At a time like this, $10,000 could make or break your business. When my company, Hello Alice, recently asked business owners how much money they would need for their business to survive the coronavirus pandemic, the top answer was $10,000, followed by $5,000 and then $25,000.
There were two times in the history of my company when about $20,000 was the difference between the business living and dying. The first time, we maxed out a personal credit card in order to pay our bills. The second, we didn't pay our leadership team for two payroll cycles.
We are all in a place right now where we have to stretch our dollars. Our controller just went through an exercise where we cut every non-essential cost. This included not renewing services and contractors that are incredibly valuable to us, but we felt we needed to put a hold on spending money on them until the economy is back to normal.
It is time for every business owner to think fiercely about their budget, as well as access every resource available to them.
The Covid-19 Business Resource Center, from Alice, the free business advice platform where I'm president and chairwoman, has a list of resources from grants to government programs specifically for small businesses. Additionally, here are other avenues for getting money or cutting costs:
- Everything your business qualifies for from the Cares Act. This includes PPP loans and EIDL loans, which are processed through the Small Business Administration.
- Grants such as the Covid-19 Business for All grants from Silicon Valley Bank and eBay Foundation, Verizon's Small Business Recovery Fund, and Salesforce Care Small Business Grants.
- Industry or demographic-specific funding, such as Guy Fieri and the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Relief America, or Spanx CEO Sara Blakely's Red BackPack fund in partnership with Global Giving for female founders.
- Pausing or temporarily close down your business to cut costs so you can reopen post shutdown.
We are living in a time when every penny counts. Make as much time as possible to dig into your budget and apply for the financial programs now available to help keep your business afloat.
Even if you don't need the money today, we don't know how long the coronavirus pandemic will last or what the economy will be like once we get back to work, so figure out your finances before it's too late.