Practical ways to run and support small businesses during COVID-19

Practical ways to run and support small businesses during COVID-19

Published on 21st May, 2020 at 06:24 pm

Running a small business has its challenges, but none as great as trying to survive during a pandemic like COVID-19. Here are some practical ways we can help ensure small businesses stay afloat during these difficult times.

If you are a small business owner:

Secure liquidity
The biggest challenge for the majority of small businesses is being able to generate cash flow to pay staff and suppliers, and cover other overheads. Many financial institutions have put various measures in place to help small businesses, so talk to them first. You can also speak to your financial planner about liquidity options, and about negotiating premium holidays if needed during this time.

Cut costs where you can
Re-evaluate your daily, weekly and monthly costs and see where you can save. If your business has to close due to the lockdown, consider negotiating for a payment holiday with the property owner to alleviate your rental burden. Other cost-cutting examples include cancelling any non-essential subscriptions and reducing online sponsored posts.

Move online
If your business is not yet online, now is the perfect opportunity to enter the virtual world. Although shops and restaurants have had to close their doors, customers can still order items online and get them delivered to their doorstep in a safe way.

Non-essential small businesses like gyms and yoga studios can generate some revenue by converting subscriptions to a live-stream class instead. If your business offers a service like gardening, phone repair or personal aesthetics, for example, then you can even consider doing virtual workshops, consultations and follow-up appointments via video conferencing.

Rethink your resources
With the majority of the workforce now working remotely from home, there is an even bigger demand for other services. If your company employs drivers, for example, then consider contracting them to work with local pharmacies to deliver medication to the elderly.

Click here to see what relief funds and government options are available to you as an SME owner during this time.

If you are a consumer:

Make a commitment now
Use the money you would normally have spent on socialising and eating out to continue to support local establishments as much as you can. If you regularly attended a dance class, art lesson or had a personal trainer then avoid cancelling contracts where possible. Instead, offer to pay them upfront for a set number of future classes. Many small business owners would have relied on this income to pay their costs.

Buy a gift card for later
Many small businesses and services offer gift cards. Buy a few online now to use in the future as gifts for friends and family. This will provide some immediate cash flow and support.

Show support on social media
Keep small business owners motivated and their businesses alive by giving them a good review online or mentioning them in your social media posts. Share great services with friends and family, so that they, too, can support brands and companies you trust.

Keep paying your domestic helper
These are tough times, but few are more at risk than those who are paid by the hour (without paid leave) and those who have to take public transport to work. Continue to pay your housekeeper and gardener for their services, even if they are staying at home. In the majority of cases, there are many dependants relying on that money for survival.

Learn more about Sanlam’s R1 billion pledge towards COVID-19 relief with the Motsepe family, here.

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