Keeping Your Business Afloat In These Trying Times

We’re now well beyond half a year into a pandemic that seems as though it will never end. Alarmingly, many experts, despite promises of a vaccine, don’t think we’ve even seen the worst of things. As a small business owner, it’s likely that you’ve already been significantly impacted. If you are looking for ways to keep your business going and reduce the strain as you ride out the rest of the pandemic, keep reading for advice from Idea Cafe.

Learn to run lean.

As a business owner, it’s only natural to want to keep things moving in light of adversity. Unfortunately, if your bottom line has taken a hit, it’s time to evaluate your spending habits. You might not, for example, be able to justify paying rent on a building you can’t use until social distancing guidelines are loosened, which might not be for several more months. When your workforce has already made the transition to remote, eliminating onsite workers and related overhead may reduce the chances that you will have to lay off your staff.


Look for funding opportunities.

The Small Business Administration offers many funding options to help entrepreneurs keep a forward trajectory. From debt relief to Bridge Loans, the SBA is a valuable resource, especially given the newly-established CARES Act. Further, there are loans and grants made available through private entities; start with nonprofit organizations that serve your industry. While you may have to repay loans, you can usually get payments deferred and, at the very least, you can have a chunk of cash to help you cover the essentials.



It does not matter how long you have been in business, the current climate we live in calls for change. You may have to adapt your business to cater to your customers, and particularly if you tend to operate in close quarters, such as if you have a restaurant or social club. Look for ways to expand your offerings to best serve your clientele. A yoga studio, for example, may be able to host classes outside at a local park or green space. Your restaurant can offer take-out, and tutoring or consulting can happen online via platforms such as Zoom.


Analyze the competition.

When you wrote your original business plan, you likely performed an extensive market analysis. This would’ve included everything from identifying your competition to digging up holes in your industry that you intended filled and have done so since. As you adapt your business, it’s time to take a closer look at what the competition and industry as a whole are doing once again. You may find it necessary to redefine your target market and adjust your pricing and forecasting to match current industry demand.


Spend your time learning.

As difficult as it may sound, you don’t always have to actively work on your business. If you are in a decisive slump, one of the best things you can do for your profession and your customers is to take this time to learn what you can. Even if you are considered an industry expert, there are still many facets of your business you likely don’t fully understand. If you are not an accountant, for example, you might not have a full grip on analyzing future trends, creating financial reports, or handling your tax records. Similarly, if you plan to reopen and adapt, it might make sense to learn what you need to know about things you’ve never done, such as offering curbside pickup or shipping to customers if you are a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment.


While there are no guarantees that you will keep your doors open throughout the entire emergency, there are things you can do to mitigate your risks. From watching how you spend now to making improvements to your personal and professional knowledge base, the above actions are beneficial to you and your customers. The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, but you’re a fighter. And now is the time to fight for what you’ve worked so hard for.


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