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Strategies for Businesses to Reclaim Lost Revenue From COVID-19 Business Interruption

Regardless of your industry, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing some level of business interruption from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Lockdowns and orders that non-essential businesses must close have severely impacted company owners around the world. Now is the time for strategic thinking about how to save money and reclaim your lost revenue. Here are five practical ways to start:

1. Turn to Your Employees for Cost-Saving Ideas

These are stressful circumstances for business owners, but so too for employees. Many are fearful of waking up to hear they no longer have jobs. Being transparent with employees about the state of the company helps them feel you’re on their side and are doing everything you can to keep them securely employed. 

You can also directly ask workers if they have ideas for how the company could save money. Begin by setting parameters, such as saying you’ll prioritize suggestions with the biggest impact on cash flow or the highest potential to save jobs. Also, see how workers feel about temporarily going without some non-essential office perks, such as gourmet break room snacks.

Present options for working fewer days or taking temporary pay cuts, too. You’ll likely find many employees would much rather earn less or work fewer days if a layoff is the likely alternative. 

2. Pivot Your Business to Serve a Pressing Need

With many companies closed unless they fill essential services, some brands have responded by shifting their operations. For example, apparel brands are making masks, while whiskey distilleries produce hand sanitizer. 

Taking a similar approach could allow you to keep some cash flowing into the business and save money by responding to needs, even if employees need a short time to learn new roles. While waiting for your operations to start running again in a new way, see what other options exist for you to support the enterprise. For example, do you have business interruption insurance? Contact the provider and see if you can make a claim associated with the lost revenue.

Be aware that insurers are still ironing out business interruption coronavirus specifics, along with ways to treat customer claims. At least one policyholder has already filed a lawsuit concerning an insurer covering COVID-19 losses. 

3. Rent Equipment or Buy Used to Save Money in the Short-Term

Maybe you intended to scale up and invest in new equipment for your company, but the business interruption from COVID-19 put those plans out of reach. Whether you have your sights set on a power system or a compactor, thousands of pieces of used equipment are available to peruse. 

Besides the used equipment giving you a quick way to save on necessary stuff, it also presents an opportunity to explore how to incorporate the machines within your workflow. Accessing tools without the upfront investment of new products is an ideal way to save during the COVID-19 crisis and otherwise. 

4. Save Money Without Sacrificing Safety

You can also support your company’s continued operation during COVID-19 by reassessing any ongoing payments you make to suppliers for goods or services that have become temporarily irrelevant. For example, do you still have a monthly office supply delivery scheduled for your headquarters, even though everyone’s working from home? If so, pause such services until on-site operations resume. 

As you cut costs, always place the utmost importance on safety. If customers believe you are putting them or employees at risk, they may take their business elsewhere. However, if you cut costs when possible and increase spending where needed to keep everyone safe, people will want to continue supporting you.

5. Shift Resources Into the Most Appropriate Avenues for Serving Customers

A business interruption need not equal a total closure during the coronavirus pandemic. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with local lockdown specifics, then consider how you could use your available resources to give customers the things they need. 

For example, hardware stores in Ontario, Canada, cannot accept in-store visitors due to coronavirus restrictions. Many stayed resilient by offering delivery and curbside pickup instead of closing. Additionally, many restaurants throughout Ireland that primarily provide sit-down dining experiences now offer delivery and take-out services to keep customers well-fed but safe. 

By exercising some creative thinking, you’ll likely find you can save money by readjusting your spending to support this new business model. Operating differently requires showing flexibility, but it can pay off. Before offering options, ensure the need exists in the market. You could start by doing a trial run of services before ramping up. 

Recovery Is Within Your Control

At a time when so many things are unknown due to business interruption from the coronavirus, you can still recoup revenue. Try these five suggestions to start revitalizing your bottom line.

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a journalist and writer interested in business technology and cloud computing. Her work has been published on Computerworld, InformationWeek and Inc.com. To read more from Kayla, please take the time to visit her blog, Productivity Bytes.

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