Keeping Your Business Afloat During the Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic is a situation that has impacted the entire world. This medical emergency has had a detrimental impact on almost all areas of almost all of our lives. As we try our best to adapt to new ways of living that can control and slow the spread of the virus, we’re watching our usual day to day lives slip further and further away from us. For months now, the vast majority of countries around the world have been following shelter in place, social isolation and social distancing measures. This means that even those of us who haven’t been sick with the virus or Covid-19 disease have had to radically alter our lives on a day to day basis. We’re no longer heading into the workplace. Kids are off school. Pubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms, theatres, spas, shops and pretty much everything else that operates on a face-to-face traditional brick and mortar basis is closed. We’re having to learn to live within the confines of our own homes – video calling loved ones rather than seeing them face to face, learning how to cope with being around the same people 24/7, or learning how to deal with loneliness if we live alone. It’s not all too surprising that many of us are struggling. If you’re a small business owner, chances are you’ve been heavily impacted. So many small and medium sized businesses are struggling to stay afloat right now, as they try to adopt new working patterns to operate without contact between individuals. If you’re worried about how you’re going to pull your business through this pandemic, here are a few pieces of advice that could help!
Seek Financial Support
Many businesses are struggling. Either their staff are unable to work, they can’t operate their physical stores so can’t make sales, or are simply struggling to make any sales because countless people have lost their jobs, are struggling financially and consequently have no disposable income to spend on non-essential goods. Governments around the world are aware of this and are consequently offering different types of financial support. It’s important to see what’s available to you and to apply for anything you’re eligible for. You may be able to furlough your staff, which means they don’t work but the government pays a large percentage of their wages. This ensures your staff are financially secure and you can put your business on hold until this situation passes. You may be eligible for stimulus checks. You may be eligible for loans or grants.
Contact Landlords, Lenders and Others
Many businesses are struggling to pay rent on commercial premises or to repay loans and credit cards they may have been using to operate. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to reach out to your landlords, lenders and any other relevant individuals sooner rather than later. Everyone is aware we’re in the midst of a pandemic and many countries have placed payment holidays on mortgages and other payments. So, you never know, your landlord may be lenient and allow you to make smaller payments or may agree to let you pay the outstanding rent later on in installments. Many credit card providers and lenders are also removing interest from current payments to help companies. It really is worth asking – the worst outcome is that these people simply say no and you’re no worse off than you already were.
Do Some Post-Pandemic Planning
We have no idea how long this pandemic will last. So, it’s important to start planning your business’ return and determine what you may need for when your business can reopen. It’s highly unlikely that one day we will just recommence life as it was. Instead, we’re likely to go through a gradual process that sees us all take baby steps back towards normality. You are highly likely to need to invest in plenty of personal protective equipment to protect staff and customers once people can return to stores and work. This could include face masks and face coverings, which you can buy here. It could include latex gloves. It could include perspex dividers that could be placed between desks in offices or between cashiers and customers in traditional brick and mortar stores. If you run a tangible store, you may need to lay down stickers on the floor to direct people around your store in an orderly manner where people can distance from one another. You may need to rearrange desks and seating plans in offices to keep everyone two metres apart. These plans can make all the difference and better prepare you for your business’ future!
Know If It’s Time to Call It a Day
Many businesses have really struggled during this pandemic. It’s important that you know if it’s time to call it a day with your company. If you’ve found yourself in irrecoverable debt from trying to support staff and keep things running over the past few months and cannot see yourself making sufficient money to pull your company out of this situation, you may need to go bankrupt. It’s generally best to use the help of a professional financial advisor, who will be able to survey your business, its financial situation and its prospects. They can let you know whether you can realistically get your business back on its feet, or whether you need to put a stop to things and start over on a new path.
Sure, times are troubling right now. Many businesses really are finding it difficult to operate in these hostile conditions and difficult times. But many will pull through. So, it’s important to maintain hope and to take steps towards actively improving your business and pushing things forward. Hopefully, some of the above advice will help you in some way or another!