As small business owners we know firsthand what it’s like to be worried about your bottom line during this time of uncertainty. We reached out to our beloved bookkeeper, Alisha Thomas, of Wait. What? Consulting and asked her for her updates and tips. Without further ado, we are going to let Alisha take it away!
When Drewe and Kate asked if I would give my advice for small businesses finances during this weird time my first thought was, “What do I know? I have never been through this.” Then I thought, “NO ONE HAS BEEN THROUGH THIS!” Sure we’ve had to deal with hurricanes and ice storms but not a virus. So, first things first, no one knows exactly what to do, so don’t feel alone. We’re all doing the best we can.
Below you will see my personal thoughts and what I have told my clients to do, but remember that every business is in a different boat. Some of you are a one-person show, some of you just opened your business and some of you have been in business for years with a team, so not every approach will be the same.
We don’t know how long this will last, so you need to conserve cash. Only spend money on business necessities. That printer will still be at Best Buy in a month. My typical recommendation is to pay your business credit cards off in full every month, but if it feels dire right now then maybe just pay the minimum – that might give you extra cash if you need it.
Eventually, there will be a bill signed and we will have some sort of stimulus package – which means more cash.
TAX DAY IS NOW JULY 15 – Federal and North Carolina tax filing and payments have been moved to JULY 15th– That means that if you owe money, you can–for the time being–use that money to float yourself and your business. I would still talk with your CPA and get your taxes filed sooner rather than later.
SMALL BUSINESS LOANS:
If you really need cash, the SBA is offering loans, and you can apply online:
- FACT SHEET
- INFO AND TERMS
- ONLINE APPLICATION
- WHERE TO SEND APPLICATION
- NCDOR IS WAIVING PENALTIES- more information HERE (The tax date is wrong on this notice -it is July 15th now) So if you owe penalties and interest, you don’t have to pay them today…that’s more cash you can use right now.
Don’t be greedy during this time. Now is not the time to stock pile food or to go to the grocery store everyday. Buy enough to sustain you for 1-2 weeks and leave some for the rest of us! You can take a similar approach to your finances right now! If you have employees and you have the cash, try to keep paying them, even if it’s not the full amount. Do you have hourly employees that depend on you? One of my clients is having their employees do skill shares and reorganize digital files remotely instead of coming back. Ensuring that they will be even more helpful when all of this is over. With that being said, if you do have to lay off your employees – because sometimes has to happen – they do have unemployment as an option for them, but that would terminate their health insurance. Did you know that you have the option to call and try to renegotiate your credit card rate?
WHILE WE WAIT FOR NORMAL:
While this downtime may feel like a curse right now it could give you the time to really get your systems in order. Try to use this time to work on things you have been putting off or haven’t had time for. Prioritize things that will make your business more efficient when we are back to work: clean, reorganize, make templates, audit/refresh your website, start conceptualizing that rebrand, take time to reach out to old clients and create systems to make things more streamlined. Time is your friend right now!
LEARN FROM THIS:
I know everyone is just trying to get through this, but this why you need to have a business savings account and actually use it. The upside of savings is that you might not always need it for a worldwide pandemic. Maybe you could use your savings for an opportunity or something that can actually grow your business.
Stay Up to Date
If you want to be the know, here are the podcast I’ve been listing to: