Crafting your COVID Response: Common Questions from Small Business Owners

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

Jaryd Kase, who is based in New Orleans, is currently guiding his clients through the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. He shared his clients’ most common questions with us.

What can I do with this downtime to help my business survive and thrive?

Jaryd Kase: Take this time to do the things you have been meaning to do for your business for months or years.

Review your business’s mission statement, vision statement, and values. Do they still align with the direction in which your business is going?  If not, consider whether you need to change your mission, vision, and values or adjust how you are doing business so there is better alignment. If you don’t have a mission, vision, or values statement, make one! Now is the perfect time to [virtually] meet with other relevant stakeholders in your business and create these helpful items.

With a strong vision comes strong goals. You may need to rework some of your 2020 goals due to the pandemic and that’s okay. You won’t be able to meet the projections you made at the beginning of the year. It just won’t happen. Don’t beat yourself up over it. In the short-term, your focus should be on survival and making sure that you are getting all of the government assistance for which you are eligible.

Your long-term goals, the ones that might take five years or more to achieve, should not be pushed aside. Take this downtime to make sure you still know the path towards those goals and plan for how you will get back on that path once you’re back at work.

Take advantage of online professional development opportunities, and encourage your staff to do the same.

What should I do about my employees? I can’t afford to pay them, but I don’t want to lay them off.

JK: Try to avoid laying off your staff if at all possible. It is expensive to hire and train new people and you won’t want that extra burden when you reopen. If you need financial assistance to cover payroll costs, look into the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. You may be eligible for forgivable loans to cover payroll and other expenses. But do this right away because every other business is doing the same thing and the money will run out eventually.

I’m worried that my customers will forget about me. What can I do to stay connected to them?

JK: Send newsletters. Be active on social media. Get creative and find new ways to meet new customer needs. I’ll give an example. One of my clients is a craft store. The storefront is closed. A lot of the children who once frequented the store are at home and bored. My client developed do-at-home craft kits for these children.

My business has actually gotten busier as a result of this pandemic. What advice do you have for me?

JK: Enjoy your growth but know that abrupt growth often highlights cracks in a business’s foundation. For example, you may notice that important information is no longer making it to the right people in time. This likely means that your company’s communication was not great to begin with, but at your previous size, you were able to get away with it. Don’t ignore these problems just because you’re busy. Address them. In the example I just gave, it may mean establishing a new meeting rhythm, getting additional staff training, or developing an entirely new communications plan.

To contact Jaryd Kase, you can email him at or call him at (504) 334-8820

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