Post-pandemic recovery and economic recovery are in full swing across the nation. Small businesses are reporting 77 percent revenue increases over the past six months per the latest Small Business Recovery Report. Profit spiked 39 percent during that time as well. Around 70 percent said Omicron didn’t impact business operations at all and over 90 percent said it didn’t cause them to stop, slow, limit, or shut down their businesses.
Economic activity in most states is about 90 percent or more of what it was prior to the pandemic, too, per the Back-to-Normal Index. Several are seeing improvement above pre-pandemic levels.
However, the same study notes that over 30 percent of small businesses shuttered their doors in most states. The Small Business Recovery Report further indicates small businesses have raised their prices by an average of 21 percent to cope with inflation and other economic obstacles. It’s estimated that some industries won’t fully recover from the Covid-19 pandemic until 2025 or later.
If you’re running one of the many small businesses that haven’t quite recovered from the pandemic, you don’t need to sit back and wait for a change of circumstance. These tips for a post-pandemic workplace will help you accelerate your business continuity and disaster recovery.
1. Calculate the Financial Damages
Before you take any other steps in developing your post-pandemic business strategy, it’s important to understand exactly where your business is compared to pre-pandemic levels. Pull your current and pre-pandemic reports related to:
- Cash Flow
As a business owner, it’s also a good idea to look into other areas your business has been impacted, such as whether you’ve lost customers or had to cut employees. If you’ve cut back on areas like research and development or marketing, make note of these things too.
2. Look at Your Business Plan Again and Adjust it Accordingly
Even though economic activity is back to normal or close to it in most areas, the way consumers behave has likely changed forever. The impact this has on your business will vary based on location, industry, customer demographics, and other factors.
For example, if you run a retail business, you’ve likely noticed a trend toward online shopping and reduced foot traffic. You may want to focus more on supporting the online experience. If you provide business services, you’re likely now coordinating with a fragmented team that’s working from home. You’ll want to make sure you have the infrastructure to ensure smooth communication, have digital marketing materials and work more on maintaining relationships with team members individually.
During the recovery period, spend some time combing through how things have changed for your customers and business, then adapt your business plan to make the most of new opportunities.
3. Adjust Your Budget to Reflect New Spending and Keep Costs Low
Once you’ve redesigned your business plan, you’ll likely need to reallocate funds to support new objectives. You’ve probably seen an uptick in costs due to inflation and supply chain issues that will need to be addressed through budget changes as well.
This is a good time to assess your vendor relationships and determine if they’re still working for you. Even if you’re happy with your vendors overall, it’s still a good idea to connect with them to see if there’s anything you can do to qualify for better rates or payment terms.
4. Assess Whether Your Recovery Will Require Funding
Through your business plan and budget revamping, you may have discovered some funding shortfalls or growth initiatives your business could undertake if you had a little extra cash. Another consideration is your business cash flow. Even if you’re running profitably, slow-paying customers paired with ill-timed payables can create budgetary issues and increase overall expenses for your business. You’ll want to look into small business funding options in either case.
There Are Many Small Business Funding Options Available
People often equate funding with traditional bank loans, but there are lots of small business financing options available.
- Traditional Loan: Nearly 90 percent of small businesses apply for traditional loans or lines of credit when they need funding, according to the latest Small Business Credit Survey. However, only 37 percent of businesses receive all the financing sought. Around a quarter don’t qualify for funding at all. Alternative funding solutions help fill these gaps.
- Invoice Factoring: B2B businesses that invoice their clients for work or goods will have a much easier time getting approved by an invoice factoring company. Factoring provides immediate payment on outstanding invoices, instantly improving cash flow. Since clients are responsible for paying off the balance when they pay their invoices, there’s no debt accrued, and the business’s credit is not a major consideration in getting approved.
- Asset-Based Lending: If your company has certain types of assets, such as real estate or equipment, they can often serve as collateral on a loan. That makes it easier to get approved for a loan if your credit isn’t strong enough to qualify for a traditional loan.
- Short-Term Financing: Trade credit and lines of credit are common forms of short-term financing. Businesses typically use it to get through seasonal lulls or to manage larger purchases that they know they’ll be able to pay off when business picks up again. The repayment window is usually less than a year.
- Venture Debt Financing: Designed more for fast-growing startups and often used between rounds of venture equity financing, venture debt financing provides a business with cash for a short period of time—typically around three years.
- Equipment Financing: Like traditional asset-based lending, equipment financing leverages the value of the equipment being financed to secure the loan.
5. Get Flexible About Payments
If your customers are struggling with expenses and cash flow, offering alternative payment terms may help your business recover faster. For example, you may consider giving your customers 30, 60, or 90 days to pay rather than requiring immediate payment.
6. Establish a Timeline for Rebuilding
As the adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Consider the various steps in your business plan and financial needs. Then, work out a recovery plan that includes a timeline of steps and events along the way to meeting your goals.
7. Upskill Your Existing Staff
Now dubbed “The Great Resignation,” the coronavirus pandemic contributed to the highest quit rate the nation has seen in more than 20 years, according to Pew Research. In all, 33 percent of those who quit cited no opportunities for advancement as a major reason, while 30 cited it as a minor reason. Feeling disrespected was cited as a major reason by 35 percent and a minor reason by 21 percent.
Upskilling staff can help alleviate these concerns for employees. With such a high degree of turnover, investing in employees and empowering them to take on more at work is beneficial to companies too.
8. Prepare for the Next Crisis
COVID-19 has been an extreme and unusual disruptor, but the reality is that businesses face new challenges all the time. Supply chain issues, natural disasters, human-caused issues, and more have the potential to throw your business off track in the future.
Consider how COVID-19 impacted your business and any weak areas impeding your recovery. For example, if lack of working capital caused issues, start building up your reserves. If paying off debts became an issue, explore funding options like factoring that don’t create debt and focus on getting your existing debts paid off.
Accelerate Your Post-Pandemic Recovery with Invoice Factoring
With decades in the industry, Viva Capital can turn your unpaid B2B invoices into instant cash without creating debt. Best of all, qualifying is fast and easy, and Viva’s competitive rates can help your business recover faster. Request a complimentary rate quote to get started.