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Operating a Small Business in the ‘New Normal’

  • December 10, 2020
  • Written by : Carl Eschenburg

Operating mid-pandemic for small business means much more than mandatory masks worn at work or Zoom meetings for virtual connections and communications.

All because COVID-19 is changing the way we do business.

We are quickly adapting and evolving to fit the ‘new normal.’

For the most part, these struggles and their associated new “fix-it” ideas seem universal and have spread like wildfire amongst many small businesses.

Businesses have caught a glimpse of their fragility and are now realizing the importance of building stronger bones. 

What is the ‘new normal?’ 

According to the July 2020 Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll, the ‘new normal’ consists of 23% of businesses reporting a temporary closure mostly made up of retail, daily fear of a second wave of the virus. Thus, leading to a second wave of struggles and closures that will be harder to overcome, long-term hiring expectations on the rise, and plans to increase investing next year.  

Small businesses have been detrimentally affected, and because of this, operations are becoming stronger to prepare for what’s to come.

We will see stronger foundations, better communication, and a rise in technology for years to come… all due to this crisis. Is this a positive outcome of the ‘new normal’ we’re seeing?  

What is the negative impact on small businesses?

PNAS, or Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, conducted a survey of over 5,800 small businesses to determine the impact of COVID-19 on their outcomes and expectations. 

According to the survey, several themes emerged:

  • Mass layoffs and closures (upon the start)
  • Risk of closure associated with the expected duration of the crisis
  • Financial fragility
    • “The median business with more than $10,000 in monthly expenses had only about 2 weeks on cash at hand during the time of the survey,” says the writers of the PNAS research article.
  • A rise in funding; funding has become popular due to the lack of working capital and need for financial security with options ranging from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to lenders and banks. 
    • At REIL, we customize our funding to fit the needs of your business. See how we can help here. 

Results like layoffs, inefficiency, and financial struggles are just a few commonalities seen. The strangely-put, yet good news? We’re all experiencing this together. 

Right now, the goal of all small businesses is simply to stay relevant and stay open. It is because this includes everything from offering a virtual store if you are a physical location, to cutting costs for financial stability. 

How has communication changed with technology?

With the ability to communicate real-time with your employees being an essential component of daily operations running smoothly. It was a bit of a transition moving from face-to-face and in-person interaction to conversations behind a computer screen.

Working remotely also means communicating, tracking, organizing, etc. remote as well. Companies are taking advantage of platforms like Slack document sharing, project tracking, and simple communication amongst employees, as well as others such as NetMeeting for conferences and meetings to keep everyone on the same page.

Technology means efficiency, and without efficiency, your business will stay stagnant and out-dated. So, it is important to know how technology can make your small business more efficient because as you can see, technology plays a big role in small business success, especially mid-COVID-19.

Have you implemented the necessary forms of technology to allow for smooth operations? 

Are you focused on efficiency, relevancy, and adaptation?

If you answered “yes” to both, you’re doing better than you think you are. Like we said, we’re in this together. Please let us know how we may help you here at REIL Capital.

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