No, we don’t have $700 Billion earmarked for small businesses. We can’t go hand out to our legislatures for financial assistance. We don’t make the 6:00 pm news as a “business in trouble”. We are small businesses who have to provide our own bailout.
How do we do this? We look at ways to support one another and our customers and our employees. We check our budgets, roll up our sleeves and get down to work.
1. Check Budgets
Are there areas where we can cut expenses? Can we bring our lunch to work and not eat out as often? Can we initiate “green” assistance by turning off lights, recycling paper, and keeping better inventory control on supplies?
We are all wasteful – we waste paper, water, time, energy, food, and everything else. If we just took a look at what we could reuse or save, think about the money we can save.
2. Roll Up our Sleeves
Can a project be completed at home or by someone else? If you have staff that you are responsible for, have you thought outside of the box to see if some of your business associates would be interested in “sharing” a worker or “renting” an employee. Maybe if you have 4 employees you can work with an associate company with no employees who may be looking for a temporary person.
If this is the end of your fiscal year, prepare a budget that is as complete as you can possibly make it and be prepared to follow it. As you prepare the budget, talk to your staff, especially your supervisors and managers to get their input. This will not only help them understand the situation but provide them with the opportunity to possibly share a good idea.
4. Dust off the Business Plan
Many businesses write the required business plan and then file it away. This may be a good time to get it out and look at the research you did in preparing the plan to determine if you are still on track. If not, why not? If you are, did you plan for any emergency? This is the time you can update your plan to accommodate the current financial crises. This, along with your budget, may offer the road map you need to navigate through the next few months.
5. Think Out Side the Box
Is this a good time to look at a new product or service? Are you in a position that might help other businesses make it through the economic downturn? Only you know your business and what you might do to make a difference.
Will it be easy? No. Will there be a need to make hard decisions? Probably. But, if you are honest with yourself and your staff and your clients, hopefully you will find a way to make it all work. Good luck to all of us.