The coronavirus pandemic has been anything but kind to small business owners. More than 30% of small businesses in the country shut their doors, at least temporarily, by April of 2020.
A month later, more than half of all business owners found it necessary to either furlough or lay off employees. The good news is that many small businesses have found ways that will allow them to stay afloat during the pandemic.
Change is constant in the business world. It is always a challenge to stay relevant when customers have so many distractions from which to choose. The savvy business owner understands the importance of remaining relevant in the minds of customers who may be experiencing the greatest distraction of their lifetimes.
Make Better Use of Technology
Business owners who have only commanded brick and mortar operations in the past may benefit from thinking about digital products. Zoom may be the thing that saves the day for business owners who are no longer able to meet face to face with partners and clients.
The many examples of small business owners using technology to preserve their businesses include therapists who have turned to telemedicine to serve patients and retailers who continue to take orders online.
Take Advantage of Government Support
Business owners who have not yet tapped into the government support available to them may be missing out on a golden opportunity to help their business. One program small business owners are finding particularly beneficial is the Paycheck Protection Program.
The program is available through the Small Business Administration and provides business funding to owners who need help with:
- Employee salaries
- Employee benefits
Many business owners have found the life preserver they need in these and other programs offered by the government.
Leaner companies will be able to survive the pandemic by delivering the best products possible to consumers while eliminating the waste involved in the process. The lean principles that will facilitate this effort include:
- Identify product value to customers
- Create a map of your value chain
- Streamline product flow
- Provide customer value through upstreaming
- Perfect the process
You can endear yourself to customers by showing empathy for them in these troubling economic times. This fact becomes more relevant when your customers are other business owners faced with the same tough decisions you face as you try to save your business.
Reaching out to your customers to inform them of any changes in your business practices or checking with them regarding their business operations will build partnerships that will last through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. A little empathy during hard times can make you stand out from other businesses that act as if nothing unusual is happening.
Become Tax Savvy
The present business climate makes it more important than ever for business owners to learn and understand the business tax codes that apply to them. Some tax codes include benefits that can represent the difference between the success and failure of your business.
One potential gem is the Employment Retention Tax Credit. This tax provision allows business owners to take a 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 they pay toward employee compensation.
None of these tips are any good to you if you fail to take action. Many business owners make the mistake of going into reaction mode when the economic environment experiences a downturn. But you and your business will be much better off if you determine what steps are necessary to help you survive the global pandemic and put these steps into action early.