The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on businesses on a global scale. Both large and small companies have been affected in securing revenue, production/stock consistency, and customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, some companies have been unable to remain open, while others are open but struggling to pay their bills and keep staff working.
Because we don’t know how long this shutdown will last, it’s hard to say what businesses will even survive this crisis. If you own a business, I’m sure you understand the impact well and have experienced unprecedented issues. We hope you are getting through this with your health, first of all, and secondly the health of your company. Here are a few suggestions to help you brainstorm some new ways to overcome the problems you may be facing right now.
The inability to pay bills on time or at all is one of the most serious problems any business can face. Normally, cash flow issues can be remedied fairly easily with loans and lines of credit to get through a short period. However, because the majority of businesses need help right now, things aren’t that simple. Banks are struggling as well, as are private investors and credit companies.
The good news is that many governments around the world are offering relief packages to help companies stay afloat. Do keep in mind, getting government relief may not be as timely as you need or want at this point. Be patient and do exactly what is being asked in the application process.
This is also a time to contact all of your creditors, including landlord or mortgage holder to work out a plan to pay your debts. Remember, they are likely hurting as well but will realize getting some money is better than no money.
No or Little Online Presence
Businesses that were positioned to operate online prior to the pandemic are likely not being as hard hit as ones that were not. If you have not been doing much business online or none at all because you have a shop or destination type business, it would help to secure an online presence now.
If you can sell products and services online, you can expand your streams of income and business in general. However, some businesses have suddenly realized they have virtually no online presence and no way of offering their services or products to eager customers. For example, Primark in the UK has made zero sales since the lockdown began because they can’t do business as usual. Other examples are small boutiques, bars, and some in-person services.
Some businesses have been quick to adapt, however, and have even created new products to help the community cope with the pandemic. Diversifying has become a necessity in this crisis, as owners have realized they can’t stay open unless they change. It is worth asking for help with this transition if you don’t know how to market using social media or build an e-commerce website.
According to governments, businesses have done a fantastic job of keeping supply chains open for essential goods and services. However, it’s possible that you are struggling to get your products out to the market. Perhaps your typical outsourcing solution is no longer operating or is having issues maintaining the same level of service. If so, then you might want to explore a CDL truck driver for hire and similar options. High-quality services like this are available for businesses that need to ensure they can continue to supply their products and offer the service that customers want.
Research some shipping and warehouse options as well during this time. It may help to shift some of the logistical weight to other areas. Remember, your business is not the only one going through these problems. Agencies, groups, and mentors are poised to help small businesses cope with unprecedented changes and issues.
Finally, it’s obvious that the only way businesses can reopen safely is with social distancing measures in place. This poses a problem because some stores and companies aren’t set up to meet those types of requirements. Disney World, for instance, would need six feet between guests in all park rides. That’s just not practical in most cases. As well as this a lot of attractions would need to be closed. So, it may not make financial sense to some types of businesses to open until the situation improves.
For other businesses that can, at least, attempt the new protocols, you need to be strong and firm about what you expect from staff and customers. Post the rules throughout the premises and in several common languages, including braille. Keep in mind, you have a right to say something or escort patrons out if they are not adhering to your statutes.
We all must do what we can to help ourselves and each other through this crisis. I do know that asking for help is the most simple thing any of us can do to get support of any kind. Consider how you can diversify to meet the present needs of your community and customer base. They will appreciate anything you can do to stay open and continue to serve.