The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the lives of millions of people around the world. It has also disrupted many small businesses, some of which have been forced to close either by government edict or a lack of sales. But if you are a small business owner, there are things that you can do to survive this crisis.
Here are some of the best:
1. Get a Government Loan
At the time of this writing, the U.S. Congress was putting the finishing touches on a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. In its current form, it provides $350 billion specifically for small businesses so that they can meet payroll and limit layoffs. It further provides all businesses with the ability to defer payroll taxes.
In the meantime, your business can apply for a number of special loan programs currently offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This includes the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which provides long-term loans of up to $2 million at low interest rates.
2. Get a Personal Loan
If for whatever reason the government loan programs do not meet your needs, you should consider a personal loan. What are great about these loans are the following:
- there are many to choose from
- it is easy to apply for them
- they can be processed quickly
- they have flexible terms
- they can help build your credit rating
- you can use the money for a variety of purposes, including for personal needs
- most do not require collateral
What’s more, while borrowers with good credit generally receive the best rates on personal loans, you may qualify for one even if your credit is less than perfect.
3. File Your Taxes Early
As part of the U.S. federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, the IRS extended the deadline to file your federal taxes (and make any related payments) until July 15. But just because you can file your taxes later than normal does not mean that you should.
If you expect to receive a tax refund this year, you should file your taxes as soon as possible. This is because the government will only send you your refund after you file your taxes.
4. Negotiate Better Terms with Your Creditors, Lessors, Contractors and Suppliers
You should understand that your business is not the only one having difficulties during the coronavirus crisis. Most of the companies with which you are doing business are having similar difficulties. This provides you with a golden opportunity to negotiate better terms with your creditors, lessors, contractors and suppliers, which can lower your expenses considerably.
If any of these companies refuse to negotiate better terms, you should then seek out their competitors and see if you can make a better deal with them.
5. Build Your Business Online
If your business does not have a significant presence online, now is a good time to change this. This means not only having a well-designed website but also selling your products and/or services there, too. With so many people working from home (or stuck there), Internet use is skyrocketing and will likely continue to be high for some time. Online retailers such as Amazon are doing so well right now that they are actually hiring tens of thousands of workers.
You should also be marketing your company online as well, by doing things such as creating quality content on your site that will drive customers there.
While the coronavirus outbreak has adversely affected many small businesses, it does not have to be a death sentence for all that you have done to build a successful venture. By taking advantage of the resources available to you and by adapting your company, you can weather this crisis and once again thrive.