The Ultimate COVID-19 Survival Plan for Small Businesses
The COVID-19 crisis is unlike anything small business owners have seen before. During this time, many business owners may find it difficult to survive such economic conditions when they don’t know which resources to use or how long this crisis will last. However, creating a survival plan will enable you to protect your business and employees.
How to Create Your Business’s COVID-19 Survival Plan
We know how important small businesses are to our communities, which is why protecting them is crucial. Remember, this crisis won’t last forever. However, until conditions return to normal, here’s a plan you can follow to ensure your business survives the crisis.
1. Cut Unnecessary Costs Immediately
Small business owners are concerned about paying bills and affording payroll. The first step should be cutting unnecessary costs that aren’t generating revenue for your business. This will allow you to save money and use it for necessities.
Next, create a budget to prioritize any fixed costs that should be paid to keep your business intact. If your business still doesn’t have the money to pay bills, consider employee furlough which will enable you to offer work at reduced rates until your business gains financial strength again.
2. Apply for Financial Assistance
If your business has been affected by COVID-19, there are financial assistance programs available, such as The Small Business Administration Disaster Loan program. The loan provides low interest rates ranging from 2.75 to 3.75 percent and amounts up to $2 million. This program also allows borrowers to pay the loan back for up to a 30-year period.
In addition, many states have rolled out loans and grants for businesses suffering due to COVID-19. You can find our full list here.
3. Determine When You’ll File Your Taxes
Usually, business owners are preoccupied during this time of year with Tax Day quickly approaching. However, due to the unforeseen circumstances that COVID-19 has brought, the federal tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15th.
The extension is beneficial to small businesses that owe taxes, as well as businesses that are expecting refunds this year. For taxpayers expecting refunds, it’s important to file your taxes as soon as possible because the funds can give you additional funds to use during these uncertain times.
Taxpayers that owe money can defer federal payments up to $1 million for tax year 2019, interest and penalty free. The deferment also includes tax year 2020 payments due before April 15th. For more information, click here.
4. Communicate Often with Your Customers
If you’re still open, let your customers know by sending an email, posting on your social media profiles, or send a text message. This will help you maintain the relationship you have with your customers during the crises. This is also a great time to be creative and add new services such as creating an online store or offering delivery options. Although it might require some extra effort, it’ll help you maintain profitable if your business is temporarily closed.
Another way to connect with your customers is to provide online discounts or gift cards at a reduced price. That way, even if your business is currently closed, you’ll make some sales in the meantime.
5. Create a Remote Work Strategy
Many business’s employees are now working from home, so having the appropriate technology is crucial. Know which employees have computers, internet access, and plan accordingly. Create a work -from -home agreement with your employees explaining the expectations and changes that may happen that will impact the business.
Thoroughly detail your expectations and implement a work from home schedule for your employees. Online task management apps like Asana can help with managing tasks and ensure that your team is all on the same page. Or, you can also use excel sheets to keep track of work productivity.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to over communicate with your employees by planning weekly meetings to discuss any important changes. The COVID-19 crisis is changing every day, so it’s important to keep them informed on how your business is impacted.
6. Revisit Your 2020 Strategy
Now is the time to revisit your yearly strategy and adjust and accordingly. Have a list of new ideas for promotions and sales? Or perhaps you have new ideas about creating or developing a new product? Since we don’t know when this pandemic will end, you can use your time wisely by trying new ideas or conducting the research you didn’t have the time to complete previously.
Although these times are uncertain, we hope that with the strategy above, you’ll be able save your business from various hardships due to COVID-19. Planning for a variety of outcomes will enable you to be prepared as possible so that you can protect your business’s future.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.