It is no small joke for a business to be still standing at this time. So, pat your backs if you’re one of the few who managed to weather the storm that is the coronavirus pandemic. Your small business is still open? That’s absolutely divine. But for those unlucky enough to have to close their doors during the pandemic (even big businesses filed for bankruptcy, so nothing is embarrassing about this), could you have done anything to prevent it? And for those on the edge of closing, some things you read here will help you survive the onslaught of the pandemic, too.
Take What the Government Gives
Governments offer tax cuts and breaks, small business loans, financial aid, and unemployment insurance to businesses and people affected by the pandemic. A host of programs is available to small business owners struggling to remain open during this time. You are not alone. Remember that.
Your government wants you to survive. Not surviving the pandemic means closing down your shops. And closing down your shops means they have to deal with the people who will lose their employments. It’s not about you and your business per se. It is about the millions of people who already lost their livelihoods during this horrific time. The government wants to do what it can to help you survive and thrive.
Apply for a Small Business Loan
Financial institutions are also offering low-interest rates on their small business loans. You might want to take them up to their offers. Talk to a mortgage loan officer about what options are available to a business like yours. Depending on your business’s nature and the probability that it will survive in the new norm, banks and loaning institutions can give you the lowest interest rate you have seen in years.
Are you scared that a loan will pull you down further? The pandemic is also forcing banks to offer easy and flexible payment schemes for businesses. This means that they can even defer your payments to two to three months after the loan’s approval. Like the government, banks want you to survive, too.
Add Products and/or Services
Is your business selling only a handful of items? In these trying times, it’s best to offer as many products as your inventory can hold. Yes, branding is important in this digital age, but your business’s survival is at risk here. Try to think of items and services that will also contribute to your brand. But most importantly, think of things that people need during this time.
Aside from sanitizers and face masks, people need service-based businesses that offer convenience. What are these services? Anything from food delivery to laundromats to personal shopping services is needed today. Since people are trying to practice social distancing as much as possible, they need a way to do things and get things on their hands without leaving their homes and offices.
Maintaining a physical store is expensive. You have to pay the rent and utility bills. Have you tried moving your business fully online? Closing down your physical store doesn’t have to be the end of your business. You can build an e-commerce store where your customers can transact with you. With internet marketing, you can inform your target audience that your store is now accessible online.
Moving online is a great way to save a lot of cash and capital. Although it pains you to see your brick-and-mortar store close, that might be for the better instead of seeing your actual business shut down. Investing in a domain name and an e-commerce platform is more economical and cost-efficient than maintaining an actual store.
Take on More Tasks
You have to face the reality that your business will not survive having all your employees on board. Even big companies had to let go of many of their employees, especially the ones nearing retirement. It feels bad to let go of people you feel are your family, but you’re also doing it for people dependent on your business. Make sure to give your employees what they deserved in terms of separation pay and benefits. That is the least you can do for those you have to let go of.
The things you have to do to give your business a fighting chance to survive this pandemic aren’t always easy. However, seeing your business still trying and possibly thriving after these past several months will give you a sense of fulfillment. Survival, after all, of anything—might it be professional or personal—is the mark of success.