loader

How to Adapt Your Small Business During a Pandemic

How to Adapt Your Small Business During a Pandemic main image

In March, the coronavirus outbreak caused a global stock market drop, something that has since been compared to the 2008 financial crisis.

On March 16 2020, the Dow Jones plummeted 3,000 points – the worst percentage fall since Black Monday in 1987.

Figures show that big companies are suffering, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the pandemic’s impact on other key players in Western economies: small business owners and their staff.

In the US, small businesses account for over 99 percent of all businesses, creating millions of new jobs every year and employing almost half of all US workers, from independent contractors to temporary and full-time employees.

Similar figures apply to the UK. At the start of 2019 there were 5.82m SMEs in the country, accounting for 99.9 percent of the business population and employing 16.6m people.

However, with lockdown measures currently in place for nonessential businesses, entrepreneurs might find it difficult to maintain business continuity in the upcoming months.

If you’re worried about future activity, now is the time to think outside the box and find innovative ways to keep afloat.

Here’s a few tips that might help you preserve and reinvent your business during the coronavirus pandemic.

Apply for government aid

We’re living in extraordinary times and as a result, governments are putting forward extraordinary measures to save local and regional economies, from big players in the stock market to the self-employed and SMEs.

If you’re based in the US, you’re able to access the $2tn economic stimulus package announced last week.

If your businesses employ less than 500 people, you can qualify for two types of loans: a standard SBA Loan or the new, coronavirus-specific SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

To apply for the former, you’ll need to file your taxes and prepare a personal financial statement as soon as possible. If you’ve had your business for over three years, it’s recommended that you put together three years of business and personal tax returns, as well as your monthly operating expenses from March through September 2019 and forecasts and budgets for 2020.

To apply for an EIDL, aside from the regular SBA procedures, you’ll have to provide a personal guarantee such as a lien on your business and your home. You also need to show you’ve been highly affected by the pandemic – for example, that you haven’t been able to pay wages or regular business expenses.

If you’re based in the UK, you may be eligible for the new governmental financial-relief package, currently set at £350bn.

You can access loans through a new landing facility established with the Bank of England, all available free of interest for the first six months, and a cash grant worth £10,000 to alleviate imminent financial emergencies.

If your business is in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors, you’ll also be eligible to a year-long exemption from paying business rates.

Moreover, Chancellor Sunak has pledged to create an Employment Support Package to help employers of small businesses retain their staff.

Apply for corporate aid

Governments aren’t the only institutions taking action to support SMEs, with big corporations promising to help entrepreneurs and their staff stay afloat during the pandemic. 

Facebook recently announced the launch of a Small Business Grants Program that will provide US$100m in cash to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Even though applications aren’t open yet, you can sign up to their update scheme and be notified before the launch.  

Similarly, the James Beard Foundation is gathering funds to support SMEs in the food and beverage industry.

Yelp has pledged to help entrepreneurs by giving out US$25m worth of free advertising, products and services on the platform.

Move online

In such volatile times, moving online can give you the certainty you need to keep your business going.

If your business provides online-based services, having your employees work from home will help you maintain productivity rates and retain clients. Use chat and video conference apps such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom to bring your team together and encourage communication. This is key to successfully manage your employees and keep morale up.

If your business sells physical products, transitioning to online retail and delivery can help you tackle the loss of in-store foot traffic and retain your staff.

Make sure to invest in a strong online infrastructure where you can offer safe shipping and pickup solutions. This could take a while, and you might need to hire a software engineer, but in the long run it could help you remain in business.

Nourish social media partnerships

Now more than ever, social media can be a legitimate source of income. This doesn’t mean you need to become an influencer overnight, but investing in digital partnerships might give your business an edge.

Use platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram to look for companies whose products you can incorporate in your services. Firms that rely on e-commerce will appreciate your platform, especially if you can provide consumer analytics to help boost traffic.

Content creation can be a money-making machine and a great way to put your staff to work remotely, so you might also want to incorporate ads and affiliate content into your digital presence.

If you’re not familiar with content creation, it might be worth reaching out to media and marketing brands – you won’t regret it. 

Read more about Covid-19

Coronavirus Student Hub

Everything Students Need to Know About the Novel Coronavirus

Confused About Coronavirus? Imperial College Launches Free Covid-19 Course

Wharton Offers Course on Consequences of Coronavirus Crisis

Discovering where to study

Is Postgraduate Education Still Worth It During a Global Recession?

