Being a small business owner is an overwhelming challenge by itself. Throw in a global pandemic like the COVID-19 AND an unstable economic environment… the stakes couldn’t be higher. However, if you’ve planned to expect the unexpected, you can rest easy. Having an effective and strategic action plan is important. It encourages productivity and keeps you focused.

We’ve compiled 3 STEPS you can use to create a basic action plan. Implement these suggestions in your business as you see fit. As always, if you have question or concerns, please reach out to us via email at sbdc@njcu.edu.

1. ASSESS YOUR FINANCIALS

In this environment of uncertainty, tracking your finances is extremely crucial. Products such as Quickbooks, Sage 50Cloud, Xero and others provide essential perspective on the financial health of your company. The following insight can help you make decisions to keep your doors open. 

  1. Identify unnecessary expenses (e.g. cleaning services, magazine & streaming subscriptions).
  2. Utilize credit card companies for insight into expenses that you may not need (e.g. travel & entertainment).
  3. Contact vendors, banks, and other recurring expenses to re-negotiating terms, rates, etc.
  4. Understand labor laws & resources that may affect your employees.
  5. Many of the major banks and credit card companies are offering small, but welcome debt-relief choices for consumers hit hardest by COVID-19 (e.g. Chase, Amex).
  6. Automakers and insurance companies are extending payment windows with low-interest (e.g. Ford, Progressive).

2. CREATE NEW FORMS OF INCOME THAT ARE CONTACTLESS

All companies should consider repositioning their strategies, such as current branding, marketing tactics, and product/service delivery methods. Consider the following suggestions:

  1. Retail: Create an online storefront (Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, Etsy).
  2. Restaurants: Promote food delivery & takeout options using online tools (Ubereats, Postmates, Seamless, Grubhub).
  3. Professional Services: Provide video consultations via tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime, and more.

Remember, the pandemic won’t last forever but these new forms of income can.

3. GET MORE FUNDING

Cash flow in times of crisis is crucial to ensure stability and sustainability of your company. Here are some of the low-cost funding you can explore:

  1. Many of the major banks and credit card companies are offering small, but welcome debt-relief choices for consumers hit hardest by COVID-19.
  2. Major companies like Facebook are providing small business grants.
  3. SBA Disaster Loan Assistance will be available in New Jersey.
  4. NJ Department of Labor is providing information for resources across the state.
  5. The NJEDA is providing resources for businesses affected by COVID-19.

Every day, we are getting news of new relief programs for individuals and businesses. Staying calm, informed, and proactive will allow you to apply to the right programs that will help you, your business, and the community prosper.

Check out the daily updates by NJSBDC at NJCU for ongoing information related to small businesses and COVID-19 or email us at sbdc@njcu.edu