When it comes to small and large business, the difference is usually in the amount of cash flow they are prepared with. Small businesses have only few months of cash flow ready with them. So when something huge happens to the economy, they are the most affected. Below are few survival tips for small business during a pandemic.
To keep the business running you need to be in a healthy state of mind and body. It might be hard to focus on oneself during such a crisis. But it is crucial to stay calm and ensure you take care of yourself. For instance, eat well and get some exercise. A fresh mind can help you boost your creative thinking side of handling challenges. Take a step back and see the bigger picture. Have confidence you will get through this. Get emotional support and have confidence to make important bold decisions.
Finding out about the Government and financial support that is available to your business is crucial. Governments all around the world are working on ways to help small businesses get through this pandemic. For instance, find out about the UAE proactive policy actions that will minimize the effect of pandemic. If you are registered in other markets worldwide, find out what efforts are offered by their governments too. Many banks have also come forward with supportive initiatives for SMEs that have been affected by the Corona pandemic.
Small businesses run few basic expenses like salaries, rent and utilities. In addition, they might have few expenses that vary with the industry. Having an honest and mutually beneficial discussion on the payment terms and conditions is important. The supplier, landlord and other creditors want your business to survive and may consider the possibility of postponing few payments. Remember everyone is facing a cash crunch, so ensure the terms are fair to all.
Cutting costs might become inevitable if the pandemic endures. Avoid hiring new staff and firing only if absolutely necessary. Reduce office rent and work from shared space or home, if you have a flexible lease. Ask employees to take unpaid leaves instead of firing them. Work with freelancers if you need extra help instead of hiring full time.
In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity. If you probe well, you might find areas of improvement that stand out as growth possibilities. Revisit your business model in terms of technology-based approach. Can you sell your product or service online? Think about the changes in the customer-behavior after or during the pandemic. Can your business handle the new type of customer? Allocate funds for reaching out to the online customer base if possible.
To improve the efficiency of your current staff, get them to train on areas of improvement. You could train them cross-team, for instance the operations team and sales team can sit down to understand the pain points. Focus on the areas that need help. There are also plenty of free and paid online courses for small businesses. Look for courses that match your current needs and budget for training your staff.
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