Information and Resources to Help Small Business Owners Navigate COVID-19

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In an effort to support business owners, here is the latest news about COVID-19 as it pertains to small business and I’ve included an updated list of resources. So, how does the US Small Business Association (SBA) define a small business…

A Small Business Is Defined As:

Depending on your industry, a small business could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a maximum of 1,500 employees. They’re privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have less revenue than larger businesses.

For those of you in Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp announced yesterday that Georgia has received an official statewide disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This declaration will provide assistance in the form of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to impacted small businesses in all 159 counties in Georgia.

This opens the door for small businesses and nonprofits in Georgia to now apply for economic injury disaster recovery loans.  The loan can be up to $2 million per business to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

The application is now live, and Georgia small business owners can go directly to the SBA for assistance and to access the application.

Not in Georgia… no worries, use this link for information and the application for every state that has received the disaster declaration from the SBA.

Required Documents for SBA for EIDL loans: 

  1. Profit and Loss and Cash Flow Statements for 2019 and 2020 on annual basis and year to date basis.
  2. Tax returns from the past 3 years, both personal and business 

Loans are available for small business and non-profit organizations. While terms will be established on a case-by-case basis, many will have a thirty-year repayment term with first payments not due for up to twelve months. Businesses should expect to provide a tax transcript, financial statements, and a profit and loss statement. Interest rates will range from 2.75% to 3.75%.

In addition to the above, I suggest you reach out to your lending institution to see if relief programs are being offered during this time: delaying payments; interest only payments.  

To learn more about the EIDL program:


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Join Small Business Roundtable with SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and CEOs of the leading small business organizations. They will discuss the needs of small business owners during the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Friday, March 20th, 2020 at 2:30 pm ET

Click Here to RSVP

****This Just In****

(1:15PM March 20th) At this time, due to some last minute scheduling issues, we are working to reschedule this webinar for another day and time. Our goal is to have something next week. Timing might be better as we expect to know more about the next round of legislation.


empty-office-space-working-from-home-small-business

This is something every business owner should ask their staff who are working from home, before moving into the meeting agenda of the call. Discover what it is here


Learn How to Manage a Manage a Work-From-Home

  • TODAY – March 20: Learn from nationally recognized experts on How to Manage a Work-From-Home Workforce Teleconference with a FREE webinar. This resource is open to any business in the region and is hosted by Council for Quality Growth in partnership with Forsyth County Chamber. Register here.
  • Next Week: Georgia Commute Options is hosting a Telework Webinar Series to share information about managing objectives and deliverables while teleworking, collaborating through technology, supporting good working habits and more.

IRS Tax Relief information

The IRS has established a special section of the agency’s website focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by this coronavirus. Their page will be updated as new information is available.  

Guidance for Businesses and Employers with Regard to COVID-19

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America – 15 Days to Slow the Spread

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:


Well that’s it for now… 

But please leave a comment with any information and resources that you’ve found useful as you’ve navigated the COVID-19. And don’t forget to support the local small businesses in your area any way you can.

What To Do When You Do Not Know What To Do

Three Practical Things You Can Do Today

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Out of the blue, I received a call from someone in the financial services industry that I had that referred clients over the years. Her business expertise was in an area beyond the scope of work I did with my clients. And while we had collaborated on clients, we had never talked about her business beyond the services she provided to business owners.

The voicemail indicated she wanted to run something by me. But when we spoke, I quickly realized she was at the crossroads with a business decision and she didn’t know what to do.

Many times the coaching conversations I have with business owners concern decisions they had made at a point in their life when they didn’t know what to do.

Seeking advice or counsel is the wise thing to do

But either by design or default or because of ego or pride, entrepreneurs and business owners tend to go it alone. Sometimes the results are good and often not as good as they had sought objective feedback or utilized someone as a sounding board.

And while I won’t go into the details of the call, here is a decision-making model I used to help her get a better idea of what to do when she truly didn’t know what to do.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. – Charles Swindoll

 

Be Inquisitiveresearch potential solutions

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• Search the internet – articles, books, blogs, podcasts, videos

• Ask friends, family, neighbors, or business associates if they know someone you should talk to who is familiar with the decision you are contemplating

 

 

Be Openseek counsel

tom-martin-coaching-be-open-to-counsel• Being inquisitive is getting ideas about potential solutions.

• Getting counsel is tapping into the wisdom of someone who has perspective about the decision you have to make.

• And if you can’t find someone with first-hand knowledge of the situation, review your notes from all the conversations you had with people you trust (mentors, advisors, friends, spouse) to see where there is a consensus. And when there is, move on to the next step. Just make sure the people you’re talking to will not only tell you what they think but also what you need to hear.

 

Be Stillponder, meditate, or pray

tom-martin-coaching-be-still• Evaluate everything you learned from being inquisitive and review the advice shared by counsel.

• Compare the advice shared by counsel.

• Stay still until you know what to do. Remember, no one knows for you…only you know for you!

 

A few final thoughts about moving forward after you make a decision about what to do:

KNOW THIS

Waiting to make a perfect decision means you’ll never make any decision! – Tom Martin

DO THIS

Forget about the ultimate outcome. Just focus on taking one step in the direction of the thing you decided to do.  – Tom Martin

REMEMBER THIS

Clarity comes when you move toward your destination and correct along the way.  – Michael Hyatt

Living Full Out

Radio Show Guest Appearance

I had a great time appearing with Nancy Solari on her nationally syndicated radio show, Living Full Out!tom-martin-coaching-living-full-out-radio

 

My Living Full Out episode, When You Believe You Can Overcome Limitations as You Live Full Out, originally aired on February 10th. Nancy and I discussed overcoming adversity and finding hope in the most challenging of circumstances. Plus we talked about the life lessons I’ve learned from battling merkel cell cancer three times and how this was a catalyst for me to leave the automotive industry and become a certified executive coach.

