“While we don’t know when it’ll come, eventually the Pandemic will end and you need to be prepared. Here’s where to start”.
TOPICS: A. SBA Loans to Help you right now. B. 10 Steps to Begin the Post-Pandemic re-building Process:
10 STEPS: 1. Secure the necessary Capital to re-build, 2. Reclaim your Customers, 3. Start diversifying your Products & Services, 4. Pursue new Opportunities, 5. Rebuild your Dream Team –as needed, 6. Restock your Inventory, 7. Cut Wasted Expenses, 8. Remember – Lessons Learned, 9. Give Back to the Community, 10. Prepare for the Next Disaster.
from Lending I/O 1/21 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
The Situation: The Pandemic won’t last forever. Eventually, it will all end. This “crisis” will fade away, and we’ll go back to “business as usual.” However, some things will never be the same. Thousands lives have been lost, jobs obliterated, companies bankrupted—it’s going to take a while to recover. But while the future may look bleak for your Small Business, the ball is in your court now. Will you rebuild and come out stronger than ever? Or will you wallow in “what could have been” and sink further into the disaster mire? The choice is yours. Remember, you’re not alone. This crisis has impacted businesses big & small, industries near & far, citizens rich & poor. No significant country has escaped unscathed. Everyone is recovering. If you’d like to start Rebuilding your Small Business now, then this guide is for you.
Strategy: Below, we cover all the steps you need to take to get your Business back on track. From reclaiming your Customers to redoing your Business Plan to securing the Capital to make it all happen, we’re breaking it all down “step-by-step”. For many, the hardest part of this crisis is the uncertainty it brings. We don’t know when it will exactly end and how much damage it’ll do before that happens. But it is important to remember that it will end eventually and people will return to work in ways that they did before the virus was around.
Prep: The question is, what are you doing now to prepare yourself and your team for that day when we all return to the office without worry of catching or spreading the virus? Here are some things you can do right now to prepare for when the pandemic has ended – to help position your company for success in the future.
A. SBA Loans to Help you right now !!!
Before we talk about rebuilding, we need to make sure your business “survives” the pandemic. It takes $ to make $, and the whole country is hurting for Capital right now. If your Small Business (SB) is desperate for some cash to stay afloat, consider these SBA Loans:
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): These loans help small businesses retain employees throughout and after the Virus crisis. PPP loans can be up to $10 million and may be partially forgivable.
- Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Loan Advance: EIDLs are low-interest loans up to $2 million that help small businesses pay for expenses that could have been satisfied had the disaster not occurred.
- Emergency Economic Injury Grant (EEIG): Under the EIDL program, companies that qualify may apply for an emergency cash advance for up to $10,000. Money from this advance used on payroll-related expenses will be converted into a grant, meaning you won’t have to repay it.
- SBA Disaster Relief: This program provides relief to borrowers who already have non-disaster SBA 7(a) loans by covering all loan payments for the next 6 months (including principal, interest, and fees). Businesses that take out new loans before September 25, 2020, can also claim this benefit.
- SBA Express Bridge Loans: Small businesses affected by COVID-19 that already have a relationship with an SBA Express Lender qualify for an SBA Express Bridge Loan. These loans are up to $25,000 and have maximum terms of 7 years. You can use this immediate financing while you wait on your EIDL.
B. 10 Steps to Begin the Post-Pandemic re-building Process
Rebuilding is going to be hard. It’s going to take time, money, blood, sweat, & tears. But SBs have done it before, and they can do it again.
Remember, it’s not all bad either. There are some significant silver linings to this Pandemic that the optimists will seize, and the pessimists will ignore. No, nobody should celebrate the lives lost, the jobs eliminated, or the devastated economy. However, some major bright sides should be recognized, too—we’re going to do our best to highlight those, as well.
Once the Pandemic begins to peter out (“I resent that”, Peter/CXO) out, social-distancing orders relax, and businesses return to work, here are 10 rebuilding steps you should take.
