During this great time of uncertainty, we know that many small businesses are facing more challenges than ever. The fear can be overwhelming, but small businesses are made of strong stuff. Now is the time to embrace change. Now is the time to survive. Whether that be leveraging e-commerce, delivery/curbside, or new digital services, it’s time to think outside the box.
Here are some ideas and resources to help you be #smallbusinessstrong:
Change Your Mindset
“You have been assigned this mountain to show that it can be moved.”
You can do this. You can do hard things. But it’s going to take physical and mental fortitude, actively maintaining a positive mindset, and agility.
Find Your Tribe
Your community will help you maintain a sense of community when we all feel so isolated, provide you with shortcuts and new ideas, and give you a space to just vent (because that’s important!). Partner with others to create special bundles, collaborations or referral programs.
Find Your Routine
If your business has been deemed ”non-essential” and you are left working from home, it can be easy to spend the who day in your pajamas. Keeping a schedule will help kickstart your motivation. We all know that these routines may prove to be unconventional, especially if you have children at home, but some semblance of structure will help you maintain productivity.
Move Your Body
“Move your body, change your mind.” That’s the mantra of Rachel Hollis, a serial entrepreneur and the leader of the Rise conferences. Find a way to move your body for a minimum of 20 minutes per day.
- Are you updating your website to let customers know how they can continue to do business with you virtually?
- Have you added e-commerce options?
- Make gift cards available online!
- With everyone home right now, you have a captive audience. Now is the time!
- Utilize as many channels as possible to let people know what’s going with you.
- Plan, plan, plan. In a few months, when business is back to normal, will you have a full year of social media content planned? Or will you be back to saying you have no time to “tackle social media?”
Clear Your To-Do List
“How can I make this obstacle the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me?”
We’ve all said it. “If only there were more hours in a day.” Or, “if only I could put everything on pause so that I could clear my to do list.” Your wish has been granted. If you could emerge from this thing in a stronger position, with the rest of your year planned, with a clear idea of your long term goals, what effect would that have on your business in the long term? Here are some to do items that commonly fall to the bottom of the list.
Website/Social Media – We’ve covered this already, but it bears repeating.
Processes/Work Flow – Spend some time thinking through each process in your business.
Client Outreach – Now is a great time to connect with your customer. Are you serving them in every way they need?
Run the Numbers – Get buttoned up; know your numbers! Financials, KPIs, web analytics.
There are many government and private programs currently being put together to help you in this time of need. It’s important to take the time to understand how they can help you.
Small Business Administration
Last week, the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act was signed into law. As a part of the new legislation, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has created a nearly $350 billion loan program called the Paycheck Protection Program. This program is available to businesses with 500 or fewer employees to help with payroll, rent, utilities, healthcare costs and more. The SBA has also expanded a number of their existing programs, including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
On March 27th, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) held a webinar with the Small Business Roundtable. Here is a link to the recording of that webinar. In this video, you will find crucial information about SBA loans. Check out the recording here. Their email address is [email protected].
Here is the Navigating COVID-19: Small Business Policy & Legislative Resource Guide by the Small Business Roundtable.
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE)
Check out the SBE’s roundup of U.S. States and Territories with Approved SBA Emergency Declarations: Small Businesses Can Apply for “Economic Injury” Loans
Small Business Roundtable
Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform
A webinar, Coronavirus & Small Business Webinar, will be held TOMORROW, Tuesday, March 31, 6pm ET / 3pm PT. Information will be provided about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs. Sign up here.
Public Private Strategies
Public Private Strategies, a think tank based in DC, has curated a list of resources that have been made available by advocacy groups, technology companies, and federal, state, and local government agencies to help businesses and their workers maintain their physical and economic health during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Check it out here.
New Jersey Economic Development Authority
NJEDA recently announced new initiatives to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association, the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce and the Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey partnered for a special webinar conversation with NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan on March 31. Sign up to receive a recording here.