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The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting every aspect of our lives. With the rise of COVID-19, small businesses everywhere are wondering how to survive. While the media is covering a lot about restaurants, retail, and airlines, freelancers and employees of affected non-retail businesses are left to figure out their new normal. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting small businesses in a variety of ways. No one plans for a pandemic, but we can get through this challenging time together. Here is the COVID-19 Small Business Survival Guide.

Going Remote

Newly imposed mandates are forcing workers everywhere to stay home. For those that are used to working 9-5 jobs in an office setting, working from home can bring new challenges. Settling into a new routine can be difficult but remember it’s not forever. Consider implementing telecommuting, if your business allows, which will enable employees to work from home. With technologies such as Skype, Google Hangouts, or Zoom, you will be able to communicate and collaborate with everyone on your team.

Turn to Social Media

Social media is a great way to connect with existing clients and find potential clients to market to. Use your website and social media accounts to keep clients updated. If you can, now is a great time to invest in social media marketing. Investing now may attract more customers when you re-open. Think of ways to promote your work. If you are a creative professional, sharing your work on social media may help attract new buyers. If you haven’t previously focused on social media, now is a great time to start.

Get Creative

Finding creative ways to make money is nothing new for freelancers. The pandemic has created many new and unique opportunities. Schools everywhere have closed, leaving millions of children home looking for something to do. Is there a way you can offer an online class for kids stuck at home? Can you create something that will keep kids busy for a few hours? Is there a way that you can sell your service online? There are a ton of ways to grow your business online; you just need to find a way that’s right for you. 

Communicate with Clients

Keeping open communication with existing clients is important right now. If you aren’t able to complete projects because you can’t get to your office, you should let clients know as soon as possible. If you can normally work from home, let clients know that they can expect business as usual. If your business is struggling to bring in work, think of what you can do to help existing customers. Can you offer additional products or services? Can you speed up delivery for an additional fee? Can you pre-sell one of your services to be used at a later date? 

Look for Financial Support

Thankfully, we’re all in this together. If your small business is struggling due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there are resources available to you. The government and larger companies are doing all they can to help small businesses during this difficult time. Google has pledged millions of dollars of free advertising, while the government is offering aid programs. States and cities are also offering aid to small businesses to help support operations during the downturn caused by COVID-19. If you need help, there are plenty of places to turn to. 

Plan for the Future

The COVID-19 pandemic won’t last forever. Eventually, life will return to normal. This is not a situation anyone could have predicted, and many of us have never experienced something like this before. But by turning this challenge into an opportunity, we’ll all grow. Make sure that you are ready to re-open when the time comes. Until then, stay safe.

How has COVID-19 impacted your small business? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.