Keeping on: How to stay afloat during uncertain times

March is when we saw the first stay at home orders put into effect.

March.


It’s July now and the United States just had their highest number of reported COVID-19 cases in a single day. So while we have seen some places open up a bit, things still seem to be on rocky ground.


So what can you do?


We are seeing states roll back their re-opening. Masks are required in some locations when you are in public spaces.


The virus is still very much a part of our everyday lives some three months later.


It's likely going to be a part of our lives for some time to come.


So what can you do?


I know we have talked about this before, but this feels different. Things are supposed to be getting better, and yet, that isn’t the case.


But as a business you need to keep pushing forward. Keep doing what you can to find success.

CUT YOUR COSTS:


This is step number one in making sure that you are able to keep your business running. This doesn’t solve all of your problems though but could give you the push you need to get back on track.


That means going through your vendors and expenses and seeing where you may be able to cut back.


These past few years have created this mindset of us being able to be “fat and happy” but that’s all over now. It's time to get lean and mean.

We have done this ourselves, going through and talking to businesses, vendors and utility companies about reducing costs. And only one has told us they couldn’t do it.


Might as well ask! The worst thing they will say to you is no.


This is part of planning for the worst and hoping for the best.


This is part of going lean. Because as we said earlier, it just is not certain how long this virus is going to be affecting everyday life.


We could see another spike and another shutdown. I know. Not ideal.


Plan for the worst. Hope for the best.

PIVOT:


Alright, that was a bit depressing, I know. But sometimes, it's good to have a dose of reality.


Part of this new reality that we are all living in is that things have changed. So much has changed in our day to day lives, and those impacts will be felt for a while now.


So, what does that mean? You can’t just cover your head, hide and hope this is going to blow over if you expect your business to come out the other side of this pandemic.

It’s time to pivot. And if you already haven’t done this, you need to do something now. You really should have done something months ago.


So what does that mean?


Well, that means re-thinking your everyday. If you are a retail store, set up an online store. If you are a restaurant, get your takeout working effectively!


Think of ways that will help to keep your staff and customers safe and healthy. That will be the way people find trust in you that they can come buy from you without fear of getting sick.


This is the only way you will be able to find some semblance of normalcy. And if you want to be there when things open back up for good, you need to start that cash flow somehow, someway.


There is no guarantee we won’t see another shutdown. It is a real possibility. Can you handle another jolt like that?


Probably not.


SO PIVOT!


Now!

PPP AND CASH:


So through this pandemic, we have seen financial hardship. And while the government came through with a one-time relief check for some and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses, that did not solve everything.


First of all, that check didn’t last long.

And the PPP and its rollout has been confusing and hard to get. The application was difficult and time-consuming. And the whole process is a bit cumbersome.


And then when you do get the money, it comes with a catch. You have to allot a certain percentage of it to your payroll and the rest can go to your rent or other bills.


But the biggest catch of it all, if you don’t use it within the given amount of time, you have to pay it back with interest. So a loan that is supposed to be forgiven and is supposed to help keep businesses afloat, could end up saddling you with a huge bill.


Yep, so not ideal. But a nice infusion of cash to keep your employees paid at a time when you need it most. But buyer beware.


This is when you need to be aware of your spending and watch your cash. Things are so up in the air right now. Mortgages will go into default once August rolls around and the lenders need their money.


It’s not over yet. The financial impacts of the pandemic will linger. So just be prepared. Be aware.


Be vigilant.

GO ON ATTACK:


Okay now here is something to keep in mind among all of this chaos. You can’t lose sight of what brought the success you had back in the “normal” days.

That was the hard work. The determination. The drive to go out and get new business. However you did that.


So tell people you are open! Tell them what you are doing to adapt to these times and keep them safe. Show them how you are going to be the place they can turn to for years to come.


That means marketing your business. This is something that we at Mazama Media have put an emphasis on throughout the pandemic. And guess what…


In the midst of the uncertainty and chaos of the pandemic, we have seen new leads come in! And those leads have led to new clients!


So don’t forget you can go after new business. You need to pivot! This is one way to do it! (And of course, we would love to be a part of you turning your business around.)


Get some of that cash flow you once had back! It can mean all the difference in you riding out a second shutdown becoming one of those businesses that just goes by the wayside.


So get after it! Make it happen! Ride the second wave of the pandemic to a thriving business.



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