Any small business that has been in business for more than ten years has seen its share of market upswings and downturns. If you listen to the money reporters prattle on about the stock market and the economy too much, you can start to feel like you are on a rollercoaster. Chances are, your small business didn’t face as much volatility as they wanted you to believe. That is, until now. The pandemic put a whole new spin on the economy and how small business owners are supposed to respond. Any small business owner can tell you, if your small business survives this, it can make it through anything. What have we learned in these last six months that solidifies our success going forward?

The beginning of the pandemic was a lot of uncertainty. Would your small business be impacted? Did you need to close your business? How long would it be closed? Could your employees work from home? How would you make that happen? Solutions required finding fast. No one had time to see what would happen before the plans to keep going had to be in place. Now that we’ve had some time to sit with these decisions, here’s what small business owners have learned about planning for the future.

Small Business Owners Should Have A Disaster Plan 

I’m sure when you were going over your final numbers for last year, you probably weren’t thinking, “Gees, we should prepare for being without revenue for Q1 and Q2 of next year.” Most small business owners’ sales strategies for 2020 didn’t include no selling for any quarter. Many small business owners looked in horror as their sales numbers vanished with their plans for growth in 2020. 

Lesson #1 - Have a plan for the worst-case scenario. 

It’s sad but it’s true. We have to get our minds around the idea that anything can change at any minute. How will you keep going if:

  • Your office has a fire
  • The business bank account is wiped clean
  • Your right-hand man leaves suddenly
  • Your best client fires you
  • You die unexpectedly

There may be some other emergency plans that need to be thought out on your end, but you get where we’re going with this. If the worst thing happens to your business, what are you planning to do about it? 

Lesson #2 - You might not see the next thing coming 

Small business owners make decisions for growth, hiring, and budget based on economic conditions and predictions. No one predicted the economic impact of 2020. Small business owners have now learned just how leanly they can make their businesses run. That’s not a bad thing. Your disaster plan should include making sure there are no unnecessary expenses. It is always good to check and recheck what you are spending on the things you need to make your business run. Vendors should continuously be reassessed to make sure you aren’t paying more than you need to.  

Lesson #3 - Your Employees Are Your Greatest Asset

The employees you have right now are keeping your business running from their homes, your parking lot, and sometimes their cars. In these times of uncertainty, your employees are making it happen for you. Don’t forget that. Always include them in your disaster plans. They have ideas about how to keep going that you probably haven’t thought of. All hands on deck should consist of everyone rolling up their sleeves to get the job done, including you. 

Lesson #4 - Employee Benefits Matter When They Need To Use Them 

Any benefits are just fine when you are healthy and don’t need to use them anyway. Have any of your employees become seriously ill during the pandemic? If they have, they got an eye-opening look at your small group health plan. The last thing anyone needs with a family member in the ICU is a giant deductible to meet. If one of your employees becomes critically ill, are your healthcare benefits going to meet their needs?

PEOs Keep Your Small Business Going Strong 

PEOs are doing for small business owners what they can’t do for themselves. Part of growing a healthy business is making sure your employment practices are free from legal issues. PEOs provide a way for small business owners to offload their payroll, employment, and benefits responsibilities for a fraction of the cost of what it takes 3 or 4 vendors to do. PEOs make sure you and your employees are in good shape to deal with the next disaster life throws your small business. 

Would you like to know how PEOs are helping small business owners just like yourself meet the demands of growing your business no matter what happens next? Contact us today for a free consultation to find out what a PEO can do for your small business today. 

If you’d like to find out more about how PEOs can help you provide great benefits and payroll management at less than you are paying now, contact us today for a free consultation.

Kristy St-Aubin

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