By now we are all tired of hearing about the impacts of the Coronavirus as it has infiltrated into every part of our lives. At first we were told to be more mindful of our cleaning habits and social etiquette during flu season but now our businesses are being affected, dramatically. Don’t be discouraged! Remember some of the most successful business were built during times of hardship. Companies like Uber, AirBnb, WhatsApp, Square, Pinterest, Slack and Twilio were all started in 2008 and 2009 during the Great Recession.
If you’re not sure what to do during this time, here’s some great advice from Forbes Senior Contributor Bernhard Schroeder:
Manage your cash.
Examine the cash you have on hand and imagine how you could make it last for at least six to nine months. If you don’t have enough cash on hand, look at how you could cut expenses or increase sales by doing something different.
Examine or revise your sales forecasts.
The goal is not to hunker down and hide but to devise or brainstorm ways you could actually sell more of your products or services. Perhaps it’s new markets, customers or leveraging a partnership.
More creativity, less cash for marketing.
Remember when you started your business and had no money and you were super creative on using word of mouth, organic social media and key networks to sell your product or service? Well, get back into that mentality. Be more creative with respect to your marketing expenses and look for ways to use marketing tactics that don’t have a significant cost.
Control employee expenses.
Examine your business, look to control any possible expenses related to employees. Travel and event costs probably can be controlled during this time. If you were looking at increasing your business footprint, you might want to hold off on any additional monthly rent expenses. Instead, see if you can temporarily reduce your expenses by not hiring any additional employees, perhaps use freelancers or contractors. Also, let your current employees work remotely if at all possible. To help with any workload issues, consider hiring a college intern.
Spend every dollar as if it were your last.
This sounds a bit extreme but you need to embrace the mentality that you need to protect the lifeblood of any business- Cash. Either cash is going out in the form of expenses or cash is coming in from revenues. You might also be able to negotiate with your suppliers or landlords, letting them know you need some form of cooperation in order to survive.
Startups and small businesses that survived 2008 and beyond didn’t take life-threatening risks with their companies. Survival mattered more than market domination.
Take the necessary steps so that you come out of this disruption stronger than ever. Stay strong; stay safe.