COVID-19 has truly turned the world upside down without warning. Enduring a global pandemic has been shocking and challenging for everyone in different ways, and not something you would ever anticipate facing. With that being said, society is slowly finding ways to manage the impacts of the pandemic and learn how to adjust to a “new normal”. Although scary and unpredictable, COVID-19 has brought health and safety to the forefront for most people—something that absolutely should be prioritized. From increased sanitation and regular hand washing to becoming more health-conscious, the pandemic might encourage individuals to make some positive changes to their overall lifestyle.
While health is a number one priority, for many, finances come in at number two. This global pandemic has been a very uncertain time for everyone—some have lost their jobs, their businesses, and incomes might have been put on hold. Whether you’re a business owner financially impacted by the pandemic, or you’ve been more fortunate throughout this time, there are steps you can take to ensure financial stability as you move forward and make plans for your future.
Pay your bills as soon as they come in
Paying your bills is about as much fun as going to the dentist. It isn’t something that anyone enjoys doing, but it’s critical if you intend to sustain your business needs and want to maintain production. Prioritizing your bills as a small business owner and making a plan to pay off any outstanding business debt is key to financial stability. In addition, you must keep up with all operational costs if you want to avoid turmoil or slow output and keeping up with your financial needs will help you do so. If you get into the habit of reviewing your profits versus your expenditures and making a plan for your financial future, you will see that you are able to save more money, receive lower interest rates, and feel more comfortable overall.
Secure a life insurance policy
The pandemic has left many people questioning what would happen to their business if they suddenly fell ill and passed away due to COVID-19. Securing a full coverage life insurance policy is extremely important for business owners, especially during such uncertain times. This is because the fate of your business, business partner(s), and your employees in the case of your sudden death would be unclear. Making arrangements early on in your career as a business owner or entrepreneur can allow your business to grow and thrive, even when you are no longer around. Without an appropriate policy, you run the risk of leaving your family or business partner(s) with a large financial burden they might not be prepared to take on. Should you have any business debt or mortgage payments, someone will need to cover those costs. Business owners of all ages should be considering a life insurance policy, and there are many affordable rates out there that won’t break the bank during these trying times.
Build up your emergency fund
As a small business owner, building up an emergency fund is extremely important for your company. Having an emergency fund available helps you avoid sinking during times where money is tight and allows you to have some flexibility when it comes to your future plans and investments. If you own a business and do not have an emergency fund built up, the best thing to do is start researching different small business loan resources or grants that you qualify for. The government has established multiple types of loans and grants for business owners due to COVID-19, and many of these loans and grants are generous when it comes to repayment due to the circumstances. Taking time to set yourself up for success in the future will be in your best interest and allow you room to grow.
Establish a detailed budget
A critical part of securing your financial future and supporting yourself is ensuring your small business can withstand any storms that come its way. One way to do this is to develop a consistent budget and financial management practice. Without a budget, it’s difficult to manage your expenditures or track where your money is going. The key to success and staying out of debt is accounting for and properly allocating every dollar. This may sound like a tedious process, but intentional budgeting goes a very long way. If you own a business, consider dedicating time to monitoring your inventory and tracking your expenditures. This will help to ensure you are spending what is absolutely necessary and where you will get the most return on investment.
Make savings automatic
If you are looking for ways to cut back on your small business expenses without having to sacrifice quality, you are not alone. As a business owner, you are constantly being pulled in various directions and required to make decisions that will impact the future of your business. If you want to ensure accuracy when it comes to your bank accounts and expenditures, you might consider automation. Automating your business finances is a great way to save time, cash, and conveniently manage your money on the go. Most banks have mobile applications that allow you to set up automatic payments/savings, making it simple to make transactions or review your account balance from anywhere. You can also plan ahead and set up automatic payments, so you don’t miss a bill or get charged with a late fee.
Focus on your online presence
Due to the global pandemic, people are spending their money shopping online now more than ever. It is convenient, easy, and people feel safer purchasing products through this avenue. With that being said, it is vital for small businesses to focus on their online presence during this time. If you don’t have a website for your business, or it hasn’t been updated in a while, that is your first step. Along with that, be sure to update your social media channels, create email marketing campaigns, and spread the word to your customers who are still shopping safely in-store. You could even offer a discount to customers who share your social media or website through their personal social media pages as incentive. It is important to get creative, especially under the current circumstances.
As mentioned above, COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Business owners and entrepreneurs are learning how to react, respond, and adapt to the changing landscape to support the new “normal”. As a small business owner, you are always striving to do better and to make your business the best that it can be. It is important to develop and grow alongside the rest of the world, but with that said, continuing to manage your financial backing to bring in revenue is critical. By accounting for a few of these simple tips, you can gain some clarity and financial peace of mind as a business owner navigating a global pandemic.