SBA is dedicated to the success our nation’s small businesses and can help your small business weather the storm through every stage of the business lifecycle, whether you need help recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic or overcoming challenges of a different kind.
Planning is one of the most important elements of recovery. Writing and implementing a business continuity plan will help you minimize financial loss when your business faces a disaster. Your business continuity plan should:
- Identify and document critical business functions and processes
- Organize a business continuity team
- Evaluate recovery strategies
Get more help with creating a business continuity plan at Ready.gov.
Pivot your business
As businesses deal with a new reality, and “business as usual” takes on an entirely new meaning, most will need to rethink and retool how they do business in order to survive. Updating your business plan is critical.
If you haven’t already updated your business plan, start by taking these three steps:
- Look for opportunities. Changes in consumer behavior provide opportunities for innovation and new market strategies. Determine how customers’ needs and wants may have changed due to the pandemic, and respond accordingly.
- Streamline operations. Evaluate business operations to find opportunities to work smarter and more cost-efficiently. Review financials, short-term goals, and long-term goals and make appropriate adjustments.
- Negotiate. This might involve modifying lease agreements, establishing contracts, or future business. Look for ways to streamline costs and reduce overhead.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network has a Business Resiliency Plan Template that you may find useful.
- The SBDC network is the largest SBA-funded Resource Partner and provides one-on-one business advising at no cost to entrepreneurs. SBDC-certified advisers will walk you through your options so you can confidently make tough decisions about the future of your business. Find your nearest SBDC.
- SCORE Small Business Resilience Training can give you the tools to adapt, reopen, and grow successfully through any disaster.
Taking advantage of business training and counseling can empower you with the knowledge you need to recover from any disaster and develop strategies for growth. Here are a few resources to help you get started:
- America's SBDC offers e-learning opportunities tailored to your state.
- Request a business mentor and schedule a remote session through SCORE to access an experienced sounding board who can help you adapt to market changes and develop new business models.
- Increase your knowledge about e-commerce and other topics through courses provided by the Association of Women’s Business Centers.
- Create a plan to build crisis resilience and map out ways to improve your short- and long-term cash flow with these crisis-management tools and webinars.
Build your digital brand and increase your online sales
- Check out 12 Online Selling Tips for Beginners from SCORE.
- The Department of Commerce provides e-commerce resources and strategies to help you navigate growing your business through online sales.
- The Minority Business and Technology Initiative provides resources to accelerate the inclusion of minority-owned businesses in e-commerce and to improve the use of digital technology for domestic and global sales.
Minimize supply chain interruptions during a disaster and find alternative sources to meet the demands of your customers:
- The Supply Chain Risk Management Toolkit, developed by the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), can help you shield your business information and communications technology from supply chain attacks.
- Explore the New Hampshire SBDC's guide to Supply Chain Management During a Downturn.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s guide to Supply Chain Resilience may help you understand how local supply chains work together and how to minimize disruptions during an emergency.
- The Virginia SBDC has developed a list of questions to consider when evaluating your supply chain.
- A webinar of tips from the Lynchburg area SBDC may help you with Understanding and Mitigating Supply Chain Risks Remotely.