To some degree, for virtually all of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed habits dramatically and rapidly. It forced them to practice social distancing, thoroughly wash their hands and get used to wearing masks.
There is also a clear connection between small businesses and COVID-19, particularly as authorities have forced temporary closure of non-essential businesses and have required new health and safety procedures to be followed by all others.
Before the pandemic struck, several small businesses faced challenges, and COVID-19 just intensified them. There’s hope if these things sound familiar. Here are seven main small business challenges and tips for overcoming these barriers:
1. Cash Flow Shortages
The frustrating thing about the extraordinary existence of the novel coronavirus is that no one knows how long it will endanger society.
The seriousness of that fact started to be investigated by a study of more than 5,800 small businesses. Participants were surveyed in late March and early April by researchers. One result found that 75 % of companies have just enough cash on hand to last two months or less.
Similarly, if COVID-19 only lasted a month, 72 percent of companies planned to continue operating through December, but the segment dropped to 47 percent if it continued for four months.
Consider applying for any available loans if your company is going through cash flow issues. There are numerous temporary COVID-19 assistance opportunities for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to consider. Formerly, the company provided the Paycheck protection Program. This program has ended, but additional funding remains in place. You may also reach out to the issuer of your credit card. Some allow individuals during the pandemic to postpone payments or pay less.
Cutting cost is another solution to the cash flow shortage challenge. Review your accounts and look for opportunities where you can save money.
If you are currently hiring an in-house team to manage your company’s secretarial, accounting, or other administrative work, consider outsourcing instead.
It is a common misunderstanding that outsourcing to a third-party firm is always a higher cost, while in fact, it all depends on the amount of work involved.
2. Owners’ Increased Stress and Worry
It is common for small business owners to experience occasional periods of increased stress and worry.
Coronavirus-related variables, however, caused new problems to arise that raised stresses and uncertainties to new heights and added some that you certainly did not expect to have.
You may be concerned about how to cope with the news that your store’s employee has tested positive, or you have increased tension because customers refuse your requests to wear a mask.
A May 2020 poll compared the rate of stress and worry of small business owners before and after COVID-19.
Remember that in pre-COVID days, 38% of females encountered everyday stress, but 62% did at the time of the study. You should not reasonably expect all causes of stress and worry to be eliminated. The first step to handling them, however, is self-care.
“We’re in crisis mode,” Amy Ritsema, the co-owner of a corporate wellness company, explained. We’re not reflecting about ourselves. We think about everything else.
Your leadership abilities are not going to be top-notch if you are not taking care of yourself and your own personal stress and your own well-being. You have to be the best person and take care of yourself so that your workers can be the best.
Talk to your doctor for more advice if those steps do not do the trick. Remember that you’re investing in your company by investing in yourself.
3. Decreased Revenue
Another problem related to small companies and COVID-19 is a decrease in sales. For different reasons, it could happen.
Perhaps you own a small cafe and, due to social distancing steps, you had to drastically reduce the number of diners accommodated at once. Alternatively, as more people choose to stay at home, maybe you only have a brick-and – mortar store and assume online retailers took a piece of your business.
According to the findings of a survey released in May 2020, 62 percent of small businesses saw a general decline in sales.
Just 12 percent reported increases in revenue. In addition, 47% said their sales losses totaled 10 percent -30 percent, while 41 percent said they exceeded 30 percent. Another 13% indicated that they had complete revenue losses.
If your company is affected by a drop in revenue, or you are afraid of it, begin by being as cautious as possible. How do you diversify and satisfy new customer needs in your revenue streams?
Start by asking them specifically about how these stressful times could be made a little easier by your business and its offers. What don’t you sell that if you did, they will pay for and appreciate?
You could also explore whether the fact that many internet transactions are now taking place might boost profits. Before opening up in person after the pandemic, some farmers did so by engaging in virtual markets. Customers may browse and shop online for fresh produce, then order it for delivery or an option for curbside pickup.
4. Concerns About a Second Wave
Most debates about the coronavirus pandemic concentrate on whether and when a second wave will occur.
The findings of a July 2020 survey of small business owners showed that 65 percent of them worry about closing again or becoming non-operational because of a second wave.
The second wave is synonymous with many small business challenges.
What if you spend a large amount of money on doing anything possible to reopen safely, for example, but a government decision eventually finds your entire industry unsafe to remain open after multiple outbreaks occur in your industry?
When cases spiked in some regions of the United States, many bar owners found themselves in that position, and health officials related some to that business type.
July’s survey shows entrepreneurs taking different steps to defend their businesses if a second wave strikes as often as possible. Buying additional supplies or goods was the most common decision, cited by 32 percent of respondents. A quarter of those surveyed reported enhancing their options for e-commerce or digital payments.
With so much uncertainty, you may decide to pause or end your company for good.
This depends on the amount of capital you have and weighing whether you have enough to sustain your business operation until the end of the COVID-19 situation. It involves a lot of estimation and guesses that you can make on the unforeseeable future.
If you have limited cash, you may decide to ‘pause’ your business for now.
Alternatively, if you decide to end your company and business for good, you will have to proceed with a company strike-off.
This will assure that the strike-off process is done right, and there are no loose ends to concern with. There are many secretarial and accounting firms that offer fast strike-off services in Singapore.
By remembering the most influential obstacles faced during the earlier stages of the pandemic, you will follow suit. What challenges have arisen that have made you scramble to please customers and staff? Since then, what have you discovered that could make you move forward stronger?
You Can Tackle Small Business Struggles
Over the last few months, many of the difficulties mentioned here have undoubtedly weighed heavily on your mind. Here, take the proposed solutions and tweak them to meet your needs.
In these strange times, there is no universal cure for small businesses, but now you have many ways forward to a brighter, more resilient future.