Coronavirus: 10 Small Business Planning Tips

Use these strategies to help minimize virus-related disruptions at your workplace.

Malcolm Hong Mar 13, 2020

According to a report in SmallBizTrends, 27% of businesses expect the coronavirus to have a moderate to high impact on their revenue and 52% are preparing for an economic slowdown.

Lisa Atkinson, Western Idaho Market Manager of the Zions Bank Business Payments and Technology department, offers tips for small businesses to help minimize virus-related disruptions: 

Coronavirus small business planning tip #1: Use online tools for your business continuity planning.

If widespread disruption stops you from making physical trips to your financial institution, it’s important to have treasury systems that will allow you to operate your business, such as making deposits and payments remotely. Zions Bank offers tools to collect payments  and make payments.

Coronavirus small business planning tip #2: Make plans to pay your employees no matter where they are.

Mail delays may occur during an emergency, causing issues for employees waiting for paychecks to arrive. Instead of paper checks, employers can work with their bank to set up electronic methods for paying employees, such as direct deposit. Zions Bank offers employee management options including online payroll services

Coronavirus small business planning tip #3: Conduct a financial audit of your existing treasury systems.

Because the need to manage and disburse payments never ends, it’s important to have a system with minimal to no downtime. Auditing your system may reveal weaknesses that should be addressed before a crisis.

Coronavirus small business planning tip #4: Use technology to prepare your business for online fraudsters capitalizing on coronavirus fears.

Cybersecurity firm Proofpoint reported that mentions of the coronavirus in malicious emails has jumped in recent weeks. An automated system can help identify fraudulent and unauthorized payments before they are approved.

Coronavirus small business planning tip #5: Keep mobile access in mind when creating your treasury management continuity plan.

During a crisis, your employees and CFO may not be able to operate in their primary environment. Your system needs to reliably function with different devices and with web connections of varied speeds.

Coronavirus small business planning tip #6: Pay attention to payables and receivables.

Step up your Accounts Receivable collections now to get payments before your customers are impacted negatively. Reach out to your Accounts Payable vendors and negotiate terms and payment methods, if possible.

Coronavirus small business planning tip #7: Practice good workplace hygiene.

Review your employee handbook now and re-visit or re-communicate sick policies, travel policies, and remote work policies. Encourage employees to work from home, if possible, and to stay home if they are sick. Review and make necessary adjustments to the cleaning process at your company to keep germs at bay.

Coronavirus small business planning tip #8:

Talk to your banker about a line of credit before you need it. If you do have difficulty meeting your obligations, notify your creditors immediately before you miss a payment or are late on the payment.

Coronavirus small business planning tip #9: Create a financial forecast.

Ascertain potential impact on your business from the virus as well as any impact of a possible recession that could follow a virus outbreak in your area.

Coronavirus small business planning tip #10: Leverage technology.

Consider how you can use technology now to keep in front of prospects, clients and employees, such as Zoom, Skype, Go to Meeting or Livestream.

The Zions Bank Business Payments and Technology team can help your business plan for coronavirus-related disruptions through a suite of tools to optimize cash flow, streamline disbursements and manage risk. Fill out the form on our website to connect with a treasury management professional today.

Malcolm Hong is Public Relations Officer for Zions Bank in Idaho.

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