Small businesses in America are in quite a pickle. Many are unable to serve their customers or even turn the lights on in their offices. When we will all be able to get back to work remains uncertain. There are many thoughts and ideas, with lots of advice given from all sides. Where does a small business owner go for real small business advice during COVID-19 that could help them save their business? What should a small business owner avoid at all costs during this time?
First and foremost, don’t panic. Frantic leaders don’t make good decisions. The key to making great decisions when they matter most is avoiding as much emotion as possible. Now is not the time to fall apart, even if it feels like your whole world and everything you’ve worked for has suddenly imploded. No doubt, that is a heavy thought. But you need to buckle up and do whatever it takes to save your business. So, what should you do?
Stick To Reliable Sources For Small Business Advice During COVID-19
Don’t obsess over which business channel to watch right now. In fact, turn off the television as much as possible. Avoiding emotional decision making means not letting the media whip you up into a frenzy. Now, where do you go for information on how to stop the financial bleeding?
Small Business Association is the best place to start first on what is available to you as a small business owner. Small business advice during COVID-19 at SBA is all about helping you find out what kinds of loans and grants you can take advantage of. They will also help you understand what the requirements and stipulations are.
The shorthand on the loans and grants right now is that the process is taking more time than most would like. The banks are swamped with applications. Some are not up to speed on being able to take them right now. Other banks have already reached their loan maximum. While this is quite alarming for the small business owner who has not applied yet, take heart that the government is getting creative on who can loan money now under their SBA programs. PAYPAL, Intuit, and Square, for instance, have just been approved to take PPP loans.
Your own bank would also be a great place to go to for advice on lines of credit, business loans, and such that you could take advantage of to immediately get yourself collected financially. While most U.S. workers are getting stimulus checks, the sum of money being handed out will hardly put a dent in the expenses of most American households for this amount of time. Your workers need more than a one-time free money drop into their bank accounts. Helping them feel financially secure as they ride out this storm with you means getting financially stable enough to make that happen.
Mentoring Programs Like SCORE Are Great Resources To Turn To For Solid Advice
If you’ve never turned to a program like SCORE before, going to the business veterans themselves for small business advice during COVID-19 is going to be a worthwhile adventure. SCORE is comprised of retired business leaders who are available to help mentor you to success. Their online mentoring is a great way to get started and stay safe at the same time. You don’t have to wait until their chapters are offering in-person meetings again. Start now by signing up for online mentoring for great advice on getting through this with a level head and a solid strategy.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also up and running online with guides, tips, and resources to help with small business advice during COVID-19. Even after this pandemic recedes, these are both tremendous resources for small business owners in general. Many small business owners have found great benefits in being part of one or both of these organizations.
What To Avoid At All Costs For Small Business Owners During COVID-19
If you can at all avoid letting go of your employees altogether, that would be well advised. This will be over at some point and we’ll be returning to work but if you let go of your staff entirely, you may not have enough help to get back to business with when you need to. Furloughs, pay cuts and reduced hours have helped small businesses keep their employees around. Taking advantage of the SBA protections you can to keep people employed will help reduce the risk of losing your staff.
It is likely that if you do a google search on small business advice during COVID-19 that you will find some shifty online solutions that promise to help you faster than your bank or the government programs will be able to. DON’T DO IT. Take the advice that homeowners from the real estate bust would tell you, predatory lending is called that for a reason. Fast, no-credit loans with high-interest rates are a no-win situation. Avoid them at all costs.
Keep Employee Costs Low And Figure Out How To Lower Them More Going Forward
Looking into a way to trim the expenses with employee costs without reducing benefits and good HR processes is a tall order but there is a way. PEOs are great cost reducers for small businesses. PEOs help small business owners by combining products and services that small businesses need every day to take care of payroll, HR, and benefits into one reduced-cost solution. If you’d like to find out more about how PEOs can help you minimize employee costs now and in the future, contact us today for a free consultation.