Delaware SCORE wants to help you not only survive The Great Shutdown, but to continue to thrive during and after The Shutdown. The following checklist may help you sustain your business during the medical, social and economic responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Peruse the checklist to see if you can find one or two ideas that will stimulate your creativity and possibly your bottom-line. In the meantime, we welcome your questions, suggestions and requests for mentoring because we are in this together with you. We stand with you, advocate for you and are here to serve you. Please contact us via telephone at (302) 661-2366 or vis email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Listed below are some immediate actions you can take to support your business.
Determine if the Great Shutdown will last longer than your cash.
☐ Crunch the numbers to document how much cash you have.
☐ Tally the bills that you owe.
☐ Rank them by when they are due.
☐ Consider asking your vendors to extend your payment terms.
☐ Decide if you can survive today’s business climate for another 8-12 weeks.
☐ Ask your landlord to moderate or skip two months of rental payments.
☐ Ask your bank for permission to make interest-only payments on loans or lines of credit.
Contact your customers.
☐ Call them and ask them what they are going through.
☐ Ask how you can help.
☐ Ask them if or how their needs have changed.
☐ Ask them about possible future orders.
☐ If you have the email addresses of your customers, use SurveyMonkey to ask them up to 10 questions like those above.
☐ If you have customer email addresses, communicate with them weekly via ConstantContact. And put your photo and personality into your written communications.
Learn and Share
☐ Create informal partnerships to co-promote your businesses.
☐ Schedule a SCORE mentoring session to meet via Zoom, one-on-one with SCORE mentors.
☐ Tap into your local, state or national professional associations, including the Buy Local Coalition and Downtown Inc., in order to stay tuned to changes that you would benefit from knowing.
☐ Create a caucus with your competitors: You are in this together.
Build your social media presence.
☐ Keep your doors open by selling products that can be ordered over the Web for home delivery.
☐ Increase the frequency of your communication on Facebook and ConstantContact.
☐ Offer Web-order-only discounts. For example, the increasing numbers of people working from home still need to eat.
Adapt your product/service mix.
☐ Give yourself a two-hour brainstorming vacation. Set the stress aside. On a tablet make two columns. On the left list all the products you make or sell. In the right column, list options that you have for reconfiguring that product’s contents, prices, shipping/delivery process and costs.
☐ Based on what you are learning from your customers, come up with two or three changes that you can make quickly and at low cost to satisfy what you customers say they want.
☐ Prototype and test these changes within days.
Promote the new products heavily via social media.
Communicate and take care of your employees.
- Communicate policies and plans with employees.
- Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so that the workplace is able to operate even if key staff are absent.
- Consider adopting teleworking policies, procedures and practices.
- Have a plan in place if an employee does get sick at the workplace.
- Consider offering flexible sick leave policies that permit employees to stay home and care for a sick family member.
Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or 711 for people who are hearing impaired from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or email DPHCall@delaware.gov. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.
SCORE Delaware wishes to acknowlege and thank the Susquahanna SCORE chapter for developing this content.