How do you reopen your business during a global pandemic? There’s no easy answer. Your business may have to operate on reduced hours, and it may have to close down entirely again if case numbers spike. Uncertainty is always a fact of life for business owners, but right now the degrees of uncertainty are pretty intense. These tips will help you find some solid ground while you reopen:
Take Advantage of Government Programs
There are a lot of programs being offered at the federal and provincial levels to help you reopen your business – and keep it open. To create an exhaustive list of these programs would take the whole blog, which is why we’re glad Economic Development Winnipeg has done the work for us. There are dozens of programs listed, from Winnipeg’s Business Tax Deferral to Canada’s Wage Subsidy. Take a look at all the programs you might be eligible for, and apply.
Adjust Your Pricing
You may find that pricing adjustments help you get through the reopening process – the question is how you should adjust your prices. Adjusting your prices upwards, and explaining to your customers that the adjustment is due to the pandemic can help you recover losses in certain industries.
Many customers say such adjustments will make them less likely to visit your business; the exception to this rule tends to be small hospitality and restaurant-based businesses, from hair salons to local bars. Instead of taking this route, you might encourage customers to tip what they can.
Your other option is to reduce prices in order to incentivize customers to come back to your business. This is probably only a viable option if you have a comfortable nest egg, and it can be used to jumpstart your restart – sell at a bit of a loss for a while, and get clients used to buying from you again.
Adjust Your Business Plan
Long time readers of this blog have heard this point a million times – business plans are not documents made to be set in stone and worshipped. Adjust your best, worst, and average-case scenarios. When you see yourself trending toward a particular outcome, adjust accordingly – you may need to pull out all the stops if you seem to be taking on a lot of losses, and you may be able to act more conservatively if things seem to be going well.
Talk To Us
You may have noticed that this advice is a bit on the generic side; that’s because without knowing the details of your business, it’s impossible to give non-generic advice. Watch your finances carefully, take advantage of government programs, and be flexible, is about all we can say. For a more detailed discussion, speak to your tax accountant in Winnipeg to go into depth.