How many times since 2020 have small business owners shouted for help? It’s tiring to constantly reevaluate and respond to the changes and restrictions brought on by COVID-19. This pandemic has pushed many of us to the brink of discouragement. Right now, you may just want to give up. How many times can your restaurant or gym close? How often will you have to refund travel packages?
Small business owners are the strongest, most resilient people I know. Even when you are tired, you’ve always had the capacity to deal with adversity, market changes, and staff change-overs. If anyone is equipped to deal with the uncertainty and demand of a pandemic, it’s you.
There is still hope.
Our vision here at Systems Business Coach is A world where all business owners have the skills, tools and confidence to positively contribute to a healthy world economy creating secure meaningful employment while maintaining personal prosperity and freedom.
We aren’t going to stop working towards that now.
If you are a small business owner who needs help, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled a list of free resources to help you adapt and prosper throughout COVID-19.
1. Planning resources
Now more than ever is when planning comes into place. When you plan what 2022 can look like, this moment doesn’t feel so heavy. It’s easy to get stuck with a dreary outlook. Instead, think about what you still have—what’s possible.
What systems and structures would make owning a business easier for you?
Try to carve out 5 hours this week to step back and think strategically about what you can do. Here are a few tools that may help you:
- 6-month Cash Planning Tool – plan for emergencies, hard times or growth with the cash you have right now.
- Strategic vs Tactical system – this simple strategy could change how you tackle your business this year.
- Free 1:1 Coaching Session – sometimes the best plan comes into place when you talk about it with someone else. Book a free 90-min coaching session with one of our Certified Systems Business Coaches®.
2. Finance help
If COVID-19 has decimated your bank account, there are resources out there to help. I suggest staying on top of all the grants and loans available for small business owners. They could make a difference for you this year.
The list below has links to government sites and other organizations dedicated to helping you with loans, grants and other funding.
Grants and loans you can apply to if you have a Canadian company:
- Summer Jobs grant gives you money to hire a student if you need an extra hand this year.
- BDC offers loans for small business owners.
- There are many funding options from the government of Canada in response to COVID-19 here.
- The Canadian government also has non-covid specific, small business loans. Find out more here.
- They also have a quick and easy questionnaire so you can find the exact funding you need for your industry, business size or financial situation. Check it out here.
- The Canada Regional Development programs can help you secure funding depending on where you are located in Canada.
- Alternative lending programs are available across Canada:
- Futurpreneur helps small business owners across the country.
- Women’s Enterprise Centre. This program is specifically for woman who own or want to own a small business in British Columbia.
- Community Futures supports small businesses in rural Canada.
Financial resources for businesses in the US:
- The US Small Business Administration gives out a variety of loans that may suit your needs. Read more here
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has an amazing report detailing financial and technical support by state. You can find it here.
Help for small business owners from around the world:
Here are some resources for any business owner looking to improve their financial situation during this pandemic:
- 4 Simple Ways to Reduce Expenses – A short blog with a few tips on cutting costs without cutting quality.
- Show me the Money Webinar – An online workshop that walks through the basics of small business finances.
- Broken and Fixed Bookkeeping Free Online Workshop – A discussion and presentation that will inspire you to get your books in order.
If you are in trouble financially, don’t wait to reach out for help. There are qualified professionals like credit councillors, accountants, and bank managers who would be happy to assist you.
3. Personal health ideas
While you strategically plan for your business, don’t forget to take care of yourself. There’s no point in having a profitable business if you aren’t healthy enough to enjoy the benefits.
Try your best to cover the basics— food, sleep and water. I know it may seem obvious, but often when small business owners are stressed these are the first things to go.
Also, I encourage you to do something for yourself. Like a nice hot stone massage or a hot tub at your local pool! Whatever makes you feel relaxed.
Once you’ve taken care of yourself personally, only then will you be able to take care of your company.
And you don’t need to burn yourself out running your company. Try to spend time in the areas that fuel you. Maybe you’re excited about making a new product, or teaching new things to your team— focus on what you can do. Then think about what systems you need to have in place so you can delegate the rest.
Here are some resources to help you prioritize yourself:
- The Top Tasks to Effectively Delegate for More Free Time – a strategy for delegation so you can have more time doing what you love.
- Position Agreement Template – Does everyone on your team know what their role is? When each team member know what they are responsible for, you don’t have to spend as much time telling everyone what to do. Create one of these for each member of you team!
You can do it!
As much as this pandemic has worn you down, I know you have what it takes to keep going. You are strategic, smart and capable.
What part of your business is the strongest? Where do you make the most money? Focus on what you have and plan to build from there.
2022 is about what you can do, not about what you can’t do.
All we need is hope. Hope for a brighter future. I have it and I believe you can too.
Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!
Help for small business owners!
Running a small business is hard, and this pandemic has made it even harder. We offer affordable group training to any small business owner who wants to see positive changes in their company right away. You don’t have to do it alone.