More than five months after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic in the United States, financially-strapped entrepreneurs fear losing the businesses they’ve worked so hard to create. From supply chain complications to a rapid decline in consumer spending, generating revenue to cover operational costs is challenging. Unsure as to when relief will come, entrepreneurs wishing to weather the storm have taken necessary steps to lower expenses and increase sales amid the pandemic.
Working From Home
Trying to sustain the costs of a commercial property during these economically challenging times is difficult for small business owners. Working from home reduces the risk of spreading the coronavirus while also eliminating or reducing overhead expenses like leases, utilities, and property insurance. Depending on the type of business you operate, switching to a virtual platform, and working from home would save a ton of money.
The cost of keeping employees safe has also caused a financial strain for entrepreneurs.
Frequent cleaning and decontamination services and stocking up on personal protection equipment isn’t cheap. Small business owners have been able to eliminate these expenses by allowing teams to work remotely. Though it requires an initial investment in technological devices, software, and applications, it’s a more affordable and safer option for all involved parties.
For entrepreneurs who have to commute to work, considering other transportation methods keeps a few extra bucks in your pocket. Taking the car is no longer necessary as millions of children and adults shelter in place. Therefore, entrepreneurs have opted to switch to two-wheelers like cool bikes with motorcycle speedometers, mopeds, scooters, and bicycles, which cost a lot less to fuel. If these aren’t options for you, you can take the bus or organize a carpool.
No More Takeout
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to order takeout from local restaurants. While ordering in for lunch is a convenient treat, it adds up quickly. To conserve funds for more important business expenses during the pandemic, savvy business owners currently bring their lunch from home.
Eliminating or reducing the cost of business travel and in-person meetings has proven beneficial in helping financially-strapped entrepreneurs to survive during the pandemic. Instead of paying for a venue, catering services, transportation, and accommodations, businesses have invested in adequate telecommunication systems and applications for virtual meetings.
Some entrepreneurs have found that their products and/or services are no longer a necessity for target consumers, which resulted in a drop in sales. To keep from going under, business owners have made adjustments to their products or services. For example, restaurants have started selling pre-cooked or frozen signature dishes, family meal packages, and fresh produce, poultry, and seasonings to interested parties.
Service providers like hair stylists, mechanics, massage therapists, and car detailers have gone mobile to bring their skills to the comfort of their clients’ homes. Brick and mortar establishments have since created eCommerce sites to deliver their products safely to their customers’ doors.
Attractive Promotional Offers
The entire nation is doing the best they can to cut back on spending. If you’re going to continue to generate sales during the pandemic, reprice your products or services to accommodate targeted audiences with tight budgets. Markdown prices, offer coupons, or consider promotional opportunities like buy one get one free or $10 off a purchase of $50 or more to save your customers more money.
Flexible Payment Options
Small businesses that offer credit or installment payments to their customers may find it difficult to collect outstanding balances during the pandemic. While some consumers may be unable to pay their bills, entrepreneurs that have more flexible payment options have a better chance of closing the gap. You can break large ticket items down into smaller monthly payments, remove late fees or penalties, or offer discounts to customers that pay their balances in advance.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic financial assistance programs provided by the government and private entities, entrepreneurs are still struggling to keep their small businesses afloat. Other than closing the doors to your business or filing for bankruptcy, financially-strapped entrepreneurs have turned to money-saving strategies like those listed above to keep things going.