Covid 19 has been a difficult crisis for the majority of businesses to deal with, but especially for bootstrapped start-ups. So how can we pick ourselves back up after such a shocking time?
Governments across the world have assisted in many ways but there is likely a time when you will have to tap into your own finances in order to save the business, especially if the business is marginal, or pre-revenue.
As things open up again, it’s important to look at your financial forecasting in detail. Get any financial and/or legal advice, where needed. Membership of a local Chamber of Commerce can be a big help, as they offer low-cost legal support call centres members can access. They’ll also be able to point you towards the right people, no matter what the problem.
If at all possible, do not use entirety of your personal savings. It will always be a good idea to sit tight and leave your ‘rainy day’ savings alone for as long as possible. Look at your business and where you can pull money from other areas. Perhaps your brand marketing, or communications budget is still quite high, think about how you can use that to get the business back up and running.
Think about new synergistic products and additional revenue opportunities that were perhaps not part of the original plan. What are the low hanging fruit for the business?
Be aware of scams and hackers. Many will tell you that they can help your business, by offering PPE or other types of protection. It may be a scam. Research thoroughly and don’t feel desperate enough to fall for it, even in these trying times.
MAKE FINANCES EASIER
Have good systems and processes in place that make finances easier. Whether that’s transferring money or accepting it, things need to be up to date and in good working order, especially if you are dealing with a myriad of accounts, subscription-based products, or numerous multi-currency transactions. With a business merchant account you can accept credit and (often) debit cards and have it integrated neatly into your banking systems.
Additionally, make sure that you keep the businesses finances above water and pay off as much debt as you can. If you stop making payments to your creditors, insurance companies or anyone else, you could put yourself into a financial hole that the entity might not recover from.
INVEST IN THE WORKPLACE
If you have employees due back into the office, keep that workplace safe by understanding the following:
- Put together a risk register
- Reduce workplace stress. Perhaps do this by staggering office hours and don’t’ have your staff all work at the same time
- Keep the team calm, motivated and thinking clearly
- Get the right PPE and sanitisers in place. Absolutely vital and something you must ensure that you do
- Protect your employees by informing them of risks and keeping them aware. Implement social distancing also and encourage them to work from home if they still can.
You can salvage your business but it’s important to keep your staff happy and also remain close to other people in business with whom you have good relationships. They may be able to help you out and you can help them.
With deep recessions likely across much of the western world, these are perhaps the most trying times to do business in a generation. Now is the time for action and to ensure that the business is travelling in the right direction over the vital coming weeks and months.