Experts from finance and business give insights on how entrepreneurs can think about bringing in funds during this time
There’s still funding left in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and small businesses can still apply. But, while entrepreneurs wait for answers from their lenders, what should they do in the meantime? As sales and revenue have been taking a dive, it’s important to pivot your businesses and meet customers in this new COVID-19 reality. But, it’s also key to think about funding and cash flow strategies you can put into place now to stay in business.
I spoke with David Bruce, Senior Director, Global Partner Development at PayPal, Carolyn Rodz, CEO and co-founder of Hello Alice, a technology platform that connects small businesses with resources they need to grow, and Kryistyna Hook, Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau serving the Pacific Southwest region. These experts shed some light on cash flow strategies that small business owners can use now. Watch our full conversation here:
To bring in more funding outside of just government loans, entrepreneurs are increasing revenue streams by going online.
“What we’re seeing is that a lot of small businesses, particularly those that have physical presences are reacting and adapting to the way that commerce is changing,” says David Bruce, PayPal’s Senior Director of Global Partner Development. “The first and most obvious thing is to accelerate what you’re doing online.”
Nowadays, taking your business online has little upfront costs and requires little to no coding expertise. There are drag-and-drop platforms that allow you to build websites and ecommerce shopping experiences that require limited computer knowledge. There are also many customer service guides at technology companies who can support users and help them get through any hurdles.
By taking your business online, you’re expanding the reach of your business beyond the geographical limitations caused by a physical storefront. This is key to diversify your customer base.
“Your customers no longer need to be within a 10 mile radius of your business,” David says. ”They can be anywhere in the world.”
Bringing your business online, brings new forms of funding and new opportunities for services and products that weren’t there before, he says.
In addition to optimizing your online presence and offerings, Carolyn Rodz, the co-founder of Hello Alice, encourages entrepreneurs to use this time wisely and get in front of buyers or distributors of larger companies who can support their growth.
“There’s a window of time right now where everybody’s stuck at home,” Carolyn says.
If you’ve been trying to get in front of that big partner that can really push your company to the next level, now is the time.
It’s also a great time for small business owners to lean on their communities and ask for help if they need it. The national conversation is focused on how people can help small businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
On platforms like Nextdoor, neighbors are rallying together to support their local businesses. Communities across the country are shopping small, buying gift cards, and ordering takeout and delivery from their favorite local restaurants. Small businesses are on the top of consumers’ minds, so now more than ever is a good opportunity to ask for help through your website, social media or donation platforms like GoFundMe.
Editor’s Note: GoDaddy has partnered with GoFundMe to support the Small Business Relief Fund during the COVID-19 crisis. Start a GoFundMe to be eligible for a $500 matching grant from GoFundMe.org. Learn more here.
In addition to partnership and community support, our experts say to consider looking into the emergency grants that are out there.
Kryistyna Hook, regional director for the Better Business Bureau, is helping to put out the call for emergency relief. Through their Main St. Matters grant program, they are awarding $500 or $1,000 emergency grants for businesses that have been financially impacted during COVID-19. She offers advice to entrepreneurs who were considering applying for grants.
Show us how you stand out in the community by letting us know your story and how you’ve gone above and beyond in your community to really make a difference, Kryistyna said.
Our experts also wanted to stress how important it is to be fiscally conscious during this time. They recommend avoiding making rash decisions on how to spend your money. Since emotions are high, and there’s a lot of uncertainty right now, it’s best to maintain your access to capital as more information unfolds about the pandemic.
“Stay educated on what’s coming up next and try to be prepared and ahead of the curve if you can,” Kryistyna says.
Editor’s Note: #OpenWeStand partner, Brex, which offers corporate cards for startup companies, is helping small businesses tackle some of the financial challenges they are facing during these difficult times. Visit their page on OpenWeStand.org to find out more.
Don’t miss more conversations with GoDaddy’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Scott Shigeoka. Through genuine discussions with industry experts and small businesses, he’s been shedding light on the issues that matter most during these challenging times.
The information contained in this post is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement or advice from GoDaddy on any subject matter.