The COVID-19 pandemic has created a crisis for millions of small businesses across the globe. Companies have been forced to shut down indefinitely, meaning business owners and employees have no way of earning money – but the businesses must still cover their monthly bills, including rent, electricity and water.
This is terrifying for most business owners, but there are lots of little things you can do to save money during COVID-19.
Here are nine things you can do today to help your small business save money during COVID-19.
1. How Small Businesses Can Save Money During Covid-19: Use Free Tools
Lots of companies have provided free tools to help small businesses during the pandemic. A Leeds accountancy film have released a free online tool that helps small businesses to find out if they are eligible for financial support during the crisis, and Coconut launched a free tool on the sixth of April that helps self-employed people to calculate their tax returns.
A banking app called CountingUp has also released a free COVID-19 grant calculator specifically for sole traders. All of these tools can reduce accountancy expenses, and you may even discover that you are entitled to a grant that you didn’t know about.
2. Create A New Three Month Plan
It is likely you already had a three or six month plan in place, but you may need to modify it for the pandemic. Ask yourself these questions when you are writing the new plan; what are your most important monthly expenses? Which expenses can be negotiated, or deferred? How much do you have in savings? How long can you afford to be closed for?
3. Apply For Grants And Financing
The British government is providing various loans and debt relief for small businesses, so check out their official website to see if you are eligible for any loans. You can also find out more about financing options by visiting the official Federation of Small Business website.
4. Negotiate With Creditors
Speak to your creditors to find out if they are happy to defer payments for the next few months. Many lenders are making changes to help small businesses, so there is certainly a chance they will try to accommodate you (especially if you have bought from them for years and you have a good relationship with them). So contact suppliers, vendors, mortgage companies, lenders and your landlord to see if any are willing to negotiate with you.
5. Alter Your Business Model
Can you adapt your business so that you can continue serving customers without a location? For instance, if you own a restaurant you could start doing take-out, and if you teach yoga classes you could consider teaching them online instead. Think outside of the box, and see if there is anything you can do to continue providing a service online.
6. Adapt Your Workplace
You can also adapt your workplace to keep your business running. Consider managing employees remotely, instead of giving them time off, and use work-from-home tools so you can stay in touch throughout the day.
7. Keep In Touch With Your Customers
You may not be able to connect with your customers in real life, but you can still keep in touch online. So post discount offers on your social media pages, and send out newsletters with exclusive offers for loyal customers. This will help to maintain sales during COVID-19, and it also means your customers won’t forget about your brand.
8. Stay Up To Date
It can be beneficial to stay up to date with COVID-19 news, as there are frequent updates for small business owners – but don’t overdo it, as this might make you feel anxious and stressed. We suggest reading updates for no more than 15 minutes a day (and don’t let the updates eat into your work time!).
9. Think About The Future
Finally you should think about the future. The pandemic will end one day, and you need to be prepared for this day. So maintain connections with customers, plan new products and ideas for 2021, and use the free time to improve your business skills. This means your business will be stronger when the pandemic ends, rather than weaker.