Small businesses are a vital part of our communities. They provide individuals with the opportunity to grow their own entrepreneurial ideas and business vision. They stimulate local economies and support neighborhoods. Individuals who work for small businesses also often report great job satisfaction and happiness.
Unfortunately, when times get tough, small businesses are among the most affected. The current pandemic is no exception. Now, more than ever, small businesses need resources and advice to help them get through the next few months as communities begin to reopen.
What Resources does a Small Business Need?
Depending on the type of business, a small business’ resources and needs may vary. Nevertheless, there are a few key resources that every small business requires in order to thrive.
- Funding: Financial capital is one of the most important resources to help a small business get off the ground. Startup costs are significant and add up quickly. Just registering your business’ name is an upfront cost that will have to be covered before you can begin turning a profit. Loans are one option for obtaining financing if you don’t want to risk your own funds to get your business going but be sure to do some research to see if you might be eligible for a grant as well.
- WorkForce: Once your business idea is in motion, you’ll need to hire employees to help your business operation run smoothly. There are dozens of online recruiting websites that can help you find experienced workers, but local staffing agencies are another great resource to find the perfect fit for your business.
- Equipment and Products: Your small business will likely need some sort of workspace or equipment to produce your goods or provide your services. Whether you require a warehouse that will manufacture several unique products or simple office space with a desk and a computer, small businesses need proper equipment that they can rely on to help their business succeed.
- Education: The more a small business owner knows about their industry, competition, and internal organization, the more likely they are to succeed. Professional trade organizations and the Small Business Association can provide you with tools to help small businesses make smart decisions when faced with a challenge.
What is the Best Source of Small Business Advice?
As noted above, joining a professional trade organization or seeking out the local chapter of the Small Business Association can be excellent sources for small businesses to seek out advice. Small business owners in New Jersey may want to consider consulting the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA), an advocacy group that focuses on promoting its members’ business interests in a wide variety of industries. Anserve is a member of the NJBIA. Such associations are equipped with the resources and expertise to provide small businesses with essential business advice and better prepare those businesses to make their business goals a reality. Local Chamber of Commerce organizations are also extremely helpful for small businesses, improving networking, and conveying local information quickly. Anserve is a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.
What Resources are Available for Reopening Small Businesses?
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to close their doors while the initial wave of the virus passed. Now that states are beginning to allow certain communities to reopen, many small businesses are faced with the challenge of reopening in a way that is safe and cost effective.
The CDC has offered some guidance on these challenges, and recommends that small businesses develop a clear reopening plan that implements social distancing and requires regular sanitation practices as part of the reopening plan. Similarly, the US Chamber of Commerce offers small businesses a state-by-state guide to reopening businesses that can help small business owners determine if now is the appropriate time to reopen for business. Both of these resources not only provide tips for reopening but can alert you to other local resources that may be available to small businesses.
What do Small Businesses Need to Consider When Reopening?
Remember that in any case, the ultimate goal of reopening a small business is to ensure that the business does not contribute to the continued spread of the virus. The most important thing to consider is the status of any state orders requiring individuals to stay at home and for businesses to remain closed. Even if your state permits reopening, you may still want to consider how prevalent the virus is in your neighborhood and if it is worth requiring employees to return to work. You also want to consider if you will be able to continue your business operations with safety measures in place, such as social distancing and wearing protective gear.
How does Anserve Help Small Businesses?
With small businesses working with a limited staff and minimal operations, it can be difficult to handle every task – including answering the telephone and making sure the right person is notified of the caller, even if that person is working from home. Anserve can provide your business with affordable answering services to make sure that you don’t lose any business during this difficult time and give your customers an optimal customer service experience. With Anserve, your company can keep working to provide excellent services with all safety precautions in place, while feeling confident that your customers’ questions and concerns are being handled in a professional and friendly manner.