Many businesses have been completely devastated by the pandemic. Others have managed to stay afloat, but continue to face major cash flow hurdles and uncertain futures. Those planning to continue the fight may need to make major changes to rebuild their businesses. Here are some recommendations for rebuilding your business to help you become more confident about facing the future.

1. Reevaluate your business plan

Now is the time to reexamine your business plan and determine if changes are needed.  If you have been drastically impacted by the pandemic, especially during this period when businesses are reopening, it is highly likely that the old ways of doing business will need to be modified. You must figure out ways in which your business is able to provide goods/services to people in this current climate, whether that means promoting online and delivery options, changing your product mix, or shifting gears altogether.

2. Get your finances in order

Get all of your financial affairs in order. Assess the damage that has been done by the pandemic and take steps to repair as much of that as possible. If you received a PPP loan, put it to use as it was intended, to help ensure it will be forgiven. Keep up with news from the SBA, because information is continually being updated, and keep in constant contact with your bank, as well. Figure out the best small business loan option1 for you if you need additional financial help.

You'll also need to figure out a new budget to help you through this rough patch, as well as ways to optimize cash flow. Set up an emergency fund if you don't already have one and prepare financially for additional hard times as much as you can.

3. Explore the effects of the pandemic on your markets, suppliers, and clients

As you rebuild, you'll need to have a firm grasp on the state of your industry. This means getting a review on the markets in which you operate, as well as suppliers, clients, and others with whom you have business relationships. Take some time to touch base with key contacts and see how they're managing. Pay attention to how your competitors are dealing with the pandemic, as well. What are they doing right? What are they doing that you could be doing better?

4. Make sure you have the talent you need

Bring back any key employees as soon as possible. You'll need people by your side who know your business as you look to get back on track in this new phase. You'll want to make sure you're meeting payroll requirements for PPP loan forgiveness if this applies to you. You can also take the opportunity to explore the current talent pool, which is likely much bigger than usual as unemployment across the country remains high.

5. Ensure you have the trust of both staff and customers

Many people are uneasy about the reopening of the economy. They want to get back to normal, but they are concerned about safety and facing their own economic hardships. It's critical that both staff and customers trust you to help keep them safe and deliver on your promises as a business. Team members need to feel comfortable doing their job, and clients and customers need to feel that they’re in safe surroundings and that you're providing something that is worth their money, when money is as tight as ever.

6. Focus your marketing efforts

Figure out where your marketing dollars will best be spent in order to achieve maximum effectiveness; then, focus on these channels and demographics. Now is not the time to be overspending on ineffective advertising.

7. Look for new revenue streams

It's smart to look for additional revenue streams – could you bring in extra cash by adding products or services you don’t usually sell? Try to think outside the box, like manufacturers that switched to making facemasks or hand sanitizer when demand for their standard products decreased. Look at what you currently provide that could be improved or expanded.

8. Keep networking

The pandemic has largely halted networking events, but that doesn't mean you have to stop networking. Online networking has been happening for years, and now is the time to put your efforts in overdrive. Utilize local social media groups and platforms like Facebook® groups or Nextdoor® to establish yourself as a figure in the community. Socialize with others in your industry on the major social networks, professional channels like LinkedIn®, and industry-specific online communities. Get to know how others are handling the pandemic while getting a feel for ways that you can meet their needs. Form relationships and encourage word of mouth.

Rebuilding your business in an unprecedented time like this is not easy, but you can take some comfort that many others, including your competition, are facing the same challenges. We're all in this together, and people are eager to get the economy going again.

1. Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. See a banker for details.

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC