Not only is the whole world affected by this health issue, but also your business could and probably would be directly affected whether you want to admit it or not. Your country’s economy is already affected and this in return affects your business.
Have you sat down and brainstormed new ideas on how to keep your head above water? How to keep your business running even when you need to close the doors due to quarantine rules?
What will happen to your staff and their salaries? How will you pay the mortgage and your expenses?
I am not asking these questions to stress you even more, but to get your attention. Business owners need to put their survival hats on and brainstorm new ideas and solutions all day long. Not out of fear, but out of preparation. It is always wise to be prepared for the worst, so when it might hit you, you are ready with ideas, plans and structures to help you go forward.
Do not wait till everything is over and then only try to pick up the pieces. We suggest, sit down and write down what the worst-case scenario would be. In most cases, you would have to close your business, due to lack of financial income and too many outstanding expenses, right?
Ok, now what?
What do you do?
I will ask you again, what do you do? Again, what do you do? Do not stop thinking of what you would do if this is your current situation. Would you restart and how will you do it? How will you get your business back? Think about how you will get your clients back and how to communicate with them. Will you need to speak to the bank about payment structures or would you need to move to a new location or start from home again?
I want you as a business owner to understand, you can ALWAYS work from home. It might not sound logical, it will definitely not be easy or even as professional as you would like, but you can. So if the thought did enter your mind that you have no place to work from, home it will be.
We started our first business from our garage for a year, and believe me, if we have to do it now again, I would do it even better. Remember you have knowledge. You are not an 18 year old trying to start a business, you are experienced and NOW you have willpower that is unstoppable to get your business back.
The idea behind this is to get you focused and to get your mind into survival mode. It’s time to cut back on all small expenses right now, keep your cash flow low and think of how you can manage with min staff if needed. If staff can work from home, make sure they are set up and supported in this way, but if you cannot or staff cannot work from home, then can they work in separate areas of your business?
If you have staff, communicate with them. Be honest and supportive. This is also a scary time for them.
Some businesses have already decided to close down, to prevent further loss and to suspend staff till they can re-open. Some businesses can keep paying staff a portion of their pay and some cannot. But you need to do what works best for your business. You don’t need to lose your staff, but you need to plan. They also need to know you want them to continue working for you after all of this has passed and that these actions are just temporarily. Some business owners we talk to are going to keep paying staff, full pay for 1 month, then half pay and then as much as they can depending on how long this health issue continues.
Some businesses cannot do this at all. They need sales to make money. Salons, coffee shops, restaurants, tour guides, shows, wedding planners etc. My suggestion, use this time to market your business. Advertise using free social media and tell your story. Share with the world who you are and why they need your product/service so when all is good and well again, you are not starting from scratch.
If you would need advice from your accountant, now is the time to call them up, ask advice, what they suggest you do with cash flow, salaries and what your money status looks like. The more information and advice you can get, the better you can make the best decision.
Please remember, this is not your fault. Many people think failure here is a sign of bad management, bad business etc, it is not. However, what you do now, and what your plan is going forward, that is a reflection of you and your capabilities.
Plan, think and plan again. Ask for help and advice. You are not alone here.