Things Every Business Owner Needs To Do During This Crisis
What Businesses Can Do While We Wait On Financial HelpREAD MY STORY OF FINDING OPPORTUNITY IN THE MIDDLE OF TRAGEDY
Instill Confidence In Your Staff And Customers--Take clear actions to reassure your staff and your customers that their health and safety are paramount concerns. Make sure people entering or interacting with your business have access to hand sanitizer, avoid handshakes and save the hugs for later. Allow staff to work remotely and provide the proper safety tools in the workplace.Educate Your Customers On Steps To Keep Them Safe--Communication is key in times of uncertainty. The better you are able to alleviate their fears and anxieties, the easier it will be to retain their business.
Educate Your Staff On What Steps You Are Doing To Retain Them--Now is not the time to isolate from your staff. Keep them informed on the steps you are taking to stay open or reopen. Check on them and use the Chamber's COVID-19 resource guide to find answers for them.
Scenario Planning On How Market Changes Can Impact Your Business--The economy is not going to jump back to where it was when this started. This is something that you can do that will help your business move forward and you'll be better prepared in the future. If you take a hit how can you gain your team's buy-in to help share some of that burden in a way that benefits you all? Could they take their "vacation days' during a slow period? Would they understand the need for a wage freeze or even for management players to take a wage reduction so that you can collectively ride through a tough period? Are there big opportunities here for your business?
Enlist Your Vendors and Suppliers As Part of The Solution--Can you get better terms or payment options? Can you get a "payment holiday" for 30, 60, or 90 days? Can you renegotiate your lease terms? Request a deferment? Also, take this time to trim out the fat on your expenses such as items that don't sell well. Can you switch up your menu to utilize the same items in multiple ways? Use our Facebook Community page to connect with other struggling businesses and share ideas, tips on negotiating, etc.
Plan Out Your Cash Flow--Deepen your pockets by arranging any increases to your lines of credit that you can -- just in case. This includes calling your credit card companies and asking for credit line increases now, while this is still fairly early in this situation. You don't have to tap into them, but you sure want to have them. This is also a good time to increase your liquid reserves by setting aside more of your revenue for "just in case" money.
Involve Your Leadership and Management Team In Planning--Fear comes mostly from the unknown. By involving your team leaders in the planning process, asking for their input, you help alleviate their fear and let them know they are valued.
Look For Opportunities--Don't sit back and worry about what you cannot control! Get with your team and brainstorm ideas in marketing, money management, processes, and new ways you can serve your customers.
Use Your Time Wisely--Is there a big project you've been planning but putting off because you were too busy? Painting your shop, redoing your website, finishing a big project for a client. Taking an online class to improve your skills, reading that sales book that's been on your desk for months. Do it!