Working from home, self-quarantine, and canceling events may help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis and protect your employees from the deadly virus. However, social distancing also threatens to devastate businesses.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) global crisis spreads to new epicenters in the U.S. and Europe, businesses are scrambling to mobilize responses. The outbreak continues to create health risks to employees and significant financial risks to businesses. Companies must come up with an appropriate response.
It is still too early to fully map out and understand the severity of the crisis or its long-term effects. What’s evident is that the reluctance to go out and the resultant drop in foot traffic has left many businesses empty.
Below are some ways to help your business stay afloat and survive the crisis.
Protect Your Cash Flow
Cash flow is your business’s lifeblood. Your business will always have expenses, but the longer the coronavirus pandemic exists, the tighter it will get to maintain cash inflows. Crisis-proof your business using the following strategies.
- Prepare cash flow projections for the next few months to help you see and anticipate what changes you need to make and when.
- Review your credit policies and histories of your customers.
- See if you can extend payments to your suppliers. As an example with dine-in at restaurants down as much as 75%, food delivery service company Grubhub is deferring commission fees for impacted independent restaurants.
- Offer your customers discounts.
- Use cash flow management tools to help you forecast, track, and manage your cash flow.
E-commerce can help shield your business against the adverse effects of social distancing and staying home. It’s natural for consumers to shift their purchases online to avoid public places. Therefore, consider adding online services and payment if feasible, or adding product shipment for your brick-and-mortar store.
Sell Gift Certificates
Sell and promote gift cards and certificates to immediately put cash into the business. Encourage as many customers as possible to buy gift cards and store merchandise on your website. Use the money you get to maintain your cash flow until the crisis ends.
Webinars, Online Training, and Teleconferencing
Hold webinars and online training and service delivery using tools such as Skype, WebEx, Zoom, or join.me to promote your products online. You can also use business conferencing tools and apps to make remote work environments more manageable and support your business operations.
Stabilize Your Supply Chain
Stabilize your supply chains by ordering your supplies online, using safety stock, finding alternative sources to get around travel bans, and working with your suppliers to solve bottlenecks. You can also co-develop plans, implement interim solutions around the pandemic, and communicate strategies to your stakeholders.
The Bottom Line
The COVID-19 crisis is neither the world’s first pandemic nor its last. Getting your business through the crisis requires a cool head about you. Create a disaster preparedness policy to deal with the worst-case scenario of an all-out coronavirus pandemic that cripples most operations. A thorough plan will include procedures round remote work, cash flow, e-commerce, securing lines of credit, supply chain alternatives, insurance coverage, and much more.
UmeWorks Can Help
If you need help implementing these online strategies, please give us a call at 323 638-9328 or email us at [email protected].