Proactive steps for small businesses to deal with the recent pandemic

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has changed how the world does business. Financial projections for the coming year can be thrown out of the window, with companies having to adapt to a totally new economic climate. 

But don’t panic. While this is undoubtedly an uncertain time, with an unclear future, there are steps small business owners can take to safeguard themselves against potential ruin. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most proactive things you can do during the pandemic. If you follow this advice, you’ll have a greater chance of being in a good position when the current crisis is over. 

Take advantage of government loans

One of the biggest concerns for smaller companies in unstable times like these are finding the funds to pay for overhead costs. That means any contractual fees you’re obliged to pay, subscription services and employee wages.

Thankfully, there are a wealth of schemes in place to help support small businesses financially. The most prominent and popular of these is the employment retention scheme (or “the furlough scheme”, as it’s often referred to). This will see 80% of an employee’s wages paid for by the government. Employees have to be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks, but they can be taken in and out of furlough if the situation changes – allowing businesses the flexibility to do what’s right for them.

Taking advantage of as many of these loans as you’re eligible for is the best way to safeguard your funds. You’ll save a great deal, which can then be pumped back into the business afterwards.

Clamp down on your online security

What better time than now to look for ways to improve your company? You’ll probably have a lot more time on your hands than at any other point, so think about the steps you can take to make your business that little bit more polished. 

One of the best ways to do that is by heightening your online security. There are a number of ways to protect your data online. Arguably the most effective is to spend this time reading up on the basics of protecting your online presence

Some of the most simple, but effective, ways of doing that are by employing the use of antivirus softwares and making your passwords less generic. 

Create an emergency budget

As we’ve discussed, the finances which you set out at the start of your year won’t really mean much right now. The world around us has changed, and that means you’re going to need to adapt to the situation. 

You’ll need to create an emergency budget. Assess how your finances  could be impacted across every area of your business. From the top to the bottom, things will be different than they were at the start of the year. 

Look for safety blankets 

Make sure you put your business in a position where it’s going to be as protected as possible. That doesn’t just mean financially. If there are any unions or mergers your company can do, now is the time.

Safeguarding your assets with the help of another business could keep you both safe. Of course, don’t go into this flippantly. You’ll need to make sure it’s in the best interest of both parties. 

As you can see, there are a range of different steps that small businesses can take advantage of. Depending on your specific circumstances, some steps may be more urgent and helpful than others. Whatever your situation, though, research and preparation will give your business the best chance of emerging from this crisis in good health.

Have these tips helped? Keep yourself proactive during lockdown, and you’ll find your business thriving on the other side.  

By Ross Hanson, Digital Media Consultant, Hansen Ross Media