How Small Businesses Can Stay Afloat and Survive the Pandemic

Staying afloat during the pandemic is proving quite difficult for many business owners. Between limiting in-person services and people cutting back on spending, a staggering number of businesses have closed in a year. However, with some help from technology upgrades and by adapting to new regulations, it’s possible to keep your business alive throughout the pandemic.

Staying open during COVID-19

Most small business owners have weathered some big changes. For example, restaurant owners have had to be nimble in their offerings, many going from a full closure to halfway open and back again. With each state creating its own regulations around pandemic safety, it’s required patience and resourcefulness.

Regardless of your industry, following health and safety regulations is vital to encourage customers to keep spending money on your business. While that may mean changing the layout of your store or creating an outdoor dining area, these changes could make a difference in the success of your business.

Many of these changes can be made on your own; use resources from the CDC and your state’s public health department to learn what’s necessary for your industry.

Technology upgrades for business owners

One of the best ways to stay afloat during the pandemic is by adopting technology upgrades such as website improvements, app development, and online purchase options.

With so many people staying home instead of venturing outdoors, it’s vital to have a functional and sleek website to help connect with your customers. Important website improvements include adding details about your new COVID-19 precautions, your updated business hours, and information about any changes to your business due to the pandemic. Sometimes these changes can be done on your own, but consider hiring a freelance web designer to help if you can’t figure it out.

Another website upgrade that will help you stay afloat is adding online purchase options. If you’re a retailer, this will allow you to sell merchandise online; if you’re a restaurant owner, your customers can order food straight from the website. These changes are usually more complicated, so it’s usually necessary to hire a professional to help you make this upgrade.

One clever way some businesses have adapted is by creating a mobile app to make it easier for customers to purchase goods or schedule services. If you own a restaurant, an app could simplify to-go orders for customers who want to quickly place an order as they head out the door. Or, if you have a retail shop, creating an e-commerce app will help you sell more products to a broader audience.

Last but not least, payroll software that makes life easier can make it simple to track employees’ time and provide same-day direct deposit. Additionally, payroll services can automate your payroll taxes — both filing and paying — and provide you with tax penalty protection in case you receive a penalty from the IRS.

Changes to your business structure

One way that could help your business stay open is changing your business structure. If you’re reactivating a dissolved business, forming a limited liability company or LLC is pretty straightforward. An LLC is good for business owners that want to protect their personal assets. It’s helpful because it’s more flexible than other business structures, and it’s easy to set up with the help of a formation service. Just be sure to learn what rules or regulations exist in your state before you get started.

Running a small business during a pandemic can be stressful, but with these tips, you’ll have a great chance of surviving the economic downturn. Check out helpful technology upgrades such as updating your website, creating a mobile app, or adding online purchase options to your site. And, if necessary, consider forming an LLC to make your life easier.

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