The Extreme Changes Businesses Have to Make to Survive COVID-19
For the months that COVID-19 has been around, everyone has done all they can to hold on to their business. They have closed down, they have closed their offices and forced their employees to work from home, they have borrowed money and scaled back or eliminated their 2020 plans. It would be nice if all that sacrifice would pay off, but the frustrating reality is that there is going to be a lot of sustained discomfort for a lot of business owners. Let’s take a look at some things small business owners should consider as they reopen their businesses.
Navigating the New Normal
Small businesses make up a large percentage of today’s functioning companies and employ a moderate amount of the workforce, so their importance to the economy is unquestioned. The problem facing many small businesses today is a lack of capital to meet the expenses their operations demanded before people started getting sick and the stay-at-home orders came down. There isn’t the demand, there are health questions, and ultimately, not enough money to go around.
Most small businesses have already canceled their planned investments for the year. This alone has an effect on the whole economy. Vendors, who may or may not work for small businesses will feel the pinch. Recessionary business is not easy to navigate for anyone, but there are things you should do if you want to navigate the economic downturn.
Honest Assessment is the Key
The ability to take an honest look at where your business stands will be the most important factor to getting the help that you need. Familiarizing with your profit/loss statement and how it compares to 2019 should be your first step. Hard numbers may lack nuance, but they tell most of the story. Take a look at your business’ assets and the operational costs that go along with them. Unfortunately, big drops in revenues mean that you will ultimately have to take a long look at your human resources. When everything is on the table, the next steps will hopefully become clearer.
After everything is laid out, assess the damage the pandemic has caused your business. Can you afford to sustain your business the way it was before the shut down? If so, good for you, your business is in the minority. In fact, according to the NFIC only five percent of small businesses have prospered during the pandemic. Apparently, they make masks, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer.
Get the Help You Need
A big part of navigating this period for the small business is getting the help you need to stay afloat. Most governments have some sort of economic relief package in place for small businesses to utilize. In the US, the Cares Act has made several programs possible including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides low-interest loans of up to $10 million to eligible businesses. If there is help to be had, it is a business owner’s responsibility to seek it out.
If your business doesn’t qualify for government assistance, it can be really difficult, and if you are initially denied funding, you need to keep looking. There are many places to get the help you’re going to need. Long nights are a part of owning a business, and today it’s important that you work on mitigating risks to your business’ future.
Use Automation to Your Advantage
The worker’s “worst enemy,” automation can and probably will be a big part of your business for years to come. Your business probably already has the tools in place to be able to use automation in some way. When you automate some of the repetitive and menial tasks, your staff can focus on revenue-generating endeavors, improving productivity. The technology professionals at Directive can help you decide where automated tools best fit in.
Your business is going to have to adjust and you are going to make some hard choices to get through the pandemic in one piece. If you want to talk to Upstate New York IT experts about how technology can play a big role in the sustainability of your business, give us a call at 607.433.2200.