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Small Business Pandemic Playbook

A small business guide to handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Steering your business through uncertainty

The virus has caused unimaginable disruption to businesses now faced with the challenge of operating in a time of social distancing, shelter in place orders, and a constant flow of information from countless sources, some more reliable than others. We’ve partnered with noted columnist Gene Marks to present this informative and actionable guide to help you steer your business through this uncertain time.

The Coronavirus is going to run its course. People will get sick. Businesses will be shut. There will very likely be a recession. The pain will be significant. But it’s going to pass.

And you know what? If you’re a business owner and you navigate your way through this, then you’re going to be better than ever. You’re going to be smarter and stronger and even better equipped to grow your business going forward. Why?

For starters, you’ll have learned the value of keeping enough cash on hand to see you through any economic slowdown. I’ve been telling my clients for years that they should be keeping at least six months’ worth of cash – or available cash – around just in case. This may vary by industry, but not by much. The cash doesn’t necessarily have to be in your business. It could be in personal accounts or it could be stashed under your mattress. But when the going get rough, you need access to it. The clients that I know who have been in business the longest are the ones who have learned this lesson. They watch their spending and they bank their profits. They never bet the house on something. They never over-extend themselves. They’re prudent and they’re careful. Because the Coronavirus pandemic won’t be the last big thing that significantly disrupts your business. Keep cash.

You’ll have learned to diversify. Many of us learned that during the recent trade wars. Now that point has been hammered home as so many businesses who are reliant on products from different countries, specifically China, saw their supply lines disrupted because of the virus outbreak. This just can’t happen again. Diversification is critical. You need to have backup suppliers and alternate vendors. You need to have a large community of customers and not be dependent on any single one. Having your business rely on a single region, company or individual for its livelihood can be very, very risky. We learned that here.

Why Is the Cloud More Important Than Ever?

Of course, you’re familiar with the cloud. But not everyone is a believer. In fact, in my business – which offers software and technology consulting – I regularly come across business owners and managers who are still wary of allowing their data to be hosted by someone else.

But the Coronavirus has changed this. Now, those same business owners are having to take this medicine because they’re being forced to shut their doors and have their employees work from home. And you know what? They’ll be better off for it in the long term. Why? For three reasons.

  • A typical cloud solutions provider will provide a much better and secure environment than a single IT person at a small business.
  • Employees will be able to do work from anywhere, and on any device.
  • Applications are always up and running and they don’t need internal IT if they have a question or problem.

Download the entire whitepaper to learn about topics such as:

  • Additional security measures to consider
  • How to get the most from your remote workforce
  • What can I do while my business is shut down
  • What relief is available for my small business
  • How can I keep as much cash possible during these turbulent times

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