How can I keep my business going?

by Ken Sethney, Volunteer Business Mentor, SCORE Kitsap

Every business owner I’ve had a conversation with in the last month or so is struggling to answer that question. It doesn’t matter what they sell, products or services, they are struggling to find answers to very difficult questions. Almost everyone in start-up mode has simply stopped. 

So, what should they do? What should you do? My suggestion is to keep moving forward. 

One of my SCORE clients owns a well established business with several employees. She and her team provide therapeutic services, but they don’t qualify as “essential.” 

After giving the shelter-in-place problem some thought, she decided to focus on the sale of complimentary products the customers used to purchase at the front counter as they left her facility. 

The products are promoted online. Orders are placed online or by telephone, and they are delivered by a very essential delivery service. Her team is working. Revenue is being generated. Her client base feels like they are being served by people who really care. 

A friend of mine owns a coffee shop/café. She didn’t have to close her doors, but she had to stack up the tables and chairs. People walk up, place orders, and take their coffee and treats out the door. Sales aren’t normal, but they are a lot better than zero. 

Many years ago, I had to deal with an emergency. The fellow I worked for gave me a call and told me that he was closing his advertising agency for medical reasons. There wasn’t a pandemic, but he lost his company and 36 people lost their jobs. I wasn’t a happy guy. 

That said, after two days of wondering what I should do, I had a plan. I couldn’t afford to buy the agency, so I would create my own. I decided to create a virtual ad agency staffed by creative people willing to be independent contractors. 

I knew lots of artists, illustrators, photographers, and more, that didn’t want to work for anybody full time. I would call the VP’s of Sales & Marketing for the top 50 companies in Orange County California and see if I could get some projects. 

I had never made a sales call in my life, but I know I would have to do it. In three weeks, I had my first job. In a few months, I didn’t have time to make any more sales calls. I had lots of projects and my clients were calling me to see if I could help with something new. 

As a volunteer business mentor, I’ve met with hundreds of people in Kitsap County over the last 5 or 6 years. Many have started businesses or grown the ones they owned. 

If you asked me for advice, I would encourage you to find a new way to use your skills and abilities to serve your customers or find new ones. I would ask you what you might do differently now than you had done in the past. Maybe your idea would help a little while we’re all waiting to get our economy back up to speed. Or, maybe it would open a new path that would help you make your future bigger and better than it had ever been. 

If you would like to meet with an experienced business person who has volunteered his or her time to help people like you, reach out to a SCORE mentor today!

Ken Sethney is a volunteer business mentor and branch manager for SCORE Kitsap. He started his first business in 1976, and several more after that. Contact him by email at ken.sethney@scorevolunteer.org.

Working Washington Small Business Grant

Apply for up to $10,000

Applications Due by noon this Friday, April 10th.

On Tuesday April 7, 2020, the Washington State Department of Commerce and Governor Jay Inslee introduced the Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program. The new grant program offers assistance to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) is partnering with the Governor and the Department of Commerce to accept grant applications from Kitsap County businesses.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION
Download application to your
computer before completing

  • To apply, download the application to your computer.
  • Open the downloaded application and complete as much of the information as you can.
  • SAVE the file by adding your company name (ie; ABC Co-WWSB Application)
  • Attach and email the completed form to info@kitsapeda.org

Apps must be received by noon on Friday April 10th!

Continue reading

SCORE clients find ways to deal with COVID-19 shutdowns.

For example:


Centering Massage
&    

A Special Offer Just For You !!

Support Centering Massage and our LMT’s during this COVID-19 crises. FarmHouse Fresh will now be “Drop Shipping Products” straight to your door. You will get a FREE Hand Cream with your purchase of $30 or more by using our personal code.

 (FREE SHIPPING if you spend over $50)

By placing your order using our code you will receive a free $15 Hand Cream on behalf of Centering Massage:

  1. Go to https://www.farmhousefreshgoods.com/
  2. Add items of $30 or more to your cart. $50 or more gets Free Shipping within the continental U.S. (excludes HI & AK)
  3. Choose any $15 Hand Cream you want for FREE and add it to your cart. You MUST add a $15 Hand Cream to your cart, or the code will not work.
  4. Enter our custom Coupon Code:Centering at the last stage of checkout. Click “Apply” and you’ll receive a $15 credit. Proceed with checking out. Enjoy your new Spa products at home.

Thank you for your support!!!

 

Department of Agriculture COVID-19 Response

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. Please bookmark this page and check back regularly as circumstances are changing daily and the width and depth of our responses to your questions and concerns will certainly increase.

Learn more here… https://www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus

Applying for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Assistance

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LATEST UPDATE on Applying for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Assistance (as of 3/30/2020)

Things are changing rapidly and the platform to apply for assistance has changed.   If you have previously filed an application, you do not need to submit another through this process.  Your application is in process, and you should be hearing something soon.

To begin a new application:

  • Start the process here:    https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/.
  • You will be asked to fill in some basic information about your business and the business owners.
  • On the last screen, if you opt in to the $10,000 request for emergency funds, you will need to supply your bank account and routing number.
  • You will see a summary of all your information that you can review prior to submitting your application.
  • You will not be asked to upload any documentation at submittal; however, you may be asked for supporting information at a later date.

Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers.

This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

Congressman Kilmer’s team shared this resource for small businesses regarding the benefits available now that the CARES Act has been signed into law. Click here to access the 11 page PDF document on Google Drive. Continue reading

SCORE News You Can Use

Take a look at the sidebar on the right side of this page (or scroll down on your phone). Look for NEWS BY CATEGORY. You can select a category in the pull down menu or in the category cloud. If you’re looking for something more specific, there’s a search box above the cloud. If you still can’t find what you need, scroll up in the sidebar and CONTACT US by phone or email. Of course, you can always request a face-to-face meeting with a mentor. We’re here to help.