Source:abcnews.go.com

How Small Businesses are Coping with the COVID-19 Crisis

COVID19 has caused havoc in every single economic sector, globe-wise. Amongst all economic subjects, small businesses have suffered the greatest amounts of damage. Many had to close their doors forever, while others suffered through serious downsizings and large deficits.

So, how can a small business survive the COVID19 crisis, or even break out of it thriving?

Here we’ll talk about inventive ideas and measures you can take to strengthen your small company and avoid those worst-case scenarios during these difficult times.

1. Applying to relevant programs

Small businesses are the backbone of every economy, no matter how big or small. Every government in the world knows this, so there are a plethora of relief programs you can apply to, just make sure you fit the eligibility criteria. Of course, keep in mind that these can take some time to be executed, so it can’t be the only thing you’re relying on.

We suggest you contact your company lawyer to help you find the right program to ensure efficiency and speed. The forms need to be filled out perfectly or otherwise you might be forced to reapply, which can be quite a setback on your road to recovery.

2. Digitalization

Source:linkedin.com

While going through a full-blown digital transformation at your workplace isn’t the cheapest solution to hold on to, you can still digitalize some aspects of your company to help it survive the global financial crisis.

The first thing you can (and should do) is enabling remote work where it’s possible to do so. It’s the perfect time to start focusing on your digital campaigns and investing in software solutions that can help you hold your team together through these unpredictable times.

Again, we know that financial situations in most small companies aren’t exactly stable right now, so we suggest implementing open-source digital software to help you manage your team in a remote setting.

3. Check your insurance

Source:nextmapping.com

Make sure to check with your insurance company to see whether there’s any loss that can be covered by their policy. Talk to your accountants and create a sufficient financial plan to keep you going while the crisis is still affecting you.

There’s a small chance your insurance covers instances such as a pandemic, so ensure you’re not missing on any potential coverage. Again, your accountants and your legal team should be able to help you see it through, so don’t forget to brainstorm some ideas together.

If your insurance simply doesn’t cover pandemic losses, you can probably still find something in your policy agreement that can help you salvage your business. Talk to the insurance company until you’ve assessed all possibilities, or else you’ll be missing out on a potential boost to help you keep your business up and running.

4. Reduce monthly costs on non-essential subscriptions and services

Source:ec.europa.eu

As noted at thebizzing.com, one of the best ways to cut costs and save some money during the financial crisis is by canceling various monthly services that you can do without (at least for the time period).

Contact your accountant and go over your monthly expenses together. You might be surprised at the number of services you’re paying for that you rarely even use. Cancel everything that is not essential to your daily business processes, and use that money to get your company out of the tight spot it found itself in.

Cost reduction should be accompanied by profit maximization strategies, but if that’s impossible in the current state of things, just focus on the most essential aspects of running your business.

5. Negotiate wherever you can

Your supply chain can be transformed to acquire maximum efficiency and cut unnecessary costs. You’re not the only one who experiences this crisis, your suppliers can feel it too. So, make sure to go over your usual deals and try to negotiate better terms. All usual economic activity is slowed down, so you have the right to a lower price, in most cases.

When it comes to your own employees, the primary goal should be to save their jobs as well as your company. They’re probably already aware of the situation, and they might be willing to negotiate somewhat lower salaries until the crisis calms down. Naturally, you should provide them with safe work conditions and smaller workloads in return, as the pandemic has been rough on everyone.

6. Enhance your marketing strategy

Source:simplilearn.com

As we’ve mentioned before, now is the perfect time to focus on your digital marketing campaign and try to reach your customers through engaging content online. It’s a cheap way to keep people interested in your products and services, so it should be done even when this entire mess is completely behind us.

Promote yourself and keep your customers and clients interested by offering lower deals. It might seem contra intuitive to lower your prices while you’re suffering through a financial crisis, but it’s the only way you can survive through these difficulties we’re all dealing with.

7. Communication is key

Source:moderndealership.com

Be honest with your employees: you might be forced to cut their salaries down or even fire a couple of them during this crisis. Brainstorm ideas together, as nobody can afford to lose their income while the economic climate is this unstable and unpredictable. Your employees might have some ideas to help you keep your business running: it’s in everyone’s interest. Besides, nobody knows your company better than the people who’ve worked there for years.

Open and honest communication is essential, so don’t try sugarcoating things. Remember: better times are ahead of us, so we all have to be patient and try our hardest until we can breathe freely again.

The bottom line

COVID-19 has affected millions of small businesses all around the world in an incredibly short time span. Even now, when the vaccination processes are slowly taking effect, the economic crisis still lingers. However, small business owners should keep their positivity: there are ways you can salvage your hard work and keep your business up and running during and after the crisis the world is currently going through. Be creative, brainstorm ideas, seek help, and implement digital solutions to help you survive. Your persistence and patience will undoubtedly pay off, so keep it going!

Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the foreignspolicyi.org started.