Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses to either close or scale down their operations. Moreover, those not selling essential products and services are now struggling to survive the resultant economic downturn. Companies are therefore being confronted by the challenge of how they can pull through and perhaps even succeed both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
With this in mind, here are some tips for business owners to help you make it through the challenges posed by COVID-19 and even thrive in the aftermath.
1. Cut your expenses and other cash outflows
This is the most obvious course of action. However, you should also consider your capital spending strategies. A few actions you could take include:
- Reduce your usual orders for new stock
- Delay delivery of the stock
- Return slow-moving or unsold stock
2. Increase your revenue
Naturally, you will want to boost your sales, but how is this possible during a global pandemic? Fortunately, there are always creative methods at your disposal to make revenue growth a reality, even during trying times like these.
For example, if you own a restaurant, you are unlikely to see any increase in revenue from table service due to COVID-19, but you could supplement or even increase your sales by offering takeouts and home deliveries. Therefore, if you want your business to survive and thrive, consider boosting your online presence.
Even consider selling merchandise on your site during this downtime. If you have a loyal base of customers, perhaps they’d appreciate supporting your business by buying a t-shirt, mugs and other types of products.
3. Collect your overdue accounts
Even in times of crisis, people and businesses will want to maintain an excellent credit rating. Therefore, you should make sure that you follow up on your debtors, especially if their accounts are overdue.
4. Take advantage of your credit line
Another consequence of COVID-19 is that many businesses won’t have a regular cash flow, which makes credit lines vital to operations. In this scenario, you should take advantage of the low-interest rates available to your business
However, remember to repay the debt promptly. You will probably need a good accountant to help you open or increase your credit line.
5. Talk to your suppliers
Your vendors will be well aware of your situation, so if you are experiencing severe cash flow difficulties, consider negotiating with them.
You may find them more accommodating to your requests than you expect. If they want to retain you as a customer, they would rather receive some cash than nothing at all and maintain the profitable relationship that likely took years to build with you.
6. Consider seeking government help
State and federal government are focused on putting things in place to get the economy back on track, now and after the pandemic subsides. As a result, your business may qualify for a stimulus package. If your state or county is offering help, such as low-interest rate loans, find out whether you are eligible.
7. Take care of your employees
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the hospitality and restaurant industries especially hard. This has resulted in salary cuts and even layoffs.
Nevertheless, there are ways of retaining your staff even during these stressful times. For example, perhaps you could reduce their hours for the time being, at least to reassure your staff of your plan to bring them back when the situation permissions while providing them with some level of consistent income.
It’s critical that you find ways to show your staff you appreciate them. Provide support in whatever way you can, and that support will help you maintain positive relationships with your staff. They will develop a new trust for you that will carry over into their work when they return.
8. Shift your production
The pandemic has meant that there is currently a huge demand for medical equipment and supplies, such as:
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizers
- PPE suits
Perhaps your company could adapt its working practices to create and bring to market some vital supplies to help people and businesses during these tough times.
9. Buy from your competitors
A competitor closing down may be the perfect opportunity to expand. For instance, you could buy their inventory and add it to yours. If you are in the position to make sense an investment, this is a good way to boost your presence in the market and be prepared for the likely increase in business once everything gets back to normal.
10. Make preparations for after the pandemic
Once the health threat is over or has at least subsided, there will be an enormous demand for products and services. People will resume shopping and even book their vacations. This is why you need to ensure your business can handle the upsurge in custom.
Have a post-pandemic business plan in place to bring on the necessary staff and other resources so you are ready to roll when business comes flowing back. Failing to plan can leave you short of stock, unable to service your customers due to limited staff, or otherwise unprepared, thus positioning your company for failure.
COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that hurts almost every business. However, it can also present opportunities for growth and expansion. You could take advantage of the government stimulus package or credit lines from banks or suppliers. However, you will need to update and maintain accurate records. For this reason, you will need the services of an excellent bookkeeper or accountant.
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