The Business Owner’s Guide to Navigating Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has dominated the news cycle recently and will continue to do so for the next several weeks at least. We have received many questions from business owners about how they can best weather the storm. No one wants to close their doors entirely, but most entrepreneurs will need to make modifications to the way they do business during this time. We’ve prepared a guide to help you maintain business as usual and keep costs down as much as possible.

Communicate Early and Often with Your Customers

The coronavirus situation is changing rapidly, with new guidelines and mandates going into effect every day. It can be hard for business owners to keep up, but it’s even harder for your customers. You’ve probably received several dozen emails by now from companies you do business with outlining their responses to coronavirus and how their daily operations will be affected. Take a page out of their book and let you customers know as early as you can what they can expect if they would like to patronize your business over the next few weeks.

Set Up Remote Payments

If the only way you can accept credit card payments is to use a physical terminal at your business location, take steps immediately to put another acceptance method in place. A virtual terminal is a great way to take payments over the phone from anywhere you have an internet connection if you can’t get to your business location. Your credit card processor can help you set this up. If you’re in the automotive industry, check if your shop management software is compatible with Text-to-Pay. This remote payments tool allows customers to pay their invoices directly from their smartphone without coming into your shop.

Follow Best Practices for Keying Cards

If you’re used to primarily swiping, dipping, or tapping physical cards, coronavirus could present a rude awakening in terms of your credit card fees. Keying cards in manually, whether on your terminal or through a virtual method, can result in significantly higher rates due to the higher risk of fraud. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to combat this. By entering additional information about the card and cardholder at the time of the transaction, you can keep your rates low and avoid sticker shock at the end of the month. We wrote an entire post about that here.

Switch to a Cloud-Based Software

Switching up the status quo might be the last thing on your mind right now, but if business slows down over the next few weeks this might be the perfect time to change some of the business systems that don’t meet your needs. For instance, if the software you use to run your business is only accessible on the computers on which you installed it at your physical location, it’s time to consider a cloud-based solution that you can access from anywhere with an internet connection. Use this time to fix some of the nagging issues in your business so you come back stronger than ever this summer.

Get Creative with Revenue Streams

Depending on the severity of the outbreak in your area, you might have to get scrappy and change up your business model. If you own a restaurant that’s no longer allowed to serve dine-in patrons, consider ramping up your delivery and takeout business. With schools closed, many districts are looking for partners to help them continue to provide nutritious breakfasts and lunches to their students. This could be a great community outreach program for you. Other business types can take advantage of the shift to delivery and carryout model as well – think creatively!

This Too Shall Pass

This is a very scary time for business owners. Many of our customers are worried about how they will keep their businesses afloat over the next few weeks and what coronavirus will ultimately mean for the economy. We don’t have all the answers, but we can promise that we’re not going anywhere. We’re here to help you navigate this challenge as we have so many others. We believe in our customers and in their passion and determination to succeed. We will get through this together. If you need to talk about your credit card processing, we’re here. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. You’ve got this!

PS – If you’re looking for ways to cut costs at your business, here are a few tips.

PPS – Looking to pivot into ecommerce? Check out this guide.

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