Are you worried about the impact of COVID-19 on your small business?
Probably! This is a tough time for all of us!
In just one week, it seems like everything in the world turned upside down. COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on our society in modern times, with social distancing being practiced on a mass scale to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. This situation has forced small businesses all across the country to either temporarily close or dramatically change their daily operations.
Like all Canadians, we’re watching all of the new developments of COVID-19 with rapt attention—and especially those that impact Canadian businesses. From the stock market crashing to bars and restaurants being closed indefinitely, it’s currently a scary state of affairs.
What’s important to remember, however, is that this *is* temporary. Things will likely swing back to normal (or close to normal) in a few weeks or months. When that happens, you want your small business to be in a position where it can rapidly bounce back from the damage caused throughout the crisis.
Here at The Number Works, we don’t have all of the answers, but we can certainly provide some financial advice that might help you navigate through these challenging times.
You Still Need to Think About Your Taxes
The good news is, we’ve all gained more time this tax season. The CRA has deferred filing due dates as a result of the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals (other than trusts) now have a due date of June 1st, 2020.
If you’re expecting to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC) or the Canada Child Benefit, we encourage you not to delay filing as those credits will surely come in handy during these times.
Trusts with a taxation year ending on December 31st, 2020 now have a filing due date of May 1st, 2020.
The CRA will allow all taxpayers to defer until after August 31st, 2020 the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Even if you aren’t expecting tax credits, now while there’s some downtime is a great opportunity to get organized and move on your taxes. Please get in touch with us if you need any help.
Communicate With Your Customers
Whether your business usually operates out of a brick-and-mortar location or not, now is the time to communicate with your customers online. Use social media and, if you have a collection of email addresses, a newsletter system to reach out and keep your clients informed.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s also a good idea to send out an email addressing COVID-19 and any changes that your business is making. That might be to business hours, operations, sanitizing, or any kind of safety adjustments.
If you’re stuck at home, you could spend some additional time every day working your business’ social media accounts. By commenting and interacting with your customers online, you’ll be engaging with them just as much (if not more) than you did in person. This strategy can be essential to keep your customer relationships secure throughout the crisis.
Put Your Focus Online
Shifting your focus online at this time might be the only way to “keep in business.” While we’ve already mentioned email and social media, there are other ways to engage with your customers digitally. For example, your website.
If you haven’t updated your website in months (or even years), this is the perfect opportunity. There are going to be more people online than ever over the next few weeks, so you want to be putting your best foot forward. Polishing up the webcopy on your site, posting updated photography and graphics, updating your news or blog, or giving your website a full facelift can be excellent ways to improve your business while you’re stuck at home.
Even better, these improvements will pay off even after we’re all safely back at work!
Work On Your Future Plans
At times like these, it can be difficult to remember that things will get better. But as a small business owner, you need to keep an eye on your future plans now.
If you haven’t already got one, now is the time to implement an emergency savings system for your business. Think about how you can put away savings for your business so that in case of any future emergency, you have some money put away for a rainy day.
There’s really a lot of planning you can do right now, while things are slow. By taking some steps today to refine your product line, generate new marketing campaigns, and reexamine your finances, you can put yourself in an even better position when everything has reopened for business. And if you need any help with the financial side of that, we’d be happy to help!
Bringing It Home
Just like every small business across Canada, The Number Works is having to adapt quickly to everything that’s happening. We may be working from home, but that certainly doesn’t mean we’re lounging around in our PJs! We’re crunching the numbers and helping out our clients wherever we can to weather this storm.
If you’re looking for some help with your tax returns, or simply want someone to take a look at your finances, The Number Works would be happy to help. Contact us today, and we can get started helping you manage your small business’ finances throughout this pandemic.