1. Secure the necessary Capital to re-build
You should start this step as soon as possible (that’s why it’s #1). 1a) focus on securing the Capital you need to survive. These SBA Loans will keep your business’s doors open by paying the bills and making payroll, so get the Capital you need asap.
Keep in mind, SBA Loans are intended to be used “right now” to help your business stay afloat. They’ll help you maintain your payroll and pay your existing bills, but they aren’t going to help fund your other post-pandemic business operations.
After the Survival period is over, Inventory will need to be restocked, orders made, marketing campaigns re-activated, and more—business as usual. Except your Cash Flow is going to be stretched thin. That’s why you’ll need to start looking for “new financing” to support your recovery & growth. Unfortunately, Lenders are a bit cautious about extending new loans at the moment. If you need help securing the right kind of financing, go down to the last section in this guide: The Best Post-Pandemic Small Business Financing.
Silver Lining: The whole country has come together to support SB. The federal government, state & city govts, tech companies, non-profits, and more are providing financial assistance to keep SB going.
2. Reclaim your Customers
With more than 30 states closing all non-essential businesses, Customers are going without their favorite products & services. When these closures lift, you’re going to need to react fast, reopen, & reclaim (3Rs) your customers. Be ready to reactivate your Marketing campaigns & execute your communications strategy. Communicate by Email, Text, Social Media, Blogs, Flyers—anything & everything to keep your customers updated. The biggest step in rebuilding your business will be reclaiming your most loyal Clients. You’ll need this predictable income to sustain your business’s recovery. Make your customers one of your top priorities.
Silver Lining: This crisis may have exposed new customers to your business. Individuals trying to support their local economy may try your business, and they may become regulars even after the pandemic ends.
3. Start diversifying your Products & Services
This damdemic made us realize sticking to the same old Product & Services won’t allow you to survive without some innovation. All businesses need to look at how they can diversify their offerings to be more adaptable to change. Can you offer low-cost or free Delivery? Can you take your business to your customers? Can you sell online? Can you take workloads off the desktop and into the cloud? Here are some examples of how small businesses got downright clever to keep their doors open during the pandemic: Once you can return to business as usual, consider keeping some of your alternative solutions. Silver Lining: Without the dam pandemic, many small businesses would have never taken the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and offer revolutionary services. Now, you’ve proven you’re capable of adjusting on the fly (using a Fly Swatter ???) and can provide out-of-the-box solutions. Keep doing it. But use up your old Boxes first.
4. Pursue new Opportunities
This pandemic has been hard on everyone. There’s been a lot of change in a short amount of time, and these changes have created opportunities. Think of the emerging possibilities: 1) new Talent available, 2) lots of good Facilities vacated, 3) Product & Service gaps have opened up. This isn’t about taking advantage because of pandemic (that’s just wrong). It’s about doing what’s best for your business, employees, customers, & communities. Competitors might have gone bankrupt. No, that’s not something to celebrate, but this might be the perfect chance to get a Business Acquisition Loan, buy a Competitor, then rebuild the businesses—thus maintaining jobs & accelerating your business growth.
Silver Lining: Seizing an opportunity for your business might not just benefit you—it may help other employees, businesses, & the community as a whole.
5. Rebuild your Dream Team –as needed
If you laid off employees to keep the business from going under, it’s time to hire them back (the good ones). You’re going to need to find, hire, train, & retain a new team. You’ll likely be able to get previous members of your staff back, but some will have moved on. It’ll take $, and it won’t happen overnight, but you’ll eventually rebuild your team. A record 10 million filed for unemployment in just first 2 weeks—unlike pre-virus, workforce supply greatly exceeds demand. People need jobs, & your business needs people. Start doing your initial research now so you can recruit the top talent when the time is right.
Silver Lining: Conflicting role responsibilities can lead to costly deficiencies. As time goes on, you may have too many experts in one talent and too few in another—these overlapping skill sets limit certain employees. Now, with a fresh slate, you can hire for precisely what your business needs.
