Thoughts on COVID-19 for Business

I’ve been a small business owner for almost 20 years.  My business has been helping small business with financial and operational challenges.  Here are some ideas and information to consider:  the tough news first –

1.  Insurance might not be a remedy.  Business interruption insurance generally only handles losses related to physical damage events like fire, water etc.   

2. Government help could take some time, if help is on the way. 

3.  If your business is vulnerable to consumer fear, then cash inflow could suffer quickly. 

 Second, Some Ideas: 

1. People first!   Talk to each of your employees to get an understanding of their situation and how this event is affecting them.  If you don’t have the revenue to support payroll, a reduced schedule prorated among your employees might work until government resources or unemployment benefits kick in.  Or, if the business has cash available, check with your HR or legal counsel to see about ‘loaning’ your employees some funds subject to paying it back over time or until government support arrives.  Or, are their projects to work on that you’ve put off, that this downtime offers an opportunity to get done; like maintenance, cleaning, refreshing your store?    Hopefully, we’ll have news soon from the Small Business Administration and other agencies about specific relief opportunities.

 2. If you have debt payments or lease agreements, contact your banker and landlord to see if they would be willing to suspend part or all of your monthly payments for a short period of time.

  3.  If you have inventory, see if you can return it without significant ‘restock’ charges.  If it is perishable, see if you can find a market to sell it ‘at cost’ if necessary just to get your cost back into the bank account.

  4.  Keep your customers informed.  Plan for when the crisis ends.  Let them know when you know you’ll reopen.  Offer some Corona ‘specials!’

These are just a few ideas, and I’m sure there are many more.   Hopefully, the ideas above will stimulate even better ones.

Timm Funk

CFO Next, Inc