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COVID: Oregon small business owners respond

Oregon small business owners are being supported through the COVID-19 pandemic by the Oregon Small Business (SBDC) Network. Are you among the many small business owners struggling to stay afloat during this unprecedented situation? If so, you may want to consider a few ideas that could help you and your business become more resilient and adaptable.

Resiliency is a strength

A big part of success is having a backup plan. The Oregon SBDC Network developed a set of actions to help business owners like you identify any changes that may be needed to your business or operations. The focus of these action steps is resiliency.

Your objective? To develop a plan that can be put into action quickly as you navigate the unexpected effects of the COVID-19 - or any future difficult times - on your business. A few suggestions for you and your business include:

· Expect the worst: Okay, maybe not the worst, but you might want to at least create a plan reflecting a 25% to 50% reduction in sales. Use this plan as your baseline to address and adjust inventory, staffing, and cash flow.

  • Cash flow: Using the sales reduction plan you've created, develop a cash flow projection for the next nine months. Consider who your key employees are to survive during minimal levels of operation
  • Open for business: Review your regular business hours. Will these hours need to be reduced during any event that results in a significant drop in business?
  • Special delivery: If you do not already offer a delivery service, consider doing so.
  • Keep it clean: Cleaning and disinfecting shared surfaces is a critical part of any business for the safety of your customers and staff.
  • Call in sick policy: Share the importance of calling in sick when your staffers are not feeling well. Again, this keeps you, your customers, and other staffers safe and healthy.

Remember to take care of you

You've got a plan to increase your chances of keeping your small business going now and during any future crisis. Remember to take care of you and your mental health, too. You may benefit from speaking with a licensed therapist. You may also enjoy signing up for a free online course offered by Yale focusing on the science of happiness.

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