Firstly, stay safe and update your business practices based on the current health advice during COVID-19. Below are 8 actionable ideas to help you weather the storm.
1. Limit expenses/review your cash flow – Now is the time to save cash. That means cutting all non-essential expenses and limiting inventory purchases. Review your subscriptions and ask are you still using them and if not stop them to save cash. Hold off on major purchases.
2. Pay your bills on the due date or try deferring them – The goal should be to pay your creditors as slowly as possible without incurring a penalty. Reach out to suppliers, creditors, landlords and banks for possible modified payment terms.
3. Ask for payment – invoice sooner and collect faster – Invoice as soon as work is completed. Communicate with your customers with empathy and respect to prompt them to pay outstanding invoices. If you can, offer deferred payments or payment plans. Consider offering your customers a small incentive for them to pay what they owe.
4. Evaluate new distribution methods – Can you pivot your business to offer your services/products differently? delivery, implementing curbside pickup, virtually services, add a subscription service or e-commerce option?
5. Manage your inventory – Cancel or delay planned inventory purchases. Refund or exchange with your vendor. Get creative with current inventory on-hand: use discounting or bundle your products at a special price? Sell online.
6. Communicate with your customers – Tell them your new hours and wtheat services you are still providing such as contactless home delivery and payment etc. Even if you are closed, keep marketing your business using relevant and sensitive content, so your customers remember you when it is time to buy from you again.
7. Keep working ON your business – Network virtually and have virtual coffee with people, add automation in your business, update your website, create new content, learn a new skill, do some market research or build a mailing list.
8. Ask for help – This is not an easy time for anyone, however ask for the help you need to stay healthy and safe. Businesses can reach out to BACD and other community resources. Take care of your mental health too. Ask your friends and talk about what is happening – a problem shared is a problem halved.