As a small business owner, you know things can happen outside of your control at any time - meaning you’ve learned to quickly adapt to overcome obstacles.
A major uncontrollable factor that affects businesses is health and wellness, including the current global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Of course this is a top-of-mind issue for everyone right now, but as a business leader it is important to remain collected and plan.
There are multiple factors to consider when facing such a large uncertainty, and you have to
make changes as things progress. Evaluating the potential impact ahead of time eases the decision-making process and ensures you have a solid plan of action.
We know it can be difficult to make these decisions, so we’ve put together a list of questions to ask yourself as you prepare. Here are the areas to consider when facing current challenges and future business disruption caused by the Coronavirus:
Your employees are key to your success, but they may have a very different view of risk (and the coronavirus risk in particular) than you do. How do you balance their needs with yours?
What happens if they or a family member gets the virus or is exposed?
What happens if they stay home – or come in sick?
What can you do in your office/store to keep the workplace clean and keep germ spreading to a minimum?
Can employees work from home? What are the logistics you need to think about to make this work?
Can you pay your employees even if they don’t work? Can they afford to not work?
Where would you be without your customers and clients? Taking some time to consider what is on their minds is key to remaining viable in a downturn or crisis.
How are they already changing what they do? What might be the future short- or long-term changes in their buying habits?
What if they can’t come to your office or store?
What can you do to help them continue to buy from you both now and later? Once habits change, they can be hard to change back. How can you keep their business?
If you have an online sales platform, will customers use it more? Are you prepared for that?
Are there things you can do to allay their concerns?
Are there things that you sell or offer that may help them through this time?
Additionally, your customers who are also businesses are dealing with some of the same issues as you. How can you partner with them and support each other through the change? Relationships make a difference in the long-term.
Last fall, some products jumped significantly in price due to tariffs. Some of these same products are now becoming difficult to procure. Shortages may become a long-term issue.
How will this affect your business in both the short and long term?
Can you get the supplies you need at a price that doesn’t hurt your profit margins?
Do you need to adjust your ordering to the changing demand?
Can you shift what you’re selling or what you need to make what you sell?
CASH IS KING
Cash on hand is always a good thing to have as a business owner. As you go through a challenging time – regardless of the cause – your options are much wider if you’re not strapped for funds.
As customers face challenges, they may delay making payments to you.
Customers may cut back on what they purchase, despite your overhead expenses staying constant.
Suppliers may raise prices and/or demand more up-front payment
Depending on your situation, you may need to hire more employees or pay employees for sick time who aren’t working.
What changes can you make TODAY to strengthen your financial position? We’re here to help. Schedule a complimentary 30-minute phone call to see if we can work together to help you not just survive but thrive!