Ian Wright, Founder of Small Business Prices, provides his five tips on how to endure the pandemic and the rest of 2020 as a small business owner and protect your finances as much as possible
Being a business owner has many ups – but you’ll also experience many downs, and with times like these, it can be more stressful than ever keeping the ship afloat. No matter how big or small a business is, owners are battling to find new ways to work around the troubled situation.
Tip One: Monitor government changes
As a small business owner, keeping up to date with government announcements, schemes and guidance is paramount. As news on the pandemic changes every day, it is crucial that you keep on top of all the options that are available to you, ensuring you’re in the best position to face any challenges.
It’s no secret that cash flow is the most important factor in a business surviving month to month and so when a huge crisis such as this pandemic comes about, being prepared has never been so important. You should keep track of how the government is able to assist you financially and plan ahead with how you can use the money in the best possible way.
Tip Two: Crucial planning – 3 months in advance
Life will not be able to return to complete normality as soon as this pandemic is over, so it is worth making a three-month financial plan where you assess how the next few months could plan out. Look to cut any costs you can to help with the survival of your business. Work out how much you’ll need to spend to stay afloat for the next three months and see if there is an opportunity to cut this down.
Running a business comes with monthly expenses of all sizes depending on your product or service. Now is the time to communicate with your providers, such as landlords or product subscriptions, to see if you can look to spread the costs over a longer period of time, reducing your current monthly costs. If you’re still paying for smaller costs such as coffee supplies or fruit boxes, look to get in touch with the providers to pause the subscription.
Tip Three: Focus on adaptation and flexibility
One of the most valuable tips to give is to focus on adaptation and flexibility of your business. COVID-19 has completely changed how businesses will go about their day-to-day activities and while it might prove a frustrating time, as a small business owner you need to adjust to the challenges rather than sitting still in order to continue to attract clients.
The next few months may see you need to implement new technologies to support a new way of business. As the world increasingly turns to online platforms and social media as a way of buying from businesses, you need to ensure you’re promoting your company and continuing to attract consumers. The internet enables you to keep tabs on how the markets are behaving and where you can pick up on any gaps to provide your customers with the best possible experience.
Tip Four: Communicate with those in your position
During this troubled time, competition and rivalry is something that needs to be forgotten about as many other business owners will be in the same position as you. Communication is now more vital than ever. For those who are in your current position, reach out and talk to them. Ask how they’re doing, if they have any tips, or even if there’s a way you can work together to keep your businesses running. Not only will you be able to build strong work relationships, it will also give you the reassurance that you’re not alone in this battle and that there are others you can talk to.
Ensure you keep your employees updated on any changes that occur, how they might impact them and what your next steps are. Talking and gaining advice from financial advisors is also an important tool to use.
Tip Five: Remain focused, calm and positive
The final tip to give is to remain focused, calm and positive. It’s a difficult period for small business owners whose income is more important than ever. Take some time for yourself to recharge and focus on your own health. This will keep you feeling positive and motivated to succeed through the next few months.
It’s no secret that times are tough, and many are struggling to keep afloat, but use this time to focus on the future of your business, and how you wish to do things in the future.
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