There are millions of small business owners in the US. This epidemic is going to change the lives of many of them. How should your small business react this week and month to the largest interruption of business many of us have ever seen? Here is just my advice, from running numerous companies through many ups and downs the past 25 years.
1) Stay calm – money will be the number 1 issue. If you can quickly apply for a credit card or loan, do it now. Even if you do not use it, it will give you a short term backup plan.
2) Look at your expenses, but DO NOT tear down your house. Especially when it comes to your sales and advertising solution you have setup for you. Sure, you can slow down your ad spend right now, but things like your website, landing page, email marketing, CRM and even video production will all be needed to get started FAST when this craziness is over. So, as much as these look like things you should cut, keep them with the next 12 months ( Yes, I am being hopeful) in mind. This time will pass, and the ones that are ready when this epidemic is over and do not have to rebuild everything again, will be the ones that recover the fastest.
3) So, you support other businesses doing what you do? Speak openly with your clients if you are a vendor “cog” type unit. Speak with them, let them know we are all in this together and keeping your services for the next few months allows you to keep all of their services and solutions on. It also helps the economy, since many new business deals will be halted, so keeping the ones you have and helping them may be your best plan. Trickle down never works fast enough when millions of vendors and businesses lose their clients, and we, as a nation, need to try and avoid this at all costs.
4) Speak openly to your employees, contractors and vendors. No one is in control here, so we have to be candid and let them know we care. We also have to be vigilant in those that may be feeling sick. Stay home. Do not pressure anyone who is uncomfortable, and let them consult with their medical providers to make any call about where and when someone needs to come back.
So, in this unprecedented week and month of business, I say we all should just “check” – Don’t do anything rash, we are all hurting together. Don’t try and scare your employees or vendors, because you will need them when this is all over. In the end, you own your business so you know whats best for you and your life, however I add cautious optimism to say “this too will pass” – And when it does, starting from square one will always be more expensive and way longer than you expect. Please do your part, as I will, to try and avoid this, as many will benefit if we all hold tight for a month.
I pray for you, the health and safety of everyone you know, our nation, and our world. Stay vigilant and be well.
Baytech Companies, LLC