Do you operate a business? You have probably been severely impacted by COVID-19. Last month, 13 popular businesses announced that they were closing. You might be worried that your business is next.
Small businesses all over the world have taken a beating due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, restaurants have had it the worst. They are deemed nonessential in most regards, which meant that they were not given any protection during the initial stay at home orders.
Far too many businesses will close forever during the COVID-19 crisis. The number of business closures will be especially elevated. The president of the Massachusetts Business Association estimates that 25% of businesses will have to close as a result of the pandemic.
The good news is that there are steps that businesses can take to stay afloat. They can use social distancing stickers to adhere to regulations, but they need to follow others tips as well. If your business is struggling, then you will want to follow the tips listed below.
Don’t procrastinate when seeking relief funds
Many business owners are proud people. They are against taking any type of assistance from the government.
This can be a noble attitude. However, it can also be extremely foolhardy during an unprecedented crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic is likely to last for another few months. Businesses are going to continue to lose revenue over that time. You should get any assistance available. If you can’t do it for yourself, then do it so your loyal employees can keep their jobs and customers will continue to have a place to go after this is over.
Make curbside pick-up a core part of your business
Businesses were previously prohibited from allowing any customers at all to dine inside in most states with stay at home orders. Those restrictions have since been lifted a bit. However, businesses are still facing a couple of challenges with inside eating:
- They are not allowed to have as many customers in as they used to. Most places only allow them to stay at 50% of their normal maximum capacity.
- Even if businesses are allowed to open at maximum capacity in some communities, most customers still won’t feel comfortable dining inside.
Businesses have to rethink their approach to dining. A growing number of them have started offering curbside pick up to prospective customers. This has helped then reach customers that are comfortable taking the risk of visiting the business, but wouldn’t have been willing to take the risk of going inside.
Use social media to communicate clearly with your customers
You need to take all possible measures to communicate clearly with your customers. You need to keep in mind that customers don’t know how various businesses are responding to the coronavirus pandemic. They may not realize that some businesses are open again or offering curbside pick-up. They also need to be reminded about the delicious food that you prepared for them.
Facebook and Instagram are the most important social networking sites that you should use to update customers about your response to the COVID-19 crisis. Make sure that you share quality pictures of the dishes you are preparing, which will make them feel tempted to brave the pandemic and come in for a meal.
Watch your headcount carefully
You need to monitor your expenses very carefully during the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses that don’t control their costs will be far more likely to close.
The biggest factor that you need to pay attention to his labor costs. Your orders are probably going to be at least 40% lower during the pandemic. This means that you may need to suspend some of your employees during the outbreak. You should be honest with them about this upfront and let them know that you hope to hire them back after the pandemic ends.
This will understandably be a difficult discussion to have. You will feel bad about having to lay off some of your employees. However, you need to recognize that the alternative is going out of business and having to put everybody out of their job.
Use technology to track expenses
You should take a deep dive into your expense reports. You might find a lot of unnecessary costs that are putting your business in jeopardy. This might not be the end of the world during normal times. But it can and endanger your business in a totally different way during the pandemic.
There are a number of financial and accounting tools that can help you evaluate your expenses. You should use them to your advantage.
Your business can survive the COVID-19 crisis
The pandemic is crippling many businesses. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up hope. The good news is that around three-quarters of businesses will survive the crisis. However, you need to be diligent and follow the tips listed above.