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Road to Recovery: How to Bounce Back from a Small Business Closure

By: Carla Lopez, carla.lopez@boomerbiz.org, guest contributor

No one said entrepreneurship was easy, but small business closures can be one of the toughest experiences to navigate. Fortunately, bouncing back might be simpler than you think. All it takes is the right strategy for recovery, some self-reflection, and perhaps another big idea.

At Suitless, we know about helping companies rebuild, grow, and excel. Consider these tips for bouncing back from your small business’s closure and starting fresh.

Financial Recovery After Business Closure

Finances might be your top priority when facing a small business closure. Fortunately, you have multiple paths toward financial recovery as a small business owner and entrepreneur.

Financing Help for Small Businesses

Financial help for small businesses in COVID-19 times can seem challenging to navigate. But there are countless finance options available to companies that are struggling to stay afloat. For example, USA.gov highlights financial help such as SBA Express Bridge Loans and SBA Debt Relief, among other programs.

The government offers both loans and grants to help businesses recover post-COVID. Depending on your product, service, or niche, you may qualify for specialized funding under one of many federal programs. You may need to search locally to find state or local programs, however.

Other non-government funding is also available for COVID-19 small business owners. Companies like FedEx, Nav, and even the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation offer grants to a select number of applicants. These grants are understandably exclusive, but you may find that your business is the perfect fit for any number of small business grant programs.

Filing Bankruptcy Due to COVID-19

If you’re a business owner filing bankruptcy due to COVID-19, the good news is that you have options. As The Bankruptcy Site explains, business owners who can’t pay their debts may be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapters 11, 12, and 13 are additional options for higher-earning entrepreneurs and businesses that want to try their hand at reopening.

But Chapter 7 bankruptcy can also be a viable option for sole proprietor businesses that focus on services. Examining your options could mean your company can remain open – or at least close without significant debt.

Pursuing Other Opportunities

If your last-ditch efforts aren’t enough to keep your company’s doors open, finding other professional opportunities could feel daunting. The good news is that countless organizations are hiring remote workers in nearly every niche.

As FlexJobs highlights, niches like computer/IT, customer service, accounting and finance, project management, marketing, sales, and even real estate and mortgage have listed 50 percent more jobs since the pandemic began.

Working for someone else may not be your dream gig, but it could help you make ends meet while you explore alternatives.

How to Deal Emotionally When Your Business Closes

Mourning the loss of your business is normal, and grieving can even be a healthy process. But dwelling on the past only hinders your future growth – so keep your forward momentum in mind while taking a breather.

Entrepreneurs have a reputation for working long hours, pouring themselves into their companies, and never backing down from a challenge. At the same time, spearheading a business isn’t easy. Now might be an ideal time to nurture yourself the way you’ve always nurtured your company.

Self-Care Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Whether you worked from home as a business owner or are holed up to mourn your company’s end, just staying home can be a recipe for bad vibes. Creating a healthier atmosphere at home means cleaning up, getting organized, and eliminating clutter.

Starting with your home environment can help get you in the right mindset for overhauling your business plans, too. Nixing negative energy can feel healing in many ways, but it can also lead you to make changes in other areas of your life.

Setting up a home office may also get you in the right mindset for productive work. It can also help you feel more business-minded, even if your company has formally ceased operations. After all, your mindset is half the battle when it comes to handling a small business closure.

Stress Relief for Business Owners

Other self-care strategies for entrepreneurs include learning how to banish stress and anxiety. A soothing home environment helps, but meditation and mindfulness can do wonders for your mental state.

As Verywell Mind elaborates, meditation can reverse your body’s stress response and induce physical relaxation. Consistency is key, but lower levels of anxiety are a decent tradeoff for sticking with it.

Approaching your downtime more positively can also help ease stress. Taking positive steps toward building business connections or improving your skills are great ways to use your free time. You may not be earning a full-time income, but self-improvement can help boost your confidence, offer new avenues for growth, and even present business opportunities you’d have missed otherwise.

How to Find Your Next Great Business Idea

Inspiration is everywhere. But finding a new business idea can be challenging, especially if your former industry is no longer lucrative in a post-pandemic world. Fortunately, there are plenty of business ideas that could have you back at the office in no time.

Embrace Change (and Digital Business)

The hard truth might be that your next business venture won’t happen in real life. It could be purely digital – but an eCommerce or other online business is just as viable an investment as a brick-and-mortar store.

In fact, eCommerce sales are measured in trillions of dollars, with 2020 expected to cash out at around $4.2 trillion.

At the same time, the digital retail world is becoming more competitive. If you haven’t already, it’s time to learn how to build a website, begin digitally marketing to consumers, and promoting your (new) brand. Or, you could outsource those tasks – another up-and-coming trend for both entrepreneurs and big businesses alike.

Adapt to the New Normal

Embracing the new work-from-home model could be a barrier to cashing out on your new business venture. If you enjoy interacting with employees or teams and thrive in social settings, working remotely could present a steep learning curve.

Networking could help you bridge the gap, however. And yet, developing your remote work skills could take some effort.

Your first task? Learning how to become a better remote teammate. You might need a crash-course in online communication or a suite of digital tools to support remote work. But by improving your skills and keeping an open mind, you’re ensuring your new venture’s ability to evolve, adapt, and thrive. 

Facing the closure of your business feels frustrating and even devastating. But whether you begin by tending to your emotional state or the financial obstacles, moving forward is a necessity. In time, you’ll feel more prepared to pursue another great idea – and scale your new business beyond your previous success.

Ready to see your business flourish? Contact Suitless for human resources assistance, accounting support, and more.

Photo via Unsplash

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