The COVID-19 situation has literally thrown businesses off track and the road to recovery seems long and difficult for even the biggest brands. Even as companies have succeeded in their business continuity initiatives, survival still appear grim and uncertain in the post-pandemic world.
You may have survived by keeping the operations up and running, but there is a bigger concern in the new normal and it relates to managing your finances. Sales may not get back to usual any time in the foreseeable future and expenses are still on a rise.
Moreover, this is a dynamic situation and you never know what lies around the corner. Rather, you need to be prepared to align quickly with the upcoming changes to keep operating, no matter how challenging the situation gets.
So it makes sense to have a survival strategy in place for keeping your business afloat in the post-pandemic economy. The challenges sound too big but you can deal with them by taking the right approach to finances.
Here are some business survival guidelines that can help you keep your corporate finances on track during this recessive phase.
1. Keep an eye on debt
While borrowing may be the only option to get through the troubled times, it can actually make things difficult in the long run. Right now, it becomes critical to manage your debts and abstain from accumulating them as far as you can.
Nothing will hurt your finances more than high-interest debt, specifically when you are already pressed for funds. You may be able to squeeze through a few weeks but the debt added with interest can topple your budgets eventually.
Right now, all business borrowings should be restricted unless it is a matter of life and death for your company. Even if you have to borrow, look for loans that are available at optimal rates of interest because they wouldn’t burden you as much.
2. Explore SBA disaster assistance
Thankfully, the government is doing its bit to aid businesses that are on the brink of a catastrophe at this stage.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, for example, has low-interest federal disaster loans on offer for small businesses that have sustained significant economic damage due to COVID-19.
Rather than looking for loans elsewhere, you can explore federal assistance to get through hard situations. You can use these loans to pay fixed debts, accounts payable, payroll, and other bills that may have piled up during the crisis.
If you qualify for these loans, you can easily get one at a reasonably low rate of interest. The best thing about these loans is that repayment terms are easy and based on your ability to repay within a specific period.
3. Pay your taxes right away
Taxes are a key concern for companies struggling for survival in the pandemic economy. Once again, you can seek tax relief to keep your finances on track.
The IRS website currently has a special section to update individual taxpayers and businesses about the tax-related changes amid the coronavirus crisis. Further, you can consult tax attorneys with diverse specialties to avail expert guidance about leveraging relief to your advantage.
While the deadlines were extended in the wake of the pandemic, the July 15 deadline is over. If you haven’t paid up, do it sooner rather than later because the last thing you would want right now is tax troubles with the IRS.
4. Prioritize cash management
Another aspect of running your business seamlessly in the new normal is effective cash management. You cannot expect a recovery any time soon and the post-crisis impact may continue for longer than you can imagine.
Preserving cash is the key to survival for organizations, no matter how bad things get. Right now, it makes sense to keep a close watch on your expenses and save everywhere you possibly can.
Maintain a weekly budget and stick to it religiously. You cannot rely much on the influx of cash because sales are going to be uncertain in the post-pandemic economy.
The emphasis, therefore, has to be on saving up from whatever comes in and that’s possible only if you limit your expenses.
5. Look for new revenue streams
Now that businesses are gradually reopening, you need to focus on rebuilding. Customers may be gone because people are avoiding outings and they probably don’t have the same buying potential.
While you need to go the extra mile to get them back, there is also a need to look for new revenue streams. Consider diversifying your product line and adding ones that are going to be in high demand.
Reimagining your services is also a good approach, such as moving to online orders and home deliveries or curbside pickups to keep the revenues churning.
Also, find inexpensive marketing approaches that you can leverage for staying connected with the audience and maintain your presence in the market.
6. Don’t forget the health guidelines for survival
While the prime focus for organizations in the post-pandemic economy would be the financial health of your business, you cannot go slack with the health guidelines.
Going the extra mile with the health and wellness of your employees will mitigate the risks and drive motivation and productivity. It can save your company from massive compensation if one or more employees get sick.
Further, it cuts the threat to business continuity and keeps your organization compliant with government health and safety guidelines. You need to be equally conscious about the health and safety of the customers because that is the only way you can win their trust and retain them in the long run.
The journey for businesses in the post-pandemic economy is apparently hard to navigate but survival isn’t impossible. You need to get a bit smarter with money management and you can achieve what seems like a humongous challenge.
Building financial resilience is the only way you can help your company survive and even thrive in the new world. These survival strategies can surely take you a few steps ahead on the road to resilience. So go ahead and move step by step.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.