How To Help Your Small Business Recover From DisasterDisaster isn’t something we like to talk about, but it’s something we prepare for. Some disasters are caused by natural events, while others are caused by human acts – both unintentional and deliberate. But right now, we’re experiencing a disaster unlike any other – COVID-19, also commonly known as the coronavirus.
In many states, governors are ordering all nonessential businesses to shut down and directing residents to stay home for at least a few weeks. It’s a type of disaster none of us could even fathom just a month ago.
When any type of disaster strikes, small businesses are the ones that suffer most. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), between 40% – 60% of small businesses never recover from a disaster. We’re not yet sure of the full impact COVID-19 will have on small businesses, but knowing now the steps to take to help your business recover can help when this situation is all over. Here are some important tips to help your business get through this. And as always, QLMS is here to assist in any way we can.
Stay UpdatedWhen it comes to disasters, there are typically updates by the minute. While you’ll likely want to limit your intake of news, you still want to stay updated on what’s happening so you can make timely decisions and plan for what’s ahead. You’ll also want to make sure you and your business are abiding by your government’s executive orders.
Along with limiting your exposure while staying informed, it is best to also limit the number of sources you use and make sure they’re reliable. These should include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and a few trusted, established and balanced news sources. To assist our broker partners, we created a resource pagethat lists current mortgage process updates based on your state and county. It also includes helpful blogs about appraisal updates, suspensions and industry news, as well as messages from our QLMS leaders.
Know Your Resources For AssistanceThe first place to go when you’re looking for assistance is the U.S. Small Business Administration, a federal agency that supports small businesses. With all the information that’s out there, you can quickly experience information overload. Finding a one-stop shop for all other resources may make the process a little less overwhelming. Rapid Finance put together a resource guide for small business owners affected by COVID-19 that provides information on loan programs, business resources and government relief programs for each state.
Assess The Situation And (Potential) DamageFirst decide what needs to be done today, then plan from there. Address any immediate issues and create a strategy for fixing them. Try not to tackle too much at once. If your business is currently closed, figure out how long your cash reserves will last and how much money you’ll need moving forward to stay afloat. Then, use your resources to apply for loans, grants and other assistance.
<br If your business is currently open, take stock of how it’s being affected. Are closings down? If so, by how much? Will you need to borrow money now or in the future to make up for the loss? Are closings up right now? If so, how can you use the extra business to better prepare for the future? If you expect business to plateau or even decline, how can you prepare now while you are still successful?
Plan AheadAs we adjust to the current normal, try to look ahead to what the new normal may be when this is all over. Will clients be spending less money? What are experts predicting for the market when this is over? How will this impact your specific business? If your business is currently closed, how will you communicate with clients that you’re back in business? What plan can you put in place should another disaster happen shortly after this one?
We can rarely control when or how a disaster will strike – especially when it’s on the global scale – but there are some steps you can take to control how it will affect your business. As you work through assessing the current state of your business and make plans for the months and years ahead, your QLMS Account Executives are here to offer support and guidance. Please reach out to them because they can provide valuable information you can use during these challenging times.