Cambridge University: Online Only Lectures Until Summer 2021

Imperial College Business School Holds Virtual MSc Information Session

What to Consider When Comparing Universities Online

How to Choose a Business School Without Leaving the House

Comparing Virtual Tours of Top Business Schools

Why Higher Education is Still Necessary in Times of Change

How Can I Still Study Abroad?

Why Technology Can Save University Enrolment in Trying Times

QS digital events

QS Digital Events Calendar

How to Prepare For a QS Digital Event

How to Impress MBA Recruiters at Home

How to Navigate Your University Search During Covid-19

Why Aspiring Grad Students Should Attend HE Events

Coronavirus Advice for In-Person QS Events

Admissions advice

University Admissions: Coronavirus Hub

Business School Admissions: Coronavirus Hub

How Will the New Clearing Process Affect Students?

‘We’re Working to Ensure Candidate Applications Aren’t Disrupted’: Instagram Live with Imperial College Business School

Universities Changing Tuition Fees in Response to Coronavirus

How Covid-19 Is Affecting Wharton MBA Applications

Online Resources to Use in Your MBA Application

UK Government to Cap University Admissions: Will You Be Affected?

How To Defer Your University Offer In the UK

How To Defer Your University Offer In the US

How to Defer Your University Offer in Canada

How To Defer Your University Offer In Australia

Wharton Holds First Virtual Campus Tour For Students Stuck at Home

Entrance tests & exams

Six Tips to Ace the At-Home GRE and GMAT

INSEAD Accepting Applications Without the GMAT Due to Coronavirus

Can't Take TOEFL? Duolingo Might Offer Alternative

How to Take the GRE and GMAT at Home

China's National University Entrance Exam Will Go Ahead in July

Studying online

80% of UK Students Struggling Financially Due to COVID-19

Business As Usual: ESCP Replaces In-Person Project With Online Version

Why Coronavirus Will Cause an Ed-Tech Boom

Should UK Students Get A Refund For The Academic Year?

Majority of International Students Happy to Study Online

Benefits of Online Degrees, According to Students

How to Successfully Work From Home

How to Organize Your Routine When Working From Home

How to Set Up Your Home Office When Studying Your MBA

How to Stay Focused When Studying Your MBA at Home

How to Stay Engaged While Studying Online

75 Percent of Students Expect Lower Tuition Fees For Studying Online

9 Top Universities Offering Free Online Courses

Why Hybrid Teaching Might Be the Future of Online Courses

UK Students Will Pay Full Tuition Fees If Classes Remain Online, Say Government

10 Online Courses to Boost Your Business Curriculum

Life in lockdown

Quiz: Which Quarantine Cliché Are You?

Meet the Charity Helping International Students Left Homeless By COVID-19

Re-opening Businesses in COVID-19: Pros and Cons

What It’s Like Being in B-school During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Life Under Quarantine: How Coronavirus is Affecting University Students

Coronavirus: Life is Changing on Campus in the United States

25 Productive Things To Do While Social Distancing

Five Inventive Things B-School Students Can Do While Social Distancing

How to Keep Employee Morale High While Working From Home

How UK Students Can Help Out During the Coronavirus Crisis

9 Books All B-School Candidates Should Read While Social Distancing

How to Avoid Back Pain When Working From Home, According to a Chiropractor

Business School Professors Recommend Activities to Pass the Time in the Pandemic

Staying healthy

Five Ways to Look After Your Mental Health in Lockdown

How Can Students Stay Healthy At Home?

Should You Try to ‘Improve Yourself’ in Quarantine?

Fun and Unusual Ways Students are Staying Active in Quarantine

How You Can Stay Happy and Healthy While Studying at Home

Careers advice

The 'New Normal': Why Digital Skills Matter More Than Ever

The EdTech Sector Grows as Other Industries Take a Hit from the Coronavirus Crisis

Bounce Back Loans: Everything You Need to Know for Your Small Business

Staying Hopeful: MBA Grads on Job Hunting During a Recession

What Does Coronavirus Mean For The Hospitality Industry?

How to Adapt Your Small Business During a Pandemic

How to Get Hired Without Leaving the House

How 2020 Graduates Can Find Jobs Amid Coronavirus

Everything Students Need to Know About Virtual Internships

Staying Afloat: UK Small Business Owners on Adapting to a Pandemic

How My B-School Experience Is Helping Me Run a Hospital During Covid-19

Summer Internships Are Going Online

Safeguarding Talent During Coronavirus: Will Internships Go Digital?

Written by Linda Mohamed

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

See related categories:

0 Comments
Click here to Log in or register to share your views on the article.