Some business owners, such as Nicole Snow, founder of Darn Good Yarn, are reporting that the launch of the Paycheck Protection Program on Friday was marred by confusion and frustration. It's best to approach lenders with whom you have good relationships, apply through multiple banks and beware of scams, writes Cameron Albert-Deitch.
Former eBay and HP chief Meg Whitman talks about the decision to launch Quibi during the coronavirus pandemic. "We are not physicians, we're not people who are trying to solve a problem in government, we're not manufacturers of masks and tests. We are entertainers and maybe, just maybe, we can bring a little joy, a little levity, a little smile to people in what has been a remarkably difficult time," she says.
A panel of experts from the Forbes Finance Council explain the expenses that entrepreneurs commonly waste their money on. Marjorie Adams, founder of Fourlane, advises streamlining software choices, while Jackie Meyer, founder of The Concierge CPA, suggests spending early returns on financial advisers rather than luxe offices.
Fabric designing entrepreneur Tara Reid pivoted to start producing fabric face masks, and business adviser Steve Strauss provides the steps to follow a similar path. If you think it's time to pivot, do it by homing in on your new goals, implementing the changes, and remembering now is the perfect time to be bold and nimble to double down on what works best.
Lauren Sparks, founder and president of newly formed Agility Bank in Houston, is eager to redefine the community bank. While waiting on regulatory approval, she's eyeing women for key executive roles, noting that "in the [community banking] leadership circle, C-suite and the equity position, there's not a great representation of women."
Creating social media content for consumers with heightened sensitivities stemming from the coronavirus pandemic calls for a balanced, nonopportunistic approach, writes Ali Grant, the founder of Be Social. She suggests using social media to support a humanitarian effort, pausing nonessential media and recasting messaging, and creating inclusive and useful content while remaining "authentic, compassionate and transparent" to build trust and loyalty.
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"Zoombombing," when someone hacks into a Zoom meeting, is becoming increasingly common, but entrepreneurs can prevent unwanted guests by using a random meeting ID or manually allowing users to enter a meeting, writes David Nield. He outlines additional settings, such as restricting participants' ability to share, to improve security.
Be consistent in the frequency in which internal communications discuss the coronavirus, and don't forget to continue talking about organizational values and ongoing business priorities, writes Rachel Miller. "Review your channels matrix and determine where the gaps are if your people's working patterns or locations have changed," she adds.
Before applying for loans, business owners need to know their credit scores, the loan amount and how they'll use the money, writes Lindsay Mueller of Women's Business Development Center in Chicago. Companies should also gather documents demonstrating their capabilities, Mueller notes.
Small-business owners can tap into eight benefits in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress, writes Mark Kohler, an attorney and certified public accountant. He explains the options, including economic injury disaster loans, paid sick leave, loan forbearance and unemployment benefits.
There are many areas for a small-business owner to consider and plan for to ensure your staff are happy during the crisis, columnist Steve Arnold writes. Be aware and look for the signs of burnout, encourage employees to take leave and intermittent time off, and provide the extra benefits they need to better equip your team to work from home.
Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it.
Agatha Christie, writer
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