The era of COVID-19 has been historic and unprecedented. With the shutdowns of millions of businesses, and the changed operations of others, this period of time has been quite a roller coaster ride for business in Canada.
Business owners have to restart their businesses amid this epidemic, with varying levels of uncertainty. Business during COVID 19 has definitely been an unprecedented game-changer. Here is how to restart your business during the COVID-19 epidemic.
EVALUATE THE FINANCIAL DAMAGE
The first thing that you should do is assess the financial damage that the COVID-19 era has done to your business. Assess what you have lost, profit-wise, as a result of this whole conundrum. You will most likely see some level of profit loss, due to the fact that such stringent rules have been placed on businesses. Look at various financial statements to compare the amount of money that you’ve made from the previous year, and to understand the level of damage that has been done.
After considering the hard money aspects of your business such as cash flow, turn your attention to other financial aspects of the business. Were you forced to lay off employees? Did you have to cut down on spending money on other things such as marketing? If you had to lay off employees, there may be various legal and tax things that you have to be cognizant of.
RECHECK YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
The next step is to look at your business plan and to see how the COVID-19 conditions fit into it. For example, perhaps your business largely relied on foot traffic from being in a well-populated area where business in Toronto is huge. If that was the case, then it is without a doubt that you have to tweak your business plan in order to figure out ways to compensate for a loss of foot traffic.
You should look at what other businesses are doing for inspiration. Are there particular things that people in your industry are doing to compensate for specific business problems that have come from COVID-19? Keep your eyes and ears open about what other business owners are doing. If you are a business in Toronto, perhaps you can find out about community events that are going on in which you can profit.
Perhaps there are niches in your industry that you can fill. Are there any services that other businesses aren’t offering that you could offer—without breaking any sort of law or rule about COVID-19? This whole COVID-19 situation could even lead your business down a direction that you never thought it would lead you down. You may even end up selling some sort of item that you’d never think you would ever sell. Business owners may have to conduct business during covid 19 very differently.
INQUIRE ABOUT ORGANISATIONS AND PROGRAMS
Inquire about various organizations and programs that can help you to restart your business. There may be certain governing bodies or organizations that can help you when it comes to where the COVID-19 shutdown has left you and your business.
DETERMINE WHETHER YOU NEED FUNDING
Some businesses may need funding to heal from the financial damage that the epidemic has done. You should try to determine whether you are one of these businesses. You may have to take out extra loans, or perhaps just operate your business differently, in order to compensate. Also check to see whether there are any programs that are oriented toward stimulating business in Canada. You may be eligible for help from the government.
CREATE A TIMELINE
After you see where your business is, financially, it is time to create a timeline of milestones for your business. For example, what type of funding will you secure for your business, and by what time will this happen? When will you restock your inventory? When will you open your doors, and under what conditions? If you take out any loans, how do expect to pay them, and when do you expect to pay them off by?
CREATE A PLAN FOR THE NEXT CRISIS
It is wise to create a plan for the next crisis that happens. The COVID-19 shutdown may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime thing. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility for something like this to happen, again. There is the adage, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” You may not have seen this crisis coming, but you should now understand that a huge crisis that affects your business and finances can really happen. So, make a plan of how you will be prepared for the next crisis that will effect your business.
For example, it is without a doubt that the pandemic has affected the commercial real estate business in Ontario. After all, a lot of people temporarily lost their means of employment, which affected their ability to pay for housing accommodations. The commercial real estate business in Ontario has definitely been affected because the shutdown has made people less capable of paying rent and mortgages. If you are in the real estate business, what kind of plans could you make to avid financial loss if such a lock down happens in the future? How can people in the real estate industry operate so that their investment do not drop in being profitable?
Also, don’t just think of big, world-wide situations like the COVID-19 pandemic; think of situations that can happen in your community and personal life.
It is worthwhile to mention that a huge part of restarting your business is to be in the right state of mind. Relax—nobody knew that this was going to happen. It’s not your fault. Whatever happened, happened. The next thing to do is to go forward in your life and see what you can do to help your business recover from the situation.
In conclusion, you can restart your business by taking things step by step. First, assess the financial damage that has been done. Then, think about what changes you must make to your business plan. You may have to change the objectives of your business, along the way. After that, determine whether you need funding. If you need some sort of funding, try to find an agency or organization that can help with that. You should create a timeline of what will happen in the future as you get your business back on track. Finally, a plan should be made for what will happen in the future when something like this happens, again.
Sarnail Singh, CCIM, MBA
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is intended for information purposes only. Although the information is believed to be correct, it’s accuracy, correctness or completeness cannot be guaranteed, and the writer make no representations or warrant the accuracy of the information provided. The prospective should not construe this information as legal. Legal counsel or other advisors should be consulted if desired on matters related to this blog and/or information. For more information please contact sarnail singh at firstname.lastname@example.org.