Tips on how to remain in compliance with government rules and safeguard your employees.
No one could have imagined that the spread of the coronavirus across the globe would cause this much unrest. Scrambling to save millions of lives, government officials have asked all non-essential businesses to close up shop. Other businesses, however, are forced to close due to stay at home orders which drastically reduced sales. If you happen to be one of those businesses, dealing with this sudden change is unnerving, to say the least.
This business is not only your livelihood but the livelihood of those you’ve employed. You feel a certain obligation to your customers as well. Though these changes have caused an undue amount of stress, it is imperative that you make wise decisions going forward to preserve any chance your business has of reestablishing itself once things are back to “normal”.
Close Your Operations
Believe it or not, there are some small business owners ignoring the strong requests and demands of government officials and keeping their doors open. This can have serious consequences. For starters, you’re not doing your part to slow the spread of the virus and could be putting many lives at risk. You could also be fined for not following local and federal laws. No matter how bad this hurts, it is imperative that you close up shop if you’ve been required to do so.
Cover The Expenses You Can
Hopefully, you have an emergency fund or savings account you can draw from to deal with outstanding expenses. Use these funds to pay your employee salaries by setting up direct deposit to their free checking accounts. Then, cover other expenses like the lease, utilities, and outstanding invoices from vendors. The less debt you have to deal with later the easier it is for your business to bounce back after things have calmed.
Apply for Aid
Legislation has finally been passed by the federal government to provide emergency funding to small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus. Now would be the time to apply for a federal disaster loan, economic injury disaster loan, or have your paid sick and vacation leave for employees offset 100% by the federal government. This can help you to ensure your employees are taken care of and that business expenses that your savings couldn’t cover are resolved. As many organizations are likely going to apply for relief, it is highly recommended that you start your process early.
Reduce Personal Household Costs
The hope is that this financial crisis is only temporary, but you still need to be prepared. Now that you’ve done what you can to safeguard your business and employees, it’s time to take care of home. Figure out what you’re able to reduce or completely do away with.
Financial hardship is something that can take minutes to get into, but oftentimes it can take years to come up from the bottom. You’ll have to think outside the box when it comes to reducing how much you’re currently spending on bills and extra things. You’ll likely be living pretty tight for a while, but overcoming your challenges should be your number one priority. Cut out cable and turn to streaming services instead, cook all of your meals and stop eating out, and eliminate any memberships or unnecessary expenses.
Invest in Professional Development
With some spare time on your hands, now would be an ideal time to invest in your professional development. You can take online courses, enroll in training programs, or watch podcasts and how-to videos to learn how to enhance your professional skills and experience. Some business owners might take this as a time to restrategize their business including reviewing their finances, developing a contingency plan, and even looking into other avenues to generate new business. If possible, engage your employees by informing them of learning opportunities as well. Their continued training and education will ultimately work to put your business in a better position when you’re ready to re-open your doors.
Having to close your doors due to the coronavirus may be stressful to deal with. Be that as it may, this isn’t a failed business, but instead an unforeseen event that was beyond your control. Utilize the tips provided above to remain in compliance with government rules and to safeguard your employees and the general public. Then, when the time is right, you can relaunch your business even better than it was before.