Necessity is the mother of invention
COVID-19: Valuable Tools & Resources for Businesses
After a career in banking, Michael Rossman is building a business services platform, EnergyBillKill.com and MachFast.com, that saves time and money for small businesses. He holds a MBA in Entrepreneurial Finance and AB Economics Honours from The University of Chicago.
Cash position is critical for every business (startup or otherwise). Covid-19 is terrible for individuals. Health comes first, then business, so first focus on your health!
Covid-19 is a business cash destroyer and businesses that rely on human interaction and/or early stage startups are the most vulnerable. Whilst there is no magic bullet, common sense could go a long way. Here are my tips on how to adapt:
- - Do a deep level cash analysis - do not leave this to your accountants alone. Understand where every penny goes and make appropriate decisions; you know your business better than anyone. Do not outsource these decisions but have confidence in your abilities - that is why you are an entrepreneur.
- - Monitor your bank accounts daily. This is a pain and most people hate doing it but it is a must.
- - Review all your subscriptions: look at, firstly, whether you need them and, secondly, what is the minimum you can live with. You can do a lot with Google Sheets, and there is no need for fancy apps (or accounting software and on-line bank accounts). Reach out to service providers such as Amazon, and see if you can qualify for special programs like Activate. Some companies and freelancers are also offering invoice settlement extensions.
- - If you are a recently funded startup, stay on-course as long as your product or service is not affected directly by current events. However do look around for opportunities to accelerate - a lot of talented people may now be open to working with greener ventures.
- - Identify opportunities. Times of great dislocation and challenge are also great times for innovation: necessity is the mother of invention.
The business community is coming together and doing its bit to see entrepreneurs through this difficult time. Below is a list of the apps, funding and tools available from other companies to help see you through the pandemic. If you are paying for utilities, we can help you save cash at EnergyBillKill.com. We have lifted all the fees for small businesses with 100% of savings going to businesses; but also check directly with your energy supplier.
Note: The British Government has stepped in to help businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. You can find out more about the help and support available to you here.
Funding and cash flow
- -Pay it Forward - a campaign from Enterprise Nation that lets you pre-sell a product or service and deliver it after the crisis.
- -Wisefund - a crowdfunding campaign that can replace lost revenue in your business with a loan of €10,000-€250,000.
- -CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund - for smaller charities and non-profits. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.
- -GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative - $500 matching grants to businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.
- -Facebook Small Business Grants Programme - $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses in over 30 countries.
Accounting and bookkeeping
- -Float - Float, a cash flow insight platform, is offering an extended free trial for businesses affected by COVID-19 until 31st May.
- -Coconut - Coconut, a free-to-use app for the self-employed, calculates your self-assessment for you by linking to your bank account. This will be useful for accessing the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
- -Quickbooks - Quickbooks has introduced 60% savings on their plans for businesses and the self-employed for the first six months.
Workflow and project management
- -Slack - one of the best project management apps for teams. A free account is available for smaller teams for an unlimited period of time.
- -Basecamp - one of the best project management apps for large organisations. A 30-day free trial is available for larger teams. Basecamp Personal is free.
- -Trello - a free project board app with unlimited personal boards and 10 team boards. Paid accounts are low-cost and ideal for large teams.
- -Google Docs – the best online document collaboration platform. Free for personal users. A 14-day free trial is available for business users.
- -Skype - the best free instant messenger and team conference app. It’s free to use and you can make calls over Wi-Fi for free.
- -Todoist – a powerful but simple workflow app that syncs across all your devices in real-time. Useful for projects, and the free account is probably all you need.
Physical and mental health
- -Calm - Calm is a meditation and sleep app with a full library of meditations, stories, music and relaxing sounds. A 7-day trial is available
- -Headspace - gives you a 10-day beginner’s course in meditation for free to help you keep calm and stay sane at home.
- -Elefriends - a supportive online community that you can participate in for free to talk to people about your struggles.
- -Keelo - the best HIIT workout app. Puts together a complete workout plan for you with no expensive equipment needed.
- -Seven - a seven-minute workout app that requires no special equipment. A great way to burn calories without leaving the house.