If you have been a regular GrowBiz reader – and we hope you are – by now you are fully versed on the small business loans and grants available from the federal and state government. You also know about other sources as small businesses fight back against the coronavirus assault. You may have read our first piece about practical steps you can take now as well, and taken note of our helpful resource lists. In coming weeks, we plan to offer more advice and features to help you as a small business owner to not only survive. We know you are likely working from home right now and the world looks bleak, but we want to help you set your business up to again grow and thrive.
There is no one size fits all for advice. So today we offer you several current COVID-19-related articles that may be helpful to you depending on what type of business you run.
IF YOU ARE CASH FLOW NEGATIVE OR GETTING THERE …
Stanford’s Steve Blank offers a five-day playbook to help CEOs of cash-flow negative companies, or ones about to go negative, assess the new normal and respond with speed and urgency. Whether your company is 20 people or 200 or 2,000, there are takeaways for you in Blank’s Harvard Business review piece. “Companies that outlast this crisis will have CEOs who can rapidly assess these new circumstances, recognize new patterns and opportunities, and act with urgency to take immediate action to pivot and restructure their companies. Those that don’t may not survive,” the serial entrepreneur says.
READY TO LOOK AHEAD? HERE ARE WAYS TO DO JUST THAT
While it might be tempting to focus on just staying afloat in the moment, it’s crucial to plan for the future of your business and be fully prepared for what will come next. Forbes offers an eight-step guide to getting started. While you are adapting your business and your marketing to the new reality, you can also be working on your leads list, skilling up and implementing tech upgrades, the author says.
A HEAPING HELPING OF INSPIRING IDEAS IN A NUMBER OF SECTORS
How can retailers, restaurants, bars, galleries, book stores, hair and nail salons, florists, and fitness centers move quickly to mitigate their losses and stay afloat over the next difficult months? A Miami Herald article offers inspiration and ideas that range from taking your bar virtual with mixology classes or even a virtual bar to salons offering in-home kits accompanied by FaceTime tutorials to caterers switching their focus from events to in-home meal service for stressed families.
IT’S TIME TO REFLECT ON YOUR BUSINESS – AND NOW YOU HAVE TIME
Who doesn’t love a little Mark Cuban? The Shark Tank star always has good, practical advice. His nuggets of wisdom in this short CNBC post will not disappoint. He says it’s time to embrace experimentation, get to really know your employees, and clean up parts of your business that you have been neglecting (we all have them). In a FoxNews article that included his advice for small businesses, he also offered a message of hope. “We truly are a country of entrepreneurs. We have that spirit to go out and start companies, to be creative, to take risks,” he says. “There will be new products developed that really change the world. That’s who we are as a country. And that’s why, as bleak as it can seem right now, and is horrific and tragic … we’ll get to the other side, I’m 100 percent certain and we’ll be different when we get there.” Want more? Here are four more tips and some real talk.
IF YOUR BUSINESS HAS INVESTORS, OR IS RAISING MONEY, READ ON
This Forbes piece offers some solid advice for startups who are funded or are raising investor dollars, starting with “spend every dollar as if it was your last.” In VentureBeat, Blank offers more advice for startups, including recognizing that your investors will act in their interests, which may no longer be yours. “Unless your investors are matching their orders for ‘full speed ahead’ with a deposit into your bank, now is not the time to be railroaded into a burn rate that is unrecoverable,” he said. “Prepare for a long cold winter. But remember no winter lasts forever, and in it smart founders and VCs will be planting the seeds for the next generation of startups.”
Now is a great time to sift through the best business advice out there, with many media companies and Harvard Business Review dropping their pay walls for coronavirus related coverage. We hope you found some helpful advice. If you have found another article, blog or book particularly helpful for navigating this unprecedented time, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share. Stay safe.