NEWS AND TIPS
By Joshua Brennick
As the world faces a lot of uncertainty of what the full impact of coronavirus will be, small business owners can start taking action to best shield their livelihoods from the worst of it.
With the recent news of the increased level of the Coronavirus to pandemic level from the World Health Organization, it’s important to understand that some rough roads could be in the near future and your business needs to be ready to weather the potential storm that could lie ahead.
Small businesses need to have a plan to deal with the fallout from the virus which includes but not limited to a drop in customer and sales numbers, disruption to supply chains and, ultimately, cash flow shortages. That is why JBrand Media has decided to provide ten tips to manage the risks of the virus to your business. Let’s begin prepping your business if your haven’t already, shall we?
1. Understand your supply chains
Many business owners may not realize that their product or service relies on parts or components from China or other parts affected by the virus, so understanding your supply chain is a critical first step.
2. Explore alternative supply chains
If your business relies on a supplier from an affected region, now is the time to seek alternative suppliers
3. Develop a contingency plan
Have a plan to deal with disruptions to the supply of your products and services. For example, you may need to scale back production for some parts and stock. Another helpful tool would be to rethink your marketing strategy and how you can change customer behavior until the crisis passes. Consider ways to diversify your customer base particularly if you rely on customers from China and other countries most affected by the virus.
4. Review cash flow budgets
You need to know in advance what impact a slowdown will have on cash flow. For example, review and adjust your cash flow forecasts to determine what affect a reduction in sales will have on your ability to pay suppliers and repay debt.
5. Timely financial reporting
Ensure that your financials are kept up-to-date so that you monitor profitability, stock levels, and debtors and creditors balances on a timely basis.
6. Communicate with all key stakeholders
Timely and honest communication with your customers and suppliers is important.
Customers need to be made aware of any issues with the delivery of your products and services and what contingency plans you have in place. Renegotiate payment terms with suppliers if necessary and talk to your bank if you are unable to meet your loan commitments.
Review your debtors and, if necessary, offer discounts for early payment.
7. Review business continuity insurance
Check with your broker or insurance company if you can make a claim on your business continuity policy for any financial losses suffered.
8. Train staff
In case of prolonged staff absences, cross-train your key staff so that your business can continue to function at all times.
9. Slash overheads
Look at all the costs of your business and reduce discretionary and non-essential expenses.
Fixed costs such as wages, rent, utilities, financing costs and tax liabilities are not affected by a decline in sales and need to be properly managed.
10. Seek professional advice today
It’s very important for small businesses already impacted, or likely to be impacted by the coronavirus, to seek timely professional advice – don’t sit back and hope this will all go away soon.
JBrand Media was founded in 2013 by Joshua Brennick, 2019 recipient of The Nashua Telegraph "40 Under Forty" award, with the purpose of helping educational institutions and businesses utilize digital marketing to achieve their marketing and sales goals. Since the launch in 2013, JBrand Media has provided successful services to many clients and has gained recognition as being considered your outsourced Chief Digital Marketing Officer.