Among the threat of pandemic, the small businesses have been hit most so far. The larger organisations have been able to survive better through this pandemic but small businesses owner has been hit badly and have a lot of financial crises. Therefore, this hit can go even worse in the second wave of pandemic and can be disastrous for small businesses and their employees. Small businesses wonder how they will survive unstable times in 2020 and when the vaccine available in the market. There is no clear answer but there are some business tips to start planning and implementing for the coming couple of months.
Tips to fight against pandemic challenges
1. Don’t panic, keep calm and stay safe:
Stay calm can be hard particularly when money is running out; however, you must remember to take care of yourself. Because if you stay calm only then can you keep your employees calm and create a healthy mindset for everybody to come up with ideas to move forward. There is no doubt that as a business owner you will be making some hard decisions so you must balance your mind before making any big decisions. The current situation is quite dynamic and changing rapidly, sometimes you need to take a step back to re-evaluate the situation and get trusted opinions to keep the right perspective. Just remember, things are going to get better and you are not alone in this.
2. Create a 3 month financial plan:
All small businesses usually have the same main expenses including office rent, utility bills and employee salaries. Any further expenses differ from business to business. You can also talk to suppliers and landlord to whom you have to pay and discover what kind of alternatives you have to spread out the cost. They might have different options in place already or they will understand since it’s in their interest as well to keep your company. You must be careful while creating payment plans with other businesses since they also have to stay afloat, so it has to be fair for both. Don’t forget to consider your personal financial expenses as well and talk to people you might support to have a conversation on how you can manage your personal expenses for the next couple of months. Look into what are necessary expenses, what you can put on hold? If you have a partner who supports you as your business grows then just have an open discussion about instant and long-term financial business plans. Just keep on finding ways for you to cut costs. However, also keep this as a last step after seeing at least two months damage of pandemic. Usually, the biggest cost would be the office rent and employees salaries. You should maybe stop further hiring of full-time workers and rather work with freelancers on a project basis. Also, you can consider downsizing and employing a co-working space for flexible and affordable payment terms.
3. Tap into different resources offered by government and financial organisations:
Every government in the world is putting together initiatives to help small businesses survive and its evolving every day. You need to be up to date with how your government is helping cut cost along with other important situations like banks that have a social responsibility as well. If you have a business in more than one market then you need to explore the support options available in other markets. For instance, you can find out about the UK government support for small businesses and the Dubai government is also announcing support packages for SMEs in Dubai.
4. Stay connected:
Amidst all it is important that your team stay connected while working remotely. You should buy a virtual phone number as soon as possible, so you can use Virtual landline system to stay connected with your staff. VoIP services include free Virtual calls, conferencing, call queuing, messaging and voicemail. VoIP Business is a great UK VoIP provider available in the market and they allow you to try out their services for a certain period of time. Right now are offering free conferencing to every business.
5. Train your employees:
If possible, keep your employees, they depend on you and if you have supervised them well then they should support you. You can train your current employees a few extra skills that can make them more efficient and productive instead of hiring new employees. There are a lot of online skill based courses which are cheap and can allow employees to concentrate on other parts of the company when their department is temporarily closed. For example, your sales agents can also help with the marketing or customer services team. Find online resources and courses that meet your business needs and your financial budget plans during this difficult time.