In late March, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) asked Accredited Business owners about the biggest challenges facing their business. Cash flow was at the top of the list, followed by keeping up with customer demand and paying employees.
Of the more than 1,300 BBB Accredited Businesses surveyed between March 23-27th, 70% believed the coronavirus outbreak would have a significant negative impact on their businesses.
More than half of business owners surveyed said they did not have enough cash or credit to last them past 60 days should another unexpected crisis arise. Small and newer businesses are at high risk, especially among companies with 10 or less employees and in business fewer than six years.
The BBB said that as a result, many companies are changing the way they do business, from eliminating expenditures, leveraging technology, or adopting a work-from-home practice for employees. 36% of businesses said they would likely reduce staffing, and 30% of business owners told the BBB they will have to change or adapt to a new business model.
The BBB found the top information needs for businesses include:
- Funding and support options available for businesses: 60%
- How to effectively market or communicate with customers: 17%
- HR (including legal) information to deal with staffing issues: 8%
- Technology to adapt my business to work remotely: 4%
- How to connect with other businesses for support: 3%
Amid the pandemic, reassuring shoppers is vital. In an April BBB/Google survey with consumers, BBB found that nearly half of consumers were more selective on which businesses to trust. Consumers listed the type of business practices they favored during the pandemic. Social distancing and good hygiene were at the top (35%), followed by businesses that are readily available (27%), and those that are transparent about refunds and cancellations (15%).
The full report, “A Comprehensive Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Business,” is available on the Better Business Bureau website.