I'm guessing that by the time most of you are reading this, you will have already put some sort of plan in place for COVID-19. Good job! We're all doing the best we can. As the news and environment changes (daily it seems), those plans are probably changing as well.
We can be positive and know that everything will be okay in the end, but we must also have the discipline to confront this current reality.
Below are some steps to make our current reality a little easier.
Take care of yourself and your family. Keeping yourself and your family mentally and physically healthy is the first step in making sure you can show up in your business. This is looking to be a long road back to normal and in order to make it through, we need to keep an eye on our mental health. If you are working from home, remember that you are not just working from home – you are at your home during a crisis trying to work. There will be many distractions, including your own anxieties and fears. The pressure that leaders are facing is unimaginable and decisions have to be made quickly without all the facts or certainty of what the future holds. Have a trusted group of advisors, colleagues or friends to bounce ideas off of or use for support. We’re all in this together! If you have kids at home, Mint has listed some great resources for free education and entertainment. Be patient with yourself and your loved ones.
Get creative. In order to adjust to this new (temporary) normal, get creative with how you run your business. Things will look a little different.
Get creative with how you manage your employees (i.e. virtual coffee dates, daily check-ins) and discover creative ways to sell your product or service. If you've applied for the PPP Loan, you may have to get creative in keeping your employees staffed if business is slow or your State & County rules keep you from having more than 10 people working at a time.
Ask for support from your customers, they want to support you if they can!
On this note - get creative with activities around the house.
For some of you, all of this creativity will be an easy task. For others, like me, where creativity doesn't always come naturally, it'll take some extra work!
Stay up to date with IRS & SBA changes. Check here for a list of resources available to small businesses.
Communicate often with your clients about the status of your business. Ensure your clients know if you are open (or not) for business and how to best reach you and your team.
Communicate with your bankers about available relief or funding sources. Many banks and financial institutions are offering a range of relief programs for individuals and businesses including payment & interest deferments, waived service fees and disaster specific loans.
Communicate with your customers. Keep an open conversation and encourage them to stay with you or to come back.
Communicate often with your team about how the business is doing and plans in place to get through the pandemic. They are looking to you for comfort, confidence and guidance. Employees are likely scared and need leadership’s reassurance of a path forward. Help your team stay motivated and focused – business must continue!
Check to see if your business insurance covers business interruptions. You may be able to file a claim during this crisis.
Take a hard look at your vendors and expenses and determine if there are some short-term cash savings by cancelling or putting certain things on hold. Check to see if you have any monthly subscriptions that are unnecessary or can be put on pause. During this process, remember that your vendors have been good to you and you will likely need them in the future. Keep any that you can, discard any that are unnecessary.
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