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Stay Home and Take Action

Small Business Covid 10 "Downtime" Strategies

In this time of uncertainty--when we will return to work again; how long we can sustain operations when money is not coming in; how to deal with employees: to lay off or cut back wages; how the Covid 19 virus will affect the way in which we do business in the future--there are several things a small business owner can do to prepare.

Contingency Planning

A business continuity/contingency plan is usually put in place before a crisis but, as we are finding out, small business owners, of necessity are having to quickly address looming issues. We’re not past the “what if’s…”. Yes, business has slowed dramatically and supply chains in certain segments are overburdened where others are left wanting. Nonetheless, business owners must consider:

· What if this “shelter in place” is extended?

· What are my financial resources and business capacity?

· Will my customer base/vendors return?

· What about my employees—telework, pay, health, etc.?

Fortunately, there are some resources that might be helpful. FEMA says for those unemployed due to the Coronavirus, “please to contact your local unemployment office”. The Small Business Administration offers Disaster Loans up to $2 Million for small businesses at 3.75% interest (nonprofits can also get a loan at 2.75% interest). They suggest you use Edge or Internet Explorer (or Firefox) since Chrome seems to have issues with government sites/documents.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) has made it “easier for taxpayers to request relief”. Among other things, CDTFA will be granting extensions for filing sales tax returns and making payments and, of course, the IRS has extended the filing deadline for tax returns from April 15 to July 15, 2020.

Refine Business Knowledge and Skills Sets

You never had time to take a class in accounting. Well, here’s your opportunity. YouTube, Udemy, Kahn Academy and have a plethora of classes to hone skills.

Contact Past and Present Customers and Vendors

The human dimension of caring cannot be overstated at this time. People are getting cabin fever and stir-crazy which, by the way, is generating some very clever humor and entertainment. People are worried about their livelihood and the risk of getting a debilitating, even fatal, disease. But being human, we are social beings and must connect, somehow, to each other—a smile on FaceTime, a text asking how the family is doing, an inspirational or silly video or photo…all online and mobile communications are good options! People want to hear from each other and have a sense of community…Like the video of two guys playing paddle ball out the back window of their apartments.

Care for Self

As the saying goes, “All work and no play…makes a dull person”. Play and hobbies, as stated in Psychology Today, “promote flow” and invigorate our minds. It’s also important to nurture oneself with fragrant flowers, a back rub from those stuck at home with you, yoga on a mobile app, and taking in some sunshine on a short walk around the neighborhood (social distancing 6 feet or more from others, of course) or a good book after you are numb from watching the washer and dryer go ‘round and ‘round or you’re exhausted from constant Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu movies.

Time is precious and this forced “extended vacation” can be an opportunity to do what you never had time for when business was booming. Planning and preparing can set the stage for the next big surge when we are back in business!

JB Bell is a solution-driven business coach/management consultant, teaming up with and guiding business owners and corporate managers, to identify and overcome challenges and build businesses for success. For more information, please email: or call 626.429.1448.

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