How Sharp Business Planning Helps Your Firm Recover After the Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic hit the world economy hard. The U.S. economy contracted during the late first quarter of 2020 when stay-at-home orders went into effect. Small businesses had to rethink their strategies while shifting to survival mode.

Fortunately, the government intervened with emergency loans and funding for small businesses. As a small business owner, you know it’s going to take more than that to return to pre-COVID-19 profitability. That’s where business planning comes into play. Today’s blog from LongSchaefer explains how sharp business planning helps your firm recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Related Post: Reasons You Should Hire a Small Business Accountant

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Even as state and local governments have eased restrictions for businesses to re-open and allowed larger gatherings to happen, it’s important to monitor the situation carefully. We all want the economy to come back quickly. But we don’t want to move too quickly into pre-coronavirus activities because that may lead to more pandemic problems.

Rethink your 12-month, 3-year, and 5-year goals for your business plan. The goals you set forth at the beginning of 2020 may be unattainable, but that’s okay. Recognize that those six months were a temporary setback. Set realistic goals based on your current situation, how quickly you can hire more people, and how fast your loyal customer base returns. You should also think about a contingency plan should the coronavirus pandemic come back at some point in the future.

Dive Deep Into Your Market

Now is the perfect time to reassess the behavior of your target market for business planning purposes. Many of your customers might have been out of work or had reduced workloads during the pandemic. But they’re also eager to return to a normal life. Revisit your customer personas to see if you can find any gaps left by the pandemic. Do your customers need more time to come back or do they need you right away? As you talk to your customer base, you’ll find out what they need to come back sooner rather than later. The more you communicate with your base, the more information you’ll get from them. When you have more data, you have a better chance of finding the right strategy for success.

Now is an excellent time for competitor analysis. How did the pandemic affect your direct and indirect competitors? Are they starting to come back or are they still waiting? How many of your competitors are offering discounts, and if so, what are they? Seeing what your competitors are up to gives you ideas on how to come back from COVID-19 as you alter your business plan accordingly.

Find Ways to Become More Efficient

Efficiency is one key to profitability. What can your business do to become more efficient? Think about bringing in automated tools, outsourcing mundane and nonessential tasks, consolidating tasks, making your current tools better, and eliminating what doesn’t work. Business planning helps you find weaknesses and costly excesses so you can shore up your core business model and make it more likely to survive in the future.

Diversify

Diversification is another key to survival. It works in nature. It also works in the business world. Find ways to diversify your portfolio of products and services beyond what you already have on hand. Use your business planning time to identify ways you can deliver more and different items to your target audience. This is where your market and competitor analyses come in handy.

Get Help

Seek assistance as much as possible. Keep an eye on the news, industry publications, and newsletters. The SBA has already dished out billions of dollars in federal assistance, but that may be difficult to navigate. Talk to experts in business planning, such as financial advisors and accountants. They can give you valuable advice based on their experience in dealing with financial downturns and crises.

Talk to Other Business Owners

One last thing to remember is that we’re all in this together. Other small business owners are going through the same thing you are. They’re brainstorming ideas, how to plan for the future, and how to come out of this stronger and better than ever. Talk to other business owners to bounce ideas off of them, see what they’re doing, and collaborate on the road to recovery. Your discussions offer not only ways to cope with the coronavirus crisis, but also ways to solve problems and develop better business planning strategies to deal with a new normal.

Related Post: What Is a Certified Public Accountant?

LongSchaefer: Business Planning for You

The staff at LongSchaefer understands what you’re going through. We’re a small business that was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, too. We can help you retool and re-strategize as you come up with new business planning strategies for recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. Contact LongSchaefer or call (513) 245-0300 to see how we can help your business.

5 Small Business Accounting Issues for Summer 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic threw the world economy into chaos. Small businesses were some of the hardest-hit in the United States, and the government responded with a stimulus package to help keep small businesses afloat. In today’s blog from LongSchaefer, we examine five small business accounting issues to keep an eye on during the summer of 2020.

Related Post: Reasons You Should Hire a Small Business Accountant

1. Cash Flow 

Cash flow is foremost on the minds of small business owners. Robust and accurate data is the first step to figuring out the best way to move forward. You need accurate numbers in terms of revenue, expenses, and staffing. Once you reach a certain threshold, you must add or subtract your costs as needed. Small business accounting can help you measure and interpret your data to give you an idea of when to take action. 

2. Tracking Business Losses From COVID-19

Small business accounting software gives you tools to track all of your financial data. The more information you have, the better prepared you are to make decisions about the coming months. Track your business losses from COVID-19 correctly. Business losses offer some opportunities for relief. No one wants to default on business loans. However, if you have strong data you can give to your bank, the financial institution might be willing to work with you with regards to delaying payments on loans you received before the pandemic happened. 

If you received SBA loans as part of the CARES Act, you might be able to delay making payments on the loan for up to six months. Our small business accounting experts can help you navigate your debts and help you discuss the situation with your bank. 

3. Employee Numbers

Staffing and labor costs are the number one line-item expense for many small businesses. You need to know how many employees you can afford to keep, how many hours you can afford to pay them, and what rates you can pay your workers. Talk to your employees. Get a feel for how things are going. Was their stimulus payment enough to cover any gaps they have in unemployment or reduced hours?

4. SBA Emergency Funding Forgiveness: Yes or No?

Staffing numbers were a major factor in how much money you received for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. How your staffing levels affect the loan forgiveness process can help you save money on staffing expenses in the future. Small business accounting experts help you meet your loan obligations if you want to have the best chance for loan forgiveness. The SBA’s regulations may change with regards to the emergency funding, and LongSchaefer is staying on top of the evolving situation.

5. Tax Deadline of July 15

The tax deadline for federal and Ohio filers was extended to July 15. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, filing taxes is probably the last thing on your mind. Small business accounting pros at LongSchaefer have an easy way for you to submit your documents to us ahead of the filing deadline. Our TaxCaddy portal makes it easy to submit your documents and information. Let us know if you need further assistance!

Related Post: Seven Common Small Business Tax Myths

LongSchaefer: Here for You

Our mission is to help you achieve your definition of success. LongSchaefer aims to be a calming force in the storm of financial calamity after COVID-19. We’re staying on top of new information as it comes out, and we offer expert, qualified advice for your small business accounting needs. Contact LongSchaefer or call (513) 245-0300 to see how we can help your business.

May 2020 COVID-19 Update

In order to comply with the Ohio Health Department Order & CDC social distancing recommendations, our offices are closed until further notice. Rest assured that our established protocols and available technology will allow us to provide the same level of service and quality you expect from LongSchaefer during this time.

The SBA has announced details of how it’s helping small businesses through the Coronavirus outbreak. The IRS is sending payments to families affected by this crisis. 

Please click on our Coronavirus information pages for more information.