Clients are hesitant to commit, there are no orders coming in currently and new jobs are being postponed. Your business is largely grinding to a halt. And so, entrepreneurs everywhere are wondering: how am I going to get through this crisis?
For many companies, these are difficult times. Especially in the hospitality, horticultural, travel and event industries, entrepreneurs are scratching their heads trying to figure out how they’re going to stay afloat for the next few months. Wages in particular are putting a lot of pressure on the budget. Fortunately, the government introduced an impressive package of measures, including the payment of up to 80% of the salary of workers if companies kept them on their payroll.
In addition, there are entrepreneurs who are wondering how they are going to make productive use of all the time they are now left with. We have collected some suggestions for you. Here are 7 things that you, as entrepreneur, can get done during the corona crisis.
1. Investigating clients and suppliers
Especially now, take a good look around at your main clients and suppliers. Who are you doing business with? It could be your company is dependent on one or two parties who, in consequence of this crisis, might be in dire circumstances. If they become unable to supply or purchase, that could have major consequences for the continuity of your business.
2. Updating your administration
Make the most of this quiet period, and get your administration organised. It is a matter of gathering up receipts and uploading purchase invoices. Sole traders, especially, are prone to waiting until the very last minute to update their travel expenses. A perfect time to get this task out of the way now.
3. Tapping into new sources of income
Your income is shrinking rapidly, but perhaps you can find a way to somewhat limit the damage? There are plenty of examples out there. Consider all those restaurants who are forced to close their doors and are now frantically setting up delivery services. It probably won’t cover the entire difference, but still. Have you got a plan B yet?
4. Checking inventories
For many companies, this is a job for after the summer, or perhaps near the end of the year. Sometimes they need to shut their doors to do it. The ‘stock count’ is a typical job you can easily bring forward during this exceptionally quiet period. This way, you’ll know if the actual stock truly matches the stock count on paper. There’s no harm in getting it out of the way now.
5. Personal development
Develop your business skills by reading business books, or personal development books. Take some time to read up on ‘Effective Leadership’. Or how about that SEO training you have been trying to find time for? This is the perfect time to work on your personal development. To invest in yourself. An additional advantage: practically all studies and training are now available online, so you can do them from home.
6. Helping someone else
A crisis often brings out the best in people. As we have seen in recent weeks. Dentists are donating face masks and to support local businesses,people can purchase gift vouchers to use once hospitality businesses are open again. Some entrepreneurs are also organising webinars to share knowledge. Think about how much goodwill that could generate. Perhaps there is something you could do yourself to lift the spirits of fellow entrepreneurs.
7. Paying your invoices as normal
It might feel like a logical decision. You see the number of orders drop and you respond by putting on the brakes yourself; for example, by waiting longer to pay an invoice. But take a moment to consider what would happen if all entrepreneurs in the UK would do that. Including your own customers. So, are you able to pay pending invoices as usual? Then, especially at times like this, be responsible, pay them. The sooner, the better.
There are always projects that have been stuck in that pipeline for a while, that you just didn’t manage to get around to. Renovating your (home) office for example, or maybe just a new coat of paint. Now that it is suddenly much quieter, it is a good time to finally get the ball rolling on a job like that.
How long will it take before everything returns to normal and entrepreneurs can pick up the pace again? Nobody can say for sure. But more and more people are seriously planning for the possibility that this situation isn’t going to change any time soon. In that case, you’re better off making good use of the time you have.
By Marc Bishop, Sr Business Development Manager Graydon UK