Auction Masters: Providing Help for Businesses During COVID-19
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou
Resources for Small Businesses
As our communities at home and around the world face the coronavirus pandemic, businesses of all sizes are facing unprecedented challenges. This is also true for the people who rely on these businesses for products and services that help them survive and thrive.
The landscape of the future is turbulent and the conditions are uncertain. For business owners, there has never been a more important time to be there for your customers in any way you can. But, how in the world can you accomplish that when your business may be ordered to temporarily close at any time, or you’ve already made the decision that it’s in the best interest of your community to temporarily pause your operations? In order to help your customers, it may be necessary for you to find help for your business first.
At Auction Masters, we understand what you’re going through. We’re part of the latter group above who decided that the health of our community, patrons, and families are the most important things right now. We made the difficult decision to temporarily pause our auctions before the Governor imposed the Stay at Home Order because we believed the community’s health comes first.
We know that this virus will pass and lives will be affected. We want to be a resource for any business that has been affected by the recent pandemic and help you prepare for the future in every way we can. It’s important for you to have a plan in place and be ready to adapt to upcoming, unforeseen challenges.
Auction Masters is providing virtual consultations! Due to an influx of interest in planning for the future, we are now available to help businesses with virtual consultations. Our business communities have reported the need for SBA loans in the near future, and with our SBA Business Equipment Appraisals experience, we’re in a position to help. If you’re in need of a virtual appraisal, please contact Frank or Greg (emails below) or call us directly. We have several options available that simplify the process for you.
Below are some valuable resources that can assist your business during the coronavirus outbreak.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Resources
Small business owners in every U.S. state and territory are now able to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA is working directly with state Governors in providing low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits severely impacted by the Coronavirus.
Economic Injury Disaster Program
The SBA has implemented the “Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program” which provides small businesses working capital loans of up to $2 million for economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
The SBA has also created the “SBA Express Bridge Loans” program for owners “who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender”. Business owners can access up to $25,000 with less paperwork than ever before.
You’ll find information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
Center for Disease Control Resources
The CDC is asking for business owners to “Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease”. CDC has put together a set of interim guidelines that will help business owners:
- Prepare Workplaces for a COVID-19 Outbreak
- Reduce Transmission Among Employees
- Maintain Healthy Business Operations
- Maintain a Healthy Work Environment
*find the link for these below (CDC Community Guidance Business Response)
The CDC guide is based on current knowledge about COVID-19. They’ll be updating it as additional information becomes available. The guide was created to help prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19 in non-healthcare settings. The guide also provides planning to reduce the community spread of COVID-19.
CDC IMPORTANT NOTE – “To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use only the guidance described below to determine the risk of COVID-19 infection. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin and be sure to maintain the confidentiality of people with confirmed coronavirus infection.”
The CDC guidelines web page also provides a host of other resources from OSHA, the Health Alert Network, and the Travelers’ Health Website.
Click the link below to view the CDC guidelines for helping businesses control the spread of coronavirus in the workplace. CDC Community Guidance Business Response
Providing Help for Your Customers
After you have found helpful for your business, built a plan, and implemented the best practices for limiting the spread of COVID-19 in your operations, it’s time to provide help for your customers and communicates with them about how you are working to adapt to the current social and economic conditions.
Update your business information
Let customers know if you have modified your business hours. Update your storefront hours sign and your website with any important changes to your business. Edit your Google, Bing, and Yahoo listings, and any other customer-facing digital accounts (like social media) with changes in hours and operating standards you’re currently implementing.
TIP: In Google, create a post in your Business Profile, update your Business Description, and adjust the messages in your ads to share information about any extra steps you’re taking, such as providing services to the community or whether you’re having business delays. If shipping timelines are backed up, indicate these changes on your website. If possible, provide your clients with estimated delivery dates.
Talk to your customers directly
This is a perfect time to contact the customers who have done business with you in the past. Give your clients a call. Let those loyal clients know that you are there for them and you’re willing to help them. Talk to them about the products you have in stock and the services you’re currently providing.
Inform them about the precautions you’re taking to keep clients and the community healthy. Share updates about the steps you’re taking to adapt and assist them in getting the products and services that they rely on during these dynamic times.
Send emails to your client list, letting them know about important changes to your business and how you’ve adapted to make your business’s products and services available.
Be a source of information
Stay informed about the current business, social, and economic landscape. Take some time to research the demand for your products to understand the needs of your customers.
Tools like Google Trends and Google Alerts can help you stay current on local conditions and better understand your customers’ mindset. Updates from the SBA and CDC like those above can also provide you with the latest conditions that may affect customer interactions with your business.
Be current and transparent so that your customers will use your business as a source of truth to find answers, products, and services that will help them solve their current problems.
In this challenging time, people may be looking to businesses like yours for help. The thing people want from retailers they trust is relevant and up-to-date information. Make yourself available and keep your client base usefully informed during these important moments. This will show that you’re able to deliver the assistance your customers rely on.
Auction Masters is Here to Help During Covid-19
The Auction Masters team is available to assist you and your business in any way we can. We know that businesses are being hit hard. We’re feeling this pain right alongside you. We know that businesses are not going to come out unscathed. If another possible recession doesn’t sound like an event you want to weather, we can help you with a plan to maximize the value of selling your equipment.
A sincere message to all of the business community, we want you to know that we will do everything in power to give you the assistance you need to come out on the other side of this in the best way possible. Feel free to contact us at any time. We may have temporarily paused our auctions, but we are open to help you.