are shopping from home.
On top of this, you might want to look at what your competitors and industry as a whole are doing to accommodate customers. Your business model might have changed as things that were working for you pre-COVID might not be working as well now. Finding any flaws or areas that need improvement that you previously put aside can help you stand out and expand your customer base going forward.
Funding for Small Businesses
When it comes to financing your small business during COVID-19, there are a few options available for you to consider. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was passed allows for funding to small businesses that are struggling to retain employees. PPP loans can be forgiven if businesses maintain payroll for eight weeks at employees’ normal salary levels and use the loan proceeds for qualifying expenses. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are also available to help with short-term financing if your business needs money for factors other than employee retention. Lenders will want reassurance than loans can be repaid, so be sure to review your business and personal credit scores as well as your financials to help gauge whether you’re eligible for funding. For a full list of coronavirus relief options for small businesses, be sure to go to the U.S. Small Business Association for details of each program.
Make a Timeline for Rebuilding
Rebuilding all at once can be overwhelming and cause you to overlook something important, so the best thing to do is make a timeline and prioritize what actions you take first. You may want to secure funding for your business first, then tackle budgeting and restocking, rehiring employees, and eventually prepping to reopen. Be sure to track your progress along the way so as things progress you can ensure your return on investment and begin to stabilize. Having a plan in place for your business can help you analyze what to improve on, make any necessary changes, and help you get back on track.