6. Restock your Inventory
When things started turning ugly, you may have sold part or all of your Inventory at a discount to get the necessary $ to pay the bills. Regardless, once you return to work, you’ll need to restock the shelves & rebuild your inventory. Keep in mind that your Customers have likely been going without your product or service for weeks or months now. When you restart your operations, you may have an initial influx as Customers stock up on goods they’ve missed out on. To avoid turning away Clients, you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient stock from the beginning. It’ll be tricky to stock your shelves if you typically fund your Inventory with Sales. This situation is where a bit of financing comes in handy. A business Line of Credit, short term Loan, or merchant Cash advance could provide you with the ready-to-use $ you need to re-supply before the operations restart.
Silver Lining: If you’re like most small businesses, then your backroom gets a little more cluttered year after year. Now, you have a fresh slate—no old inventory taking up valuable space. Get your systems and processes in order so you can keep it that way.
7. Cut Wasted Expenses
The Virus taught everyone what’s truly essential & what’s not. Well, maybe a lifetime supply of toilet paper isn’t essential, but you get the point. Small businesses learned how to get lean, cut costs, & operate on the bare minimum when times got tuff. Once you restart, continue with that frugal mindset and watch your profit margins soar. Did you implement a Work-from-home policy during the pandemic? How did that work? If it was a (+) experience, maybe you can reduce some expensive Facility expenses and encourage more working from home.
With your business closed for weeks, take a look at your utility bill. Pretty low, right? Of course, when you reopen, you’ll turn the lights back on & get the HVAC running at a comfortable temperature again—but look for ways you can save with energy efficiency.
Silver Lining: Pademic taught us how to do more with less. Continue with your newfound frugal mindset to cut costs & save $.
8. Remember – Lessons Learned
One day, we’ll tell our children & grand-children what it was like to live thru a Pandemic. “Grocery store shelves were bare. Beaches empty, many of our fav Shops closed, Travel restricted, etc. We need to remember the Lessons Learned. What went well? What didn’t? What do you regret? What are you grateful for? What would you do differently next time? Those who can’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. Record the Lessons you’ve learned from this damdemic – so you’ll be ready if another comes along.
Silver Lining: Challenges teach us lessons. We can either hate challenges or learn from them. Of course, nobody wants to face trials & trbulation, but when we do, let’s make the most of them.
9. Give Back
“To whom much is given, much will be expected”. Non-profits, tech companies, communities, & more, are uniting to keep small businesses alive. America needs Small Businesses to survive, so it’s not an entirely selfless act, But it’s incredible how much charity we’re seeing right now. More citizens are buying local to support their SB, (ie, ordering carry out food – more than they usual & opting for the local business instead of Amazon). People gave to SB businesses in their time of need. Now how are you going to give back? 1) build or support a Park, 2) host a “free” Event, or 3) support a local Charity. You might not be in a position to give back now or anytime soon, and that’s okay—people understand. But in the future, when you’ve recovered, it’d be great to “Pay –it-Fwd” to the community that helped you in your time of need.
Silver Lining: People aren’t giving because they expect something in return. People are giving because they care. This pandemic has taught us that America isn’t as polarized as it sometimes appears. When the going gets tuff, the tuff get going & support each other.
10. Prepare for the Next Disaster
It’s easy to think “things couldn’t get worse,” but the reality is that they can. Things can get a lot worse.
Take this opportunity to start preparing for the next disaster:
- Build a sufficient Cash Cushion: (CC Senor) If your Rainy Day fund wasn’t adequate before, start saving more (and secure a better Business Line of Credit) to provide you the $ you’ll need.
- Prepare alternative Business Plans: This damdemic taught us that it’s not enough to have a typical B plan. You need a B/up Plan & a backup to your B/up plan.
- Change your Policies to adapt to the situation: Those without remote policies in place before the pandemic faced a harsh transition – when businesses closed their offices. Remote work is the future, so the sooner you adopt it, the better you’ll be able to handle the next disaster.
Silver Lining: Consider the corona crisis a not-so-gentle wake up call for something worse. That’s kind of a cynical silver lining, but so be it.
Comments: Do you have any other Ideas that would help a Small Business to Survive & Thrive after this Pandemic?
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