While it is tempting to panic, to despair and to worry, now is absolutely not the time to do that. Our business needs us now more than ever. And if we want to be viable when it is over, we must act.
Here are 7 actions every small business owner needs to be taking right now:
1 – Think about your capital access. If you need to increase credit lines, obtain business loans, or seek emergency funding, do it now. The SBA is offering an Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. To learn more about it: www.sba.gov/disaster. If you are getting financial assistance from private resources (e.g., friends and family), and need help with a promissory note, contact us. We can help.
2 – Think about your inventory and supply chain. Are you dependent on deliveries for your business? Are you afraid deliveries will come and should be cancelled? Contact your suppliers and ask about what they are doing. Remember to pull out your agreement and review them to see if you are able to cancel or suspend services in light of the situation. Again, if you need help interpreting the “legalese”, send it our way – we are fluent (even though it is a foreign language to us!).
3 – Pull out your insurance policies. Many times business interruption coverage is included in business insurance packages. Read your policy to see if your policy language covers this situation, contact your broker, and document everything. Insurance companies are going to hate paying out, don’t give them an excuse to deny your claim.
4 – Communicate with your clients. Don’t go radio silent. People need to know you are there and care about them. Address their needs and provide assistance in any way you can. If you are unable to fulfill contractual requirements right now, contact the customer and document why. If you need help communicating and reviewing your agreements to see what needs to happen, we are ready to help.
6 – Take care of your workforce. Now is the time to invest in your people. They will remember how you treated them during this time. If you are able to have people work remote, do so. If you are able to give paid sick leave, do so. Fill out the Paid Family Leave Act paperwork on a timely basis, so they can keep money flowing when they care for sick relatives. If you need help setting up a remote work policy, a data protection policy and more, contact us. We can help you do this right.
7 – Look for opportunity. It’s a terrible time. But businesses rise when there is great need. Is there a great need in your industry that you can meet? If you need to do a joint venture, open up a new entity to take advantage of the opportunity, need an agreement to launch it, contact us. We want to help you succeed.
And one bonus action:
Take care of yourself. Your business is lost without you. Sleep. Eat. Relax. Spend quality time with your family (likely, you’re being forced to spend a lot of time together right now). Pet your dog or cat. Listen to music. Find things that bring you joy. And remember this will pass eventually.
LOVE LAW FIRM and some of our closest friends will be hosting an online event shortly to help small business owners. Watch for announcements and come join us!
Together we will make it through!
We stand ready to help you in any way we can. We want to be part of your success story!
Francine E. Love is the Founder & Managing Attorney at LOVE LAW FIRM, PLLC which dedicates its practice to serving businesses and entrepreneurs. The opinions expressed are those of the author. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. To learn more about LOVE LAW FIRM please see our website, www.lovelawfirmpllc.com. Email us [email protected] or call us at 516.697.4828 to learn more.