What do I do now?
Don’t panic. The constant flow of new information can be overwhelming, so choose your advisers and sources of information carefully. Engage with them on a schedule you choose (maybe each morning), but leave time to think through the information and take action.
Deal with what is in front of you and that which you have control over. Let the rest go. Worry and fear never solves the problems and can actually exacerbate it. Make a short list of things you can do based on the information you have now.
Nobody wins if your business fails, so involve your partners, employees, and customers in your decision making. Listen with compassion. Then make the best decisions you can with the information you have. Keep moving ahead, even though the steps may seem small and the path uncertain.
Preserve thy capital. Live to fight another day is priority #1. Comb through your expenses and cut where you can. If you can’t pay your bills, call the creditors and explain the situation. Ask for more time, a lower interest rate, deferred payments. Keep abreast of what resources are available from federal, state and local sources. (See the link below).
Think about the best ways to spend the time you have available – it’s a balancing act. Be sure the ways you are spending your time are in line with what is really important to you. Be ready to learn something new, do things differently, and look for the silver linings. Be part of a community looking out for each other. Don’t forget to get some rest, and of course, wash your hands!
The Small Business Development Center offers free confidential business advice, regular online meetings for business owners to share information about what is happening, and more. Check out all the SBDC’s resources at www.oregoncoastbusiness.com
Wendy Ludwig, Business Advisor
Small Business Development Center
Oregon Coast Community College