SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER AT UNM GALLUP
November 5, 2020 - This year has brought changes that not many businesses could have foreseen. Interactions with our customers and vendors taking place in a virtual world is necessary now more than ever before. It is critical to adapt in order to maintain growth and exceed customer expectations. Remember, you are not in this alone; the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is here to help. Our goal is to develop skilled entrepreneurs and strong businesses.
Some items to look at right now are:
Take a Good Look at Your Budget and Operations
Start here. It is always good to prioritize your costs and check insurance coverages to see if there is a disaster coverage clause in any of your insurance policies. Review the expenses in your budget and project upcoming revenue.
There are many resources for small businesses and most are at no to little cost. SBDCs, SCORE mentors, WESST, chambers of commerce’s, and so many other organizations statewide are eager to help. No cost, interactive webinars are available at www.nmsbdc.org, along with other helpful information and links to COVID-19 resources.
Begin to Educate Your Customers
Start adding messages to your communications to encourage your customers to be supportive of your business and other local businesses. #ShopSmall #ShopLocal
“As we watch how other small businesses around the country are being impacted by COVID-19 , we can’t help but feel thankful for all of you. It is in times like these that we realize the value of community, and we are grateful for the love you show our business day in and day out.”
Prepare Your Crisis Communications Policies
Businesses and non-profits of all types in our area have received a huge education on the fly about how to communicate in a crisis. This is actually a very predictable process, but it is awfully difficult to think clearly and create a message when you are in stress mode. The good news for you is that there are a lot of businesses already putting messages out that you may be able to use as a starting point to draft your own. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
Official communications come in different forms.
- Begin with thanking everyone for their patience.
- Note what actions you are taking to make your space as safe as possible (usually in line with state or county public health information), as well as encouraging proper health practices (as advised by state/county public health information page or the CDC)
- Always close with thanking everyone for their support during this difficult time and offering an email address or a way to contact with questions or concerns.
Before you release a message like the above to the general public or the community at large, make sure your team is the first to know what to expect. This may include staff, volunteers, contractors, or Board members, for example. It will help everyone to feel involved and may even open up some great ideas and suggestions. You may find that it increases appreciation and mitigates confusion.
As unprepared as we all are for the health crisis at hand, our communities are even less prepared for the economic crisis that results from the decisions we have to make to suppress COVID-19. We can help each other significantly to mitigate the impact to our small businesses and nonprofits.
Please feel free to email Cynthia Jarvison, Director at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to request a confidential one-on-one consultation.
About Us: The New Mexico Small Business Development Center Network (NMSBDC) in 1989 through a partnership with the US Small Business Administration, the State of New Mexico, the New Mexico Association of Community Colleges, and the New Mexico Association of Independent Community Colleges. The NMSDC Network State Office is located on the campus of the Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, NM. The program provides no-cost business consulting and low-cost business training to entrepreneurs throughout the state. Strategically located in 24 communities and serving all 33 counties throughout New Mexico. For more information visit www.nmsbdc.org.
The University of New Mexico - Gallup
705 Gurley Ave.
Gallup, NM 87301