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For Business Owners: Where to Start?

Unfortunately, there is no clear path to future planning for small business owners during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s still too early to tell what life will look like on the other side of the pandemic, but we know enough to make changes now that will serve us in the future. 
“First, stop the bleeding,” said Kristin York of SBC’s Small Business Development Center. 
Go over your cash flow and identify every opportunity to cut expenses or defer payments. This could include: 
  • Discontinuing all unnecessary expenses, subscriptions or amenities
  • Speaking with landlords about a potential rent reduction or deferral 
  • Talking with vendors about extended payment plans or shifting minimum orders
  • Checking-in with key employees about your plan and their needs to build loyalty through inclusion
  • Being honest with your investors about what you need
“Understand how this crisis will impact your specific industry and look for ways to pivot your business model,” York said. 
The only constant is change. What better time than now to reassess your business model? 
Look at what people need and find ways to accommodate those needs with your company. How can you remain relevant during this time? What areas of your business can you adjust to prepare for a smooth reopening in the future? Your original business plan is likely to change during this time; it may be just what your company needs to weather the storm and come back stronger.
“The important thing now is to make good use of this time – meaning, take the time to really understand what shifts need to be made so your business emerges more resilient,” York said.
If you are not already, get familiar with your business financials.
Take the time to create a proforma cash flow as a guide for your business operations in this new normal. And as you navigate business operations, know the following in particular:
  • Profit and loss
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow
  • Debt schedule

And once you’ve done all that…
“Honestly, the best thing you can do is call Sierra Business Council, speak to an actual human voice on the other end that can tell you what they know and find the answers to what they don’t,” York said. 
Sierra Business Council is here to help business owners during this critical time. You aren’t expected to have all the answers, lean on the experts who can help you make smart decisions. Experts will help walk you through the process of making critical decisions. 

Reach out to Sierra Business Council experts: call (530) 582-4800.

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