The first half of the year was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic; businesses everywhere experienced at least some measure of a repercussion, whether negative or positive. Small businesses in particular were hit hard by the domino effect of our national economic shut-down.
Preparing your company for the wave of economic resurgence as businesses cautiously begin to open has never been more crucial. The following tips are provided as a place to start as you prepare your business for the rest of 2020.
Re-examine your expenditure to find smarter investments, such as a more competitive insurance deal. Many of these companies are offering more competitive prices and discounts, given the current financial climate.
Compare your fixed expenses with your current cash flow, and adjust your budget priorities, or weed out the smaller but impactful purchases. Make sure to cut the more flexible expenses in order to afford the more crucial ones down the line.
Seek Financial Assistance
With a drop in sales, for small businesses you can look into the various programs for this express purpose, such as the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program. Government guidelines state that at least three-quarters of the loan should be used for paying employees in order for the loan to be forgiven.
If you also need financial resources for other purposes besides retaining employees, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan is also an option. Other financial resources to consider include relief grant programs by companies such as Verizon, Amazon, and the James Beard Foundation.
Also, Facebook’s grants of up to $100 million have been directed towards 30,000 small businesses around the world.
Hire a Reliable IT Company
With several lockdowns around the globe, and the need for social distancing, working from home is the new norm. This means a lot of businesses have had to restructure their processes, and move their business online. This can be a daunting prospect for small businesses, especially considering the speed of the change.
Key elements to consider include cybersecurity to protect your business and client data, resolving technical problems remotely, and maintaining your network. Website crashes and errors alone account for 20% of site abandonment by consumers, according to the Baymard Institute.
Investing in managed IT services will ease your IT hiccups and give you a long-term success rate over hiring or maintaining your own in-house IT service.
Expect a Decrease in Productivity
In order to salvage their small business, employers are laying off workers all over the country. Some are placed on furlough while others have cut their work hours. Even businesses that retained their employees might expect reduced work hours due to illness, or employees looking after sick family members.
A survey by the U.S. Census Bureau found that over 40% of businesses had their supply chains disrupted as of May 14, 2020. This drop in productivity results in businesses having to inform their consumers of delays, and in some cases require more extensive measures to make up for the lost time.
In this case, seek to balance the wellbeing of your employees and the demands, because in the end you can’t do it without them.
Pay Attention to Changes in Customer Needs
Reach out to, or keep in touch with your customers to find out how you can best continue to serve them. People are adapting in response to the current economic crisis, and new practices may remain even after the pandemic is over. Restructuring your business model to cater to online or remote experiences is a long-term investment towards adapting to the future.
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
As you plan for the second half of the year, take time to reflect on what you’ve learned about your business and its resilience during an economic crisis. Integrate improvements in preparation for the new norm and another potential future crisis, as COVID-19 is not likely to be the only crisis your business will face in the future.
The light is at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but there is still a lot to cope with as we settle into a new normal. Preparing yourself and taking the time to plan for these hardships will go a long way to keep your business from irreparable damage.
For all your managed IT needs, look to Total IT for long-term solutions.