The pandemic has brought forth an unimaginable life for each of us. Even in our wildest dreams, we would not have imagined a situation wherein we are locked up in our respective homes for months on end. While this does take a toll on our mental health, the effect of this on our finances is also undeniable.
Now while everyone is bearing the brunt of this global crisis, the worst affected are the small or medium-sized enterprises. Without a considerable debt fund to fall back on, many of them are finding the mere act of surviving the times a Herculean task. Here are some tips that entrepreneurs must keep in mind during these challenging times.
Chalk out the unnecessary expenses
As obvious as it may sound, this is perhaps the most crucial but often overlooked step. You need to sit back and carefully examine your profile on the gstn page to have a clear picture of your spending and sales.
Take the data of the last few months to identify your unnecessary expense and look for ways to compromise on those.
While laying off employees may seem to be the easiest cost-cutting option, this should be your very last resort. Your employees have put in their full efforts to your organizational growth, and the least you can do is to assure them job security in these trying times.
As for the monetary aspect, some pay cuts across the organization will go a long way in avoiding layoffs.
The lockdown imposed to tackle the pandemic was as unexpected as the pandemic itself. With the lockdown being extended again and again, everyone is in a state of confusion. As a business owner, you need to reach out to your employees, stakeholders, vendors, and suppliers.
If you are unable to make payments to your suppliers or deliver the services to your clients due to the lockdown, make sure you communicate the same to them.
Any changes to your employee’s salary should be intimated to them before you take action. While this is a common courtesy on your part, for them this is an excellent help in planning their personal finances.
Make the most of Government Schemes
From creating a middleman free business ecosystem to the implementation of the gst act, the Indian government has time and again proven its support to SMEs.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India has formulated a delayed moratorium on the repayment of loans by SMEs. These organizations can postpone all their loan payments by three months.
Also, the GST payment has been delayed, and there will be no penalty fee or interest levied on the same. The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is giving emergency loans to SMEs.
These loans come with a mere 5% interest rate. As a business owner, you must try to carefully analyze all the recently launched schemes and see which of those will aid you in your monthly salary distribution.
Diversify your business
The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) has confirmed that many small businesses have experienced up to 50% cancellation in orders during the lockdown.
While this does make the monthly salary distribution a challenging task, the trick to staying afloat is to learn to go with the tide. Look for ways in which you can diversify your business to cater to a post-COVID world.
An excellent example in this regard would be the case of food delivery apps that are now delivering essentials. It is essential to remember that the purpose of any business is to cater to the needs of society by providing appropriate goods or services. Organizations that manage to see business potential in the face of challenging times will be able to move from strength to strength.
While the above tips will be of help to a small and medium business owner, the need of the hour is to keep calm and not make any rash decisions. At the moment, living in the lockdown may make things look gloom. However, it is essential to realize that you are not alone.
India has 6.3 crore MSE enterprises, and most of them are in the same boat as you. It is only the bravest entrepreneurs who will successfully steer their businesses through this pandemic.