During this crisis, I am doing regular updates to keep small businesses and the self-employed informed of financial support, legislation, resources, and other help available to them.
Remember: Just for the time being, I am doing a Facebook Live Monday to Thursday at 1pm EDT/10am PDT on my Facebook page to keep you updated and answer questions. And if someone forwarded you this newsletter, you can sign up here.
THIS IS, INDEED, THE NEW NORMAL. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
I’ve been using this email to mostly let you know about financial resources—money—you can get from the federal government. While that’s important, you also need your business to become healthy again, a business that can survive this crisis.
That’s where I can really help. After all, my business—PlanningShop—started in the aftermath of a tragedy—9/11. The business I had suddenly came to an abrupt end, and we had to scramble—we’d use the word pivot now—to come up with a business model that would work.
That was nearly 20 years ago. Since then, I’ve gone through the Great Recession, huge changes in my industry, and much more. We’re still standing. It’s why we’re the “PlanningShop”—we help you plan, not just start, but survive and thrive. We can help you build a sustainable business.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NOW?
- First things first: take a deep breath and realize that some day, one day, this will pass. There will be a new normal, but if you provided something customers once wanted, they will want it again.
- Stay in touch with your customers. This is imperative! You don’t want them to forget you or your name. Send a simple email. See how they’re doing. Better yet, provide valuable information that they could use now that is based on your products/services/expertise.
- Find ways for customers to buy from you now—or very soon. Even if you’re working from home, alone, you can set up ways for customers to give you money now. One of the easiest is gift cards. I’ll have more about this in a future email.
- Increase your—and your workers’—technical skills. Use this time to learn programs you didn’t have time for.
- Transition to cloud-based services. You see how important it is to have all your business operations be mobile—work from anywhere. Let’s make that happen across the board.
- Build your CRM—customer relationship management. You need a good way to keep track of your customers and get in touch with them fast.
- Get organized, freshen up your work space, improve your systems. Do this if you’re able to have access to your place or if you can get access to your place of work. I saw a closed local restaurant where the owner was cleaning out the kitchen, restocking shelves.
- Work on your business plan! You need to start thinking of how your business will respond to changing conditions. We can help with this. We are the leading provider of business plan products:
- Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies
- Business Plan Financials
- Business Plan In A Day
- Six-Week Startup
- Entrepreneurship: A Real-World Approach
SOURCES OF MONEY FOR YOUR BUSINESS
I’ll take questions about these programs during my Facebook Live sessions, M-Th, 1pm EDT/ 10am PDT. Go here to join or to watch the recording later.
Three of the most important ways to get COVID-19 relief funds for your business:
- Payroll Protection Plan (PPP): This loan may be FORGIVEABLE
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): You may be able to get a $10,000 GRANT with this loan
- Unemployment Insurance: $600 week for up to four months for self-employed/independent contractors/gig workers
1. PPP Loan application
Applications for the Payroll Protection Program loans will begin on Friday. This is the loan where you can get forgiven for 8 weeks of payroll and rent/mortgage payments plus utilities.
The application looks fairly easy and straightforward. You will apply through a bank, credit union, or other government guaranteed lender. You can find a copy of the application here.
2. EIDL Loan Application
Up to $10,000 of these loans may be a grant. You can get these loans IN ADDITION TO the PPP but you cannot use them for the same expenses. The application form is located here.
3. Unemployment insurance for you or your employees
You may want to apply for unemployment insurance, especially if you are self-employed or an independent contractor or gig worker. Find State Unemployment Agencies here.
I will discuss all this further during my Facebook Live sessions 1pm EDT/10am PDT on my Facebook page and in future daily email updates. Sign up here if you are not already on my mailing list.
Stay well, stay at home (if you can). We’ll get through this together.
Copyright Rhonda Abrams, 2020