You can listen to the Living Full Out show using the Spreaker Audio player below. And you will find my two segments with Nancy starting at the 15-minute mark of the show. 

            

I share my story to share the life lessons I’ve learned along the way and even offer hope. You are not alone, and feel free to reach out with questions. You can learn more about my cancer journey on my blog and also in the Huffington Post feature, Voices of Strength – Stories of Survival  

Guest Appearance on Podcast for Business

Creating Raving Fans of Your Business

Recently I had the privilege of being a guest on the Podcast for Business show. The podcast is all about business conversations over coffee where the discussions focus on the journey of business ownership.

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Podcast for Business is hosted by Diane Campbell who owns Gratitude Goodies, a specialty gift basket company. Being a business owner herself, Diane’s understanding of business and perspective as a business owner lends itself to compelling conversations with other small business owners.

Actually, Diane’s mission at Gratitude Goodies of helping corporations express their appreciation to customers in meaning and memorable ways set the stage for our conversation about how business owners can create raving fans of their businesses. You can listen to my episode of Podcast for Business using the audio player below. 

A Guide to Setting Goals You Can Achieve

5 Key Steps to Setting Goals and Achieving More

Have you thought about what you want to accomplish in 2018, by 2020, or maybe by your next birthday milestone?

Are you clear about what the key objectives are in your personal life, your career, or your business?

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If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals, our focus wanes and our sense of direction is dulled. 

To accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Setting goals is a process that starts begins with careful consideration of what you want to achieve and ends after a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are series well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.

Why You Need to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing Today

When business owners start looking for ways to attract more customers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The internet, right? But before they start having conversations about SEO, SMO, and social media ads, they need to make sure they have fully optimized the free online marketing platforms available, like Google My Business.

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When digital platforms like Google My Business and Nextdoor are fully optimized phones start ringing, customers start showing up, and traffic increases on websites.

Sadly though, many small business owners fall under the misconception that a website, some search engine optimization and a few social media posts are all they need for business growth to occur.

Your website doesn’t need to be found by everyone; it just needs to be seen by the people who live in your community. You get this right, and the results can be significant.

4 out of 5 people use search engines to find information about your business.

Your potential customers are searching find local business information like business hours, location, phone number, online reviews, and more. Customer surveys reveal that businesses with detailed online profiles and complete business listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.

How to Stop Indulging Your Limiting Beliefs

The struggle is real. And with the dawn of each new day, our confidence must do battle with the limiting beliefs that echo around in our heads.

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If you look at the image above you’ll see an assortment of limiting beliefs I’ve heard in the course of my business coaching and life coaching with clients. 

According to Wikipedia, a Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. 

Our beliefs can either be empowering or disempowering. And over time, because our actions or inactions follow our beliefs, they will create our reality. 

So if the battlefield is our minds, what strategy can we use to silence our limiting beliefs, gain confidence, and achieve more in life and in business?

Why You Need To Do a Mid-Year Business Review

It’s halftime, how did you do? The end of June represents halftime for the personal goals and business objectives you set for the year. Much like in a football game, the scoreboard only tells part of the story at the end of the second quarter. So, before you kick-off the second half of the year, the wise thing to do is a mid-year business review.

Photo Small Business Owner Mid-Year Business Review

While the band is on the field at halftime, coaches and players are examining film and adjusting X’s and O’s to come up with a winning second-half game plan. Sadly though, many small business owners and sales professionals emerge from the July 4th holiday break with the same plan that has been in place since January. 

We Know We Should

The cars we drive, the planes we fly in, and the high-tech machines we use all need to be tuned and calibrated to ensure optimal performance. Intuitively we know our lives and our businesses have similar demands, yet we fail to schedule the time for this review. It is encouraging to see more and more of my small business owner clients incorporating a mid-year business review into their management philosophy.

Common Reasons Why We Don’t

And while more of my clients are open to this, there are two common scenarios where people resist doing a mid-year business review. 

Why is it Hard to Prepare?

This is a guest post from Mark Miller the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.

I was standing in the back of the room listening to my introduction, hoping the person would say something I could comment on when I took the stage. The room was full – hundreds of people. They had come to hear me speak. They wondered what I would say. So, did I… I was not prepared.

Image Hard to Prepare

I hope this has never happened to you as a leader. Take my word for it; to stand and speak in front of a group, large or small, ill prepared is not my idea of fun. Now, I’m okay with making spontaneous remarks as needed – that’s VERY different than a keynote presentation, or workshop setting in which success really does hang in the balance if you’re not prepared.

How To Avoid The January Funk

How are you doing? Is the January Funk messing with your mind and playing with your attitude? Well the good news is you survived Blue Monday, the unofficial “gloomiest day” of the year.

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The first Blue Monday was declared on January 24 in 2005 as part of a press release from a travel company. The date was a result of research used to discern travel trends and holiday bookings. And while science has debunked the gloomiest day of the year theory, there is no denying seasonal factors like post-holiday depression, increase debt, and inclement weather can be a catalyst for the January Funk.

But the good news is there are three things you can start doing today to beat the January Funk.