A few months ago, it was business as usual – cities were bustling with life, people roamed freely, and businesses were operational. Who would’ve thought that the world we know would change in an instant?
With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and quarantining are the new normal. Today’s main priority is to keep you and your loved ones safe from the virus. But what of small businesses? Should they rely on SBA loans to keep their business going?
It’s no secret that the global economy has taken a huge hit. If you look at the news, you’d see that the stock market is rapidly plummeting and thousands of employees are being laid off. We live in unprecedented times and many business owners don’t know how to protect their businesses. To give you an idea, here are five things you can do to get your business through this trying time.
1. Take Care of Your Employees
Nowadays, many people are cutting costs with payroll, but it’s not always the right move to make. Business owners should show leadership in difficult times like this. Your employees need to know that you got their back. Be empathetic and pay attention to the changes in the business.
Make sure your employees know that they are protected. When everything returns to normal (or the new normal), you want to retain the people that contribute to the success of your business. Your employees are your key assets to a successful business, so make sure you communicate with them. During these uncertain times, it may be best to refrain from hiring new employees unless you need it.
Unfortunately, you need to be prepared to make tough decisions. Assess all your employees and see how your business is any different if a certain employee isn’t working for you anymore. Once you’ve completed your assessment, you’ll have a clear picture of what you need to do next.
2. Responsible Marketing and Sales
Most companies these days took their entire business operations online. If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to use social media to consistently communicate with your customers. Make sure they know if you are open for business and let them know how they can access your products and services.
Aside from social media, you can send emails or newsletters to your customers to inform them of the changes in your business. It’s important to be creative and find new ways to market your business. Given the current events, it’s a great time to focus on your existing clients, enhance your customer service, and strengthen important relationships. Lastly, figure out new ways to continue serving your customers. You can tap into door-to-door delivery or virtual online-based services.
3. Build Loyalty with Your Existing Clients
If you think marketing your business and gaining new customers is tough, try doing it during a pandemic. During this trying time, your best strategy is to cultivate brand loyalty with your existing clients. Give them a reason to continue patronizing your business during and/or after the pandemic. You can offer discounts, loyalty cards, or coupons and they can redeem it online or after you reopen your store. It’s important to maintain client relationships, especially during this time. Investing in customer loyalty is the best thing you can do for your business during this pandemic.
4. Be Mindful of Your Cash Flow
When it comes to running a business, cash flow is the lifeblood of your company. The money that goes in and out of your business keeps you fully operational. Don’t expect your company to last long if you don’t have a well-balanced cash flow.
Nowadays, many businesses are spending more than they are earning. This will eventually take a toll on your business. Make sure that you find new ways to generate income amid the pandemic. You can offer pickup and delivery services, offer virtual services, negotiate with your landlords and vendors, and look into financing programs that can help your business, like SBA loans.
5. Check Out SBA Disaster Assistance Loan
The Small Business Administration (SBA) knows that it isn’t easy for small businesses to qualify for funding. This is why they authorized different types of SBA loans to small business owners of up to $2 million. Once qualified, you can use for almost any business purpose – covering payroll, pay for operational expenses, purchase equipment, refinance debt, etc.
Among the different types of SBA loans, SBA Disaster Loans are designed to protect small businesses that experienced hardship due to natural disasters. In light of the recent events, the Small Business Administration expanded the SBA Disaster Loan program to benefit the businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. It will most likely take two to three weeks at best to receive funding, so don’t expect that it’s a quick turnaround. Check out SBA’s Coronavirus (C0VID-19): Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources for more information.
Find Out More About SBA Loans or SBA Disaster Assistance Loans Here
SBA loans are a great resource in times of need, but it’s still a loan that you need to repay. Assess your business and see if it’s wise to take on additional debt. If you want to know more about the SBA Disaster Loan program, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our financial advisors. We offer free, no-obligation consultations for small businesses in the United States. Call us today at (888) 853-8922 or send us an email at [email protected].