As shops and boutiques close their doors in a worldwide effort to support social distancing, many small businesses are feeling direct hits to their bottom line. Online commerce is a saving grace to many, although this too is not immune to the virus effect, as many consumers slow their spending.
It’s not just an affliction to businesses either. Many individuals are witnessing their work dry up and their employment opportunities vanish. So whether we’re talking your business, or your own private bank account, when income trickles to a halt, what can you do?
Reach out to your suppliers and creditors and try to slow down or minimize payment schedules where possible. Many suppliers may be in the same boat as you and creditors are likely facing defaults on the horizon. It might be tough to find flexibility right away but it can be helpful to start discussing terms before things get even trickier.
Tax filing deadlines have been extended and governments at all levels are opening up their coffers to provide support for flailing businesses and lost wages. These funds may take time to arrive given the growing demand and normal channels of bureaucracy, which means it’s wise to get these wheels in motion as soon as you can.
The three ‘R’s have never been more important. Lower costs by using what you’ve got and repurposing as much as you can. We all have more resources than we think we have, we’re just not often pushed to find them. Communicate your efforts to conserve during this time and encourage your clients to do the same.
When your own clients and customers need to stop spending, it’s vital to keep the flow of respect, communication and support available. Do what you can to help others during this challenging time and there’s a greater chance your customers and community will still be with you when budgets bounce back.
There are consumers out there who might be happy to buy a $100 voucher or gift card from you for a discounted price of $75 or $85 that they can use in your shop at a later date when things are back to normal. You never know until you offer. Conversely, take up those discounted offers from businesses if you know you’ll need their services later and you can fit it in your budget.
Finally, there’s never been a better time to innovate. Gin makers are producing hand sanitizer. Hotel restaurants are creating make-at-home meal kits. Fashion & beauty retailers are shifting to health & wellness. Find a financial planner or a business consultant and strategize about possible ways you can pivot your business to the new post-coronavirus economy.