Small businesses, freelancers, and start-up companies are experiencing major difficulties right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While nearly 31 states plan to re-open during the month of May, there remain many precautions to consider and steps to take to safeguard your business. Protecting your small business through thoughtful planning is essential to survive and thrive during and after COVID-19.
Here are four steps small business owners can take today to cast themselves on the path to success and survival.
1. Assess your current cash flow status, preferably with a financial expert.
You can’t make decisions unless you have an accurate picture of your cash flow. Every business decision you make as a business owner should come from both your customer and accounting data. If you have a financial manager on staff, keep that person heavily involved in the decisions you make during COVID-19 to ensure you are not being too risky or too safe.
Don’t have an in-house accountant or financial manager? Look to CPAs and financial experts outside of your business. There are several businesses offering no annual contracts or upfront fees for support during this time, such as Paro. Even so, if you are really strapped for dollars, find online resources to help examine your cash flow on your own. A great example is Accounting Seed’s recent webinar, Cash is King in COVID-19. Be sure to follow us for additional webinars as too, like our free session on essential financial reports during COVID-19.
2. Now is the time for custom reporting.
It may seem more trouble than it’s worth, but having custom financial reports and pulling the data you need to see, that is unique to your business needs, is vital during this time. Don’t waste valuable time pulling data points from multiple reports into Excel to manually review, audit, and compile the data. You could be using that time to make necessary decisions for your business’s survival. If your current accounting software doesn’t allow you to create reports right within the system, you’re missing out on valuable.
3. Take advantage of free marketing opportunities.
Many small businesses are cutting their marketing spend dramatically, but it doesn’t mean your marketing efforts need to halt altogether. Explore the free marketing resources available through some of the applications listed below. Getting your brand and value-added message out there is essential to drawing the interest you need to regain consistent sales. This is also an opportunity to solidify relations with current customers. Here are a few free marketing tools:
- Buffer for social media scheduling
- Hubspot for lead generation
- Medium for blogging
- Mail Chimp for marketing advice/email resources
4. Utilize Salesforce’s COVID-19 Resource Page.
Salesforce was named the #1 Customer Relationship Management solution by Forbes.com, and continues to be a resource to businesses big and small. The Salesforce AppExchange, the leading business application marketplace worldwide, created a COVID-19 resource page specifically to aid businesses in the crisis. Visitors can browse applications (free and paid options) for managing data, automations, working remotely, serving your customers, and much more! Whether you’re on Salesforce or not, if one of these applications will be of service to you immediately, take advantage of free trials to keep your business moving!