With the coronavirus outbreak on the rise, small businesses across America are struggling with sudden cash crunch during the coronavirus pandemic. More concerns are certainly appearing for small businesses across the country, and according to Goldman Sachs survey, more than 1,500 small businesses found that 50% of them might not be able to continue operating for more than three months amid the current covid-19 outbreak.
Because of revenue loss from government constraints, many small businesses are experiencing a hard time in making payments to their suppliers, vendors, and lenders to keep their businesses afloat.
As the market rapid decline from the coronavirus outbreak continues, monthly bills will be getting due. If you’re among the affected small business and don’t have the adequate cash to make those payments, consider negotiating with your lenders and suppliers.
How to Negotiate with Lenders?
If you have a small business loan, line of credit or any other financial obligation in hand from a lender, know this they don’t want you to default on your loan. To ensure you make your monthly payments and stay afloat, they will work with you by renegotiating a repayment plan in terms of deferred payments, or lower payments.
Bear in mind that you have to pay off your loan whether you defer, lower, or default entirely on your loan. This can significantly impact your credit profile especially if there was a personal guarantee for the loan. There are many things involved including the lender’s policies, the loan type, and other factors—so it’s vital to comprehend the likely consequences promptly. The best way to avoid any consequence is to contact the lender directly to work out a plan. Check for any coronavirus-specific hotline, or contact the lender via customer service.
There will be different situations for borrowers and lenders, and directly contacting the lender to explain your current financial position can help get you a positive outcome in terms of deferred or reduced payments.
How to Negotiate with Credit Card Companies
Similar to a bank, credit union or an alternative lender, credit card companies will also want you to be their loyal, happy customers. In such situations, proactively approaching them as soon as possible to work out a plan to reduce your current financial burden can help. Amid the covid-19 outbreak, most credit card issuers have recently announced that they’re willing to work with small businesses that were affected by the coronavirus pandemic in terms of lower interest charges, waiving late fees, and returning check fees.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, there will be thousands of customers crashing at the doors of the credit card issuer for customer support. Contacting them via their mobile apps or at an online chat facility can help get you some financial relief. Every credit card issues are fully recognizant of the current situation and will be willing to work with you to provide you short-term financial relief.
How to Negotiate with Vendors and Suppliers
You might have trade credit with different vendors and suppliers, and if you feel like you’ll miss payments, negotiate with them to provide you adjusted terms. The key here is a good relationship with them that can help you negotiate flexible credit terms.
If your business supply chain is not disrupted, vendors and suppliers might provide you with the resources if your business picks back up again in the near future. Strategic communication with the vendors and suppliers can help your struggling business. However, you can also look for other suppliers and vendors to see if you could get a better deal elsewhere. Approach your vendor and supplier with the researched information of competitor’s better prices and terms in order to get flexible rates and terms to help keep your business afloat in this difficult time.
How to Negotiate Contractual Obligations
Most small businesses often have contractual obligations with other businesses and organizations. If you’re one of those small businesses bound by a contract to fulfill your commitments, you might be wondering how to fulfill them without losing money.
The first point of contact is to review your force majeure clause to see if there’s a clause that can cover you from the Act of God like the coronavirus outbreak. Every state has its own rules and regulations, so your best bet is to give notice of force majeure in a resounding, comprehensive, and polite way. If you are unable to settle a contract and experience a lawsuit, try making a persuasive case to improve your chances of success.
However, you can also negotiate with other parties to reschedule or pause the contract terms for a while so you can reevaluate the feasibility of continuing the contract, giving you some breathing room in the end.
How to Negotiate with Commercial Landlords
Paying monthly rent is a major consideration for small businesses, and if you’re anxious about paying rent this month, it’s worth looking into whether your State has new rules and regulations during the current pandemic situation. Los Angeles and the New York States are helping small businesses with suspended evictions and late fees, lower business taxes, rent forgiveness. The administration also working with smaller building owners if their tenants are unable to pay rent.
If you’re in a state where no such legislation has passed, directly approaching your landlord and working out a deal is your first choice. Remember, practically you do not want to shut down your business; your property owner also likely won’t spend money and efforts to hire a new tenant in order to offset lost income. You can also check out legal assistance from your local government. If nothing is available in your area, negotiating with your landlord for a short-term solution is your best bet.