SBDC

In response to local partners seeking help to provide our local businesses with accurate information on resources available we have information that would be useful to business that need recovery assistance in navigating through this global COVID-19 pandemic that is effecting our local business survival.

The following business strategies can be used during a crisis like COVID-19 or an economic downfall. Use these strategies and see where it would fit in your business or industry. Use this time to review and understand how your business is doing and the steps that must be taken to achieve the goals. If at any time you need assistance with any of these steps, know that the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center is available to assist you virtually. Please call our Riverside or Ontario offices (951) 781-2345 to schedule a meeting or schedule online at (https://inlandempiresbdc.org/).

1. Keep close watch on cash flow

The difference between surviving and going under when times are tough depends in large part on understanding cash flow. It is vital that a business owner plans and understands the status of the business’s cash flow.

Limit Credit to Customers: Cap the amount of credit you are ready to extend.

Review and Revise your Collection Policy: The longer you wait to call a delinquent customer, the less likely it is that you'll collect the money.

Look into a Working Line: Having the line in place will help you if things sour or great opportunities happen and you want to act quickly.

2. Trim overhead

If revenues are down, you can maintain profitability or minimize losses by cutting your expenses.

Reevaluate your space: If you're not utilizing it effectively, consider subleasing a portion by bringing in rent.

Employ Energy Conservation Initiatives: Any kind of conservation can save a lot of money.

Comparison shop your Insurance Policies: Many small business owners routinely renew policies annually rather than shopping around for better deals.

Manage Payroll: Think long and hard before laying off employees.

3. Continue to market wisely

Slow times are no excuse for slacking off on marketing. You need to continually develop your pipeline of customers, so review your marketing plan now!

Maximize Referrals: Ask existing customers for referrals. Offer them some reward, such as discounts on their future purchase for giving you referrals.

Get Feedback: It is an ideal time to ask your customers what you are doing right or wrong.

Work on Retention: Existing customers are cheaper to market to, think of new ways to increase sales without bringing in a NEW customer.

4. Look ahead

If business is slow, you may have time on your hands. Turn lemons into lemonade by spending this time doing strategic planning.

Meet with Advisors: What is the goal of the Company? What would be needed? Strategize your tax planning for the year.

Revisit your Business Plan: If you started out with a written plan to guide you, it's time to take another look.

Stay Optimistic: Prepare your business to take advantage of opportunities that will surely present themselves soon.

5. Protect your personal assets

All businesses hope to survive difficult economic times, but the reality is that some will undoubtedly fail. If yours does, what happens to you? It depends on how you've set up your business.

Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships: Creditors can look to your personal assets--your home, your car, and your savings to satisfy their claims.

Limited Liability Companies and Corporations: Creditors can only satisfy their claims from business assets; your personal assets may be protected. If your personal assets are currently vulnerable, consider meeting with your Business Attorney to discuss changing your form of entity.

The Inland Empire Small Business Development Center is currently assisting small businesses to secure Small Business Administration business loans. For more information and to download the application, visit (https://entre.csusb.edu/newsMgr/index.php?newsId=93&page=) (https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans).

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