It’s no surprise that small businesses have been hit extremely hard during the time of COVID-19, and we have seen how the Coronavirus has impacted commercial real estate trends for 2020 already. In an area like Southeastern North Carolina, small, local businesses make up a large part of the local community and economy. Just because these businesses have gone through some rough patches, doesn’t mean this is the end! Here are some tips and advice for small businesses who have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.
Right now it is more important than ever to check in on your clients/customers. You might not be able to complete work as usual, but keeping them updated on your business operations will go farther than you think in maintaining trust and transparency. Additionally, if you are operating a business that is allowing customers and clients to visit your business, it is imperative that you keep a clean space. Sanitize regularly and set aside time to clean according to guidelines.
On top of clients and customers, it is important to focus on your employees as well. Create a safe workplace for them and make sure they are comfortable with completing their work in those conditions. Additionally, sending supportive messages and encouraging them to take care of themselves are actions you can take to show your employees you care about them. Your customers and employees are two of the biggest parts of your business, so it is critical to place your focus on making sure they are safe right now.
Communication is always key! Be quick to respond to others and always maintain transparency and honesty. Reacting positively and proactively during these times will build trust between you and your clients and will become a testament to your business practices. Utilize social media or email blasts to keep everyone up to date on hours of operation or other important business information. You can figure out a consistent schedule to give these updates, whether that be daily, weekly or monthly.
Lastly, use this time to connect with your community and lean into local resources. There are a lot of other small businesses who are going through similar situations who can be a great support system to you and your business right now. Research and stay up to date on financial resources that you might be eligible for like job retention and self employment grants, or business bounce back loans. Small businesses are a large part of any community, so use this time to connect with others and see how you can help each other out.
Overall, it is important to remain flexible, hopeful and resilient! This period of time won’t last forever, one day we will be back together again and things will seem more normal. Don’t look too far ahead into the future and make yourself worry, take things one day at a time and focus on what you can control in the moment. Your community is rooting for you!