Guidelines for Entrepreneurs

We’re faced with a major disruption to our way of life and business.  This is a challenge as well as an opportunity. We will come through this but things will be different. This is your time now to really be an entrepreneur, a problem solver, an adapter, a survivor.  Don’t get confused—stick to the basics.

Rule #1: Identify and define the problem.

Don’t panic or get confused. Calmly look at the situation. How has the current environment affected you and your business?  Do your customers still have the problem you were solving?  Is the problem there but they can’t access your solution to their problem? Are new solutions needed? Is the problem still there, just a lower priority now, that they need to wait out?  Does that present new problems that you can solve for them? Make sure you know what the problem you’re trying to solve is.

Rule #2:  Validate the problem.

How do you know?  Talk to other businesses, are they seeing the same thing?  Talk to your customers, find out how they’re doing and what you can do to help.  You’ll also have plenty of your own data from your first hand experience.

 

Rule #3:  Develop a solution.

You’re good at this!  Look at the numbers, try different alternatives, what if you did this?  If you need money then look a the loans, what are the terms and requirements. Do I meet those terms and can I keep track of what’s needed.  Can I pay it back?  Do you need to cut costs?  Do you need to reduce or hire people?  Can you use them in different ways?

Rule #4:  Execute the plan. 

Get on it. Make the calls. Complete the forms.  Track down the information. Keep talking to your customers and partners.

Adapt, fix, change.  Seize the opportunities.

COVID-19 Business Programs

There has been a lot of discussion about the new federal programs and state programs related to helping businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

After talking with several students about their business needs there is a fair amount of uncertainty on where to go and what will qualify.  It’s not free money. You need to understand the expectations behind these loans, and you need to do the work to apply and verify the requirements both before and after the loans are granted. 

Resources

PPP and EIDL

I found this discussion about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) informative and helpful. Note that Kiln rents co-working office space to startups and small businesses. Proven CFO is a Business Advisor firm. They are new but seem very supportive and eager to help.  

ProvenCFO also has this document of resources on their site.

Banking

Check with your Bank or Financial Institution.  They should be aware of the programs and how you, their client, will get the help you need.

SBA

Check with the SBA at  https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.

How can I get information on SBA’s disaster loan program?
Answer: Contact us...
Online - sba.gov/disaster
Phone - (800) 659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339)
Email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

 UVU BRC

Check with the UVU Business Resource Center at  https://www.uvu.edu/uvbrc/.

You can also call them at 801-863-2720.  They can send you an email with key information.

 SBDC

Check with the SBDC at https://www.uvu.edu/sbdc/.

They can send you an email with additional information or you can talk with an advisor.

 Utah.gov

Check with Utah.gov. for Utah loans.

The Federal Programs are different than the Utah programs. Here’s information about the Utah Loans.

Also, be sure to check out https://coronavirus.utah.gov/business/.

 

Additional Thoughts

Look for ways to stretch the dollar or continue sales. There are lots of innovative ideas out there. Be creative. Look at what others are doing to adapt.

This is a great time to build relationships.

Talk to the people you owe money to. Let them know your plans. 

Talk to the people (customers) who owe you money. See how they’re doing.

 

As always, we’re here to help so if you need us just let us know!

Mark Seastrand

801-885-7823

mseastrand@uvu.edu