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Businesses around the country are reopening and, slowly but surely, things are returning to business as usual. But for some small businesses, the struggle is far from over.

Restaurants, bars, venues, gyms, and other businesses that rely on foot traffic continue to operate under limited capacity in most states. For these small businesses, limited capacity means limited revenue — but not always lower costs. It costs the same to keep the lights on whether a business at 100% or 25% capacity and staffing needs don’t necessarily scale with occupancy.

How can brick-and-mortar businesses recover in this challenging environment?

Protecting your Business from Liability

Liability is a major concern for business owners in light of COVID-19. How can your business protect itself in 2021?

  • First, familiarize yourself with employer liability protections relating to COVID-19 in your state. Many states, including Oklahoma, have passed legislation protecting non-negligent businesses from lawsuits.
  • Reevaluate your business insurance coverage as you prepare to ramp up operations. If your business changed locations, started offering delivery, or launched an ecommerce branch, your insurance needs have changed too.
  • Still operating your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership? A change in business structure could improve your risk profile and help you access business funding. An OK LLC is easy to form, making it the preferred entity of many small business owners.

Cost Management Strategies for Small Business

Maintaining profit margins in 2021 will require scrutinizing every cost. With these tips, you can ensure every cent counts.

  • First, apply for aid. While initial rounds of COVID-19 relief were quickly depleted, more financial assistance opportunities opened in 2021.
  • When overhead costs make it difficult to get by, negotiate. Business owners can negotiate with landlords, mortgage holders, suppliers, managed print service companies and credit agencies to secure more favorable terms.
  • Outsourcing business services is another way to reduce costs. Can you save money with managed print services, outsourced IT support, or managed print solutions  compared to keeping these responsibilities in-house?
  • There’s never been a more important time to have a financial professional on your team. A financial consultant can identify funding opportunities and analyze financial statements to improve your company’s position.

Maximizing Revenue During the COVID-19 Rebound

Limited in-house capacity poses a challenge, but it doesn’t have to stop your business from rebounding. Here’s how to rebuild while waiting for coronavirus restrictions to lift.

  • Maximize revenue by focusing on enterprises with the highest profit margins and prioritize marketing to your most profitable customers. Brick-and-mortar businesses should also use their space creatively to maximize capacity while social distancing.
  • Businesses can serve more customers by moving off-site. That may mean opening an online store, expanding curbside pickup and delivery, offering virtual classes and services, or moving indoor events to outdoor locations.
  • Your sales capacity may still be limited, but your brand’s reach doesn’t need to be. Stay active on digital channels like email, social media, and virtual events so your business stays top of mind during coronavirus recovery.

If you’ve been waiting for things to return to business as usual, it’s time to change tactics. Brick-and-mortar businesses need to adapt to the new normal in order to thrive in 2021. With these tips, you can develop a business strategy that helps you move forward instead of merely treading water.