6 Small Business Survival Tips to Help During This Pandemic
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Small business owners suffered a massive loss due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Continuing their businesses has become an entrepreneur’s biggest challenge. As a result, many people have lost their jobs. Do you know why? A report by the World Economic Forum states small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They employ nearly half of the private workforce in our country.
But this pandemic has shattered small businesses. In fact, many owners find themselves with no other option other than to close their businesses. According to a CNBC report, 60% of businesses that closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic are now permanent. So, if you are a small business owner, you might be worried about surviving uncertainty. Many small business owners are trying modern and innovative ways to survive and generate revenue during this challenging time. Here we have listed some of the best possible tips to help your small business survive COVID-19.
1. Review your business budget
Managing cash flow has become one of the significant challenges during the pandemic. Because of reduced customer demand, sales are fluctuating, and so is profit. So, you need to review your business budget and cut costs as much as possible. Try to reduce your variable expenses to manage cash flow and survive.
2. Apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans
The government is there to help if you own a small business and need help. So, the SBA is offering loans for small businesses to survive this pandemic, like:
● Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
As of April 6, 2021, you can get a loan of up to $500,000 based on the condition of your business. You can apply for this loan until December 31, 2021. The interest rate for a small business EIDL is 3.75% (fixed), and the repayment period is 30 years.
● SBA 7(a) Loan Debt Relief
Have you taken out a new SBA 7(a), 504, and microloan from March 27, 2020, to Sept. 27, 2020? If so, the SBA Debt Relief program will pay principal, interest, and fees for six months.
● Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
Do you operate a theater, museum, or live performing arts, or event venue? If so, you may qualify for this grant equal to 45% of your gross earned revenue.
3. Improve your social media presence
According to a study by Pew Research Center, around seven in ten Americans use social media to communicate with each other. So, as you can see, social media can be a robust platform for growing your small business. As a bonus, you won’t have to worry about maintaining social distancing guidelines. But make sure you follow social media rules. So, this is the time to grow your social media presence. You can connect with more people and strengthen relationships with them. Create at least one post a day on social media to create awareness about your business.
Ask your friends to share your posts so that it reaches the maximum number of audiences. People who are interested in your business, as well as your clients, can directly connect with you through social media. You can answer their questions and talk about your products or services. By increasing your social media presence, you will improve your social media network and make your clients happy. Eventually, the chances of your small business surviving the pandemic become much higher.
4. Join hands with other companies
Most of the small businesses are slogging to survive during this pandemic. So, this is the right time to make alliances with other companies and support each other. By working together you can help share resources and make the costs affordable. Creating a suitable alliance can help you work together and launch new products or services, building new marketing strategies or distributing approaches, etc.
5. Make a contingency plan
Getting sick with the COVID-19 virus is not unnatural, and your employees may get infected too. So, what if one of your key employees gets infected? Or, what if he or she needs leaves because of the sickness of family members? So, create a plan of who is going to take on his or her responsibilities. You can hire freelancers, retirees, etc., for doing that job temporarily. By doing so, the operations and revenue of your business are unlikely to suffer in their absence.
6. Don’t panic
Panicking won’t help you get out of any situation. Instead, it will increase your stress levels, and you may not find a solution. Your employees might be worried, too, due to the fear of being laid off or furloughed. Employees are assets to any organization. You cannot offer the best quality products or services without good quality employees. So, being the boss, you will have to find a way out during this challenging situation. If needed, talk to your business partners (if any) and employees.
If you have to make any hard decisions like pay cuts or furloughing some employees, talk to them before announcing it. They might understand your situation and not keep any hard feelings. Once the situation improves, you can reinstate those furloughed employees.
Business Survival Tips
The bottom line is, making your small business survive the COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult task. But it’s not impossible, either! Hopefully, the six tips that we discussed above will help you and relieve your stress to some extent. Lastly, I would say this pandemic is like a mirror to us. It has shown us how prepared we are to face any emergency. So, it’s important to know the protections every small business needs to think about and learn how to prepare for a disaster in a better way.
Author Bio: Lyle Solomon has considerable litigation experience as well as substantial hands-on knowledge and expertise in legal analysis and writing. Since 2003, he has been a member of the State Bar of California. In 1998, he graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, and now serves as a principal attorney for the Oak View Law Group in Rocklin, California.