9 Things You Can Do Right Now to Make Sure Your Business Stays Afloat
Running a small business is challenging. But now, these challenges have multiplied thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. So, how can you keep your business afloat over the next few months until this is behind us? Here are nine things you need to do right now.
Do a GL deep dive.
Print out your current general ledger including all of last year and so far this year, then review it in detail. Make it a point to freeze, cut or eliminate expenses where necessary. Your objective is to minimize overhead and you have to know the details to do this the right way. This is your opportunity to really know every dollar that’s flowing through your business and to take action.
Get an SBA loan.
The Small Business Administration is now offering very low interest loans to small businesses in need through its Disaster Assistance program. Because these loans are issued directly by the SBA, approval times are significantly less and the red tape is significantly lower.
Get money from your state.
Many states have setup funds, grants and loan programs for small businesses in need of assistance during this pandemic. Every state in the country is providing information, advice and counseling. Go to your state’s website to see what’s available for you.
Get money from your city.
Many cities and regions have setup funds and loan programs for their local small businesses and you might be in a region where you can benefit.
Talk with your accountant.
Tax return filing deadlines have been extended through July 15. The same goes for payment deadlines for your final amounts due from 2019. Talk to your accountant about this. Adjust your estimated taxes for this year. Consider filing your taxes early if you’re looking at a refund. Also, if you’re offering paid time off to your employees under the new federal legislation, get familiar with the tax credits you can get back.
Push your banker.
Reach out to your banker. Confirm your available lines of credit. Ask if your bank is offering any special loans or financings for small businesses related to this pandemic. Many larger banks are already doing this, and it’s likely that your bank will work out new payback programs to defer cash outlays for the short term.
Push your big vendors.
Your smaller suppliers are likely suffering through these times, but your bigger vendors have more resources to weather this storm and many of them are open to helping. Don’t be shy. You should be calling your largest vendors and suppliers and discussing extended payment terms to help alleviate your cash flow challenges over the next few months. You will be surprised at how open they are to doing this.
Educate your people.
Communicate frequently with your staff, even if they’ve been furloughed, like so many restaurants and merchants have been forced to do. Why? Because they need to hear what’s going on and you need to keep them close for when you’re back in business and needing staff. Keep them posted on company developments, but more importantly educate them on all the benefits that you and the government have made available for them to get through these times.
Finally, use the downtime.
Hopefully you can steer the ship enough so that things are fairly settled for the next month or so. If that’s the case, then use the downtime wisely. Plan for the future. Get some employee evaluations done. Clean up your data. Do some online training. Rest.
I believe the Coronavirus pandemic is a short term event. I also believe that when it’s behind us, the economic snap-back will be significant. Those are my beliefs and I’m running my business with this in mind. I’ve taken all the steps mentioned above to keep me going until then, and I hope you’ll do the same.
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