No doubt it’s a tough time for everyone. Millions are unemployed, thousands have died and thousands more have contracted Coronavirus. In these circumstances, businesses are struggling. There isn’t a manual or business school course on how to weather a pandemic. Nevertheless, strengthening the relationships companies have with their vendors during this pandemic could go a long way to keeping them afloat; and when businesses return to more prosperous times, how a business behaved during this crisis will factor in how much that business shares in the new prosperity.
Ways to communicate effectively with vendors and service providers:
Even if a small business has had a stellar relationship with its vendors, proper communication during the pandemic is key to maintaining those bonds that have led a small business to succeed. Here are ways to communicate effectively and work with vendors and service providers.
- Be upfront and honest. Having a good reputation isn’t something that occurs overnight or after one business transaction. However, keeping the trust a small business has developed in better times is just as, if not more necessary, during the difficult times.
- Be direct and straightforward. No need to provide a diary description of your troubles. Make your request specific and clear. If possible, provide a timeframe for when you can make payments or provide goods and services.
- Be prompt. Do not wait until the day before the due date, or even worse, after the fact, when you had weeks to reach out.
- Provide documents to support your claim, even if unsolicited.
Ways not to communicate
- Make unreasonable demands on vendors and service providers. If a business is looking for some flexibility, it should, as the Golden Rule states, provide some to others. If your financial institution provided some leeway on monthly rent or mortgage payments, isn’t it fair to offer that same accommodation to your accounts receivable?
- Strong arming vendors and service providers just because they are desperate. While it may be legal to do so, is it ethical? Also, is this the reputation you want as a business?
Resources to use
- The Small Business Administration provides several avenues of relief for small businesses during the COVID-19, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance.
- The IRS has extended deadlines for tax filings and payments.
- Contact Estess CPAs for assistance with bookkeeping, payroll accounting, and tax services.
At Estess CPAs, based in the New Orleans area, we specialize in serving the needs of individuals and small businesses with tax planning, accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services. Call us today and schedule an appointment at our Belle Chasse or Luling offices:
7822 Highway 23 128 Lakewood Drive
Belle Chasse, LA 70037 Luling, LA 70070
(504) 433-5122 (985) 785-1470