Will Your Small Business Survive the Pandemic?

By Roxanne Coffelt |

Business Evaluation Services Indiana

Maybe the governor has ordered your business temporarily closed or partially closed.  If you are not closed, maybe you are seeing a dramatic decrease in customers.  This will go on for at least a matter of weeks, and it is bound to have a dramatic effect on the economy for the near future.  This is something new for all of us.  What can you do to help your small business weather the storm?  Here are a few suggestions. 

  • Commit to safety first:  Reassure your employees and your customers that you are committed to their safety.   

  • Allow employees to work from home if possible. If not, take steps to make sure employees have sufficient space at work.  Institute procedures for hygiene, making sure workspaces are clean, appropriately spaced, and that people are washing their hands and/or using hand sanitizer.  Require that employees who are sick stay home.  Especially consider the needs of your high-risk employees, who shouldn’t be coming to work at all. 

  • Reach out to your customers or clients and let them know that their safety is your first priority.  Let them know what steps you are taking on your premises, with your employees, changes in procedures that will affect them. 

  • Customers: Encourage your customers to stay with you during this time.  They are encountering their own difficulties as well.  Are you able to offer them any special terms, or is there something you can do to add value to your product or service?  Rather than cutting prices on (and devaluing) your normal product or service, is there a special package you could offer just for this crisis?  If you offer a service, can it be done remotely? 

  • Suppliers:  Evaluate your inventory needs. Are people going to be buying more or less of various products or services?  Also, consider the possibility that your suppliers may not survive this crisis.  How heavily do you rely on a single supply source? Do you have a back-up plan? 

  • Other Businesses: Other small businesses are going through the same thing that you are.  Why not try to support them as much as possible?  Is there anything you can do for them?  Is there something you can do for your community? 

  • Plan: You may have some extra time on your hands right now.  It’s the perfect time to make contingency plans.   

  • Short-term: Forecast your expected revenues and expenses in light of the current situation.  How will you stay in business?  Will your business have enough working capital to get through this?  Do you need a loan, and if so, are you in a position to get one?  Do you need to lay off employees? What can your business do now to be where people need you to be, offering the product or service they are looking for?   

  • Long-term: If you had a strategic plan, the downtime you have now is the perfect time to re-evaluate.  If you didn’t have a strategic plan, you need to make one. Your business needs to be agile and ready to change when necessary.  What are your goals? Is your business providing you with the lifestyle and or income that you anticipated when you began? How big do you want your business to be? How and when do you plan to exit your business?  If something were to happen to you tomorrow, what would happen to your business?    

  • Implement: Now that you have your plan, it’s time to put it into action.  Consider the following areas: 

  • Policies and procedures 

  • Products and services 

  • Personnel 

  • Customer relationships 

  • Supplier relationships 

  • Management 

  • Adapt:  The world will be forever changed by this pandemic.  In order to survive, your small business will likely need to adapt accordingly.  Wayne Gretzky, a famous hockey player, once said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”  Business works the same way.  Can we always know where the puck is going to be?  Of course not.  But we can make an educated guess.  There are no guarantees in life, but the more we anticipate and prepare, the better our chances to weather the storm. 

Roxanne Coffelt CPA is here to help however we can.  Please visit our web site for a list of COVID-19 resources available to small businesses.  Also, be sure to sign up for our email list in order to receive future articles to help you grow your business. 


©2020 Roxanne Coffelt CPA LLC , Image by StockSnap from Pixabay