Massage & Bodywork

COVID 2020

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BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS best practices Financially Surviving COVID-19 Crisis Management for Your Practice By Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds To say we're in uncertain times is the understatement of the decade. To me, it feels like a weird, slow- moving chaos. This pandemic is unlike anything we've ever experienced, and many of us are feeling untethered and shocked. We're going to help you determine what action to take and how to work through the logistics of pausing a massage business. FIRST, REST Before and between handling all the things that need to be handled, take a break. Remember that not every decision needs to be made right now. In the coming weeks and months, we'll get more information about the trajectory of this pandemic and the resources available to help us all through. Adjust your expectations for actually getting anything accomplished. If you're home with kids or a partner or other family, it's going to be hard to focus. If you're secluded alone, it can be tough to get motivated to do anything outside of watching Netflix and bottomless bowls of popcorn. Try to figure out a system that works best for you, whether it be a scheduled time to work when the kids are in front of the TV or asking a friend to check in and hold you accountable to your to-do list. None of us is getting a "full" workday in. Whatever that meant to you before, be flexible in your interpretation of productivity right now. YOUR SPACE If you rent your office space, the first step is to begin communicating with your landlord, if you haven't already. Be clear about your situation and if you are entirely out of work, say so. Be clear that you have no idea how long you will be out of work and that you are exploring relief options for small business owners. Ask if they have any guidance or solutions on how to proceed. Your landlord may be willing to work with you on reduced or suspended rent throughout this time. If your landlord is not flexible, you have more difficult decisions to make about keeping your space or giving notice, and you may need to seek legal advice about breaking a lease if it comes to that. But you won't know anything until you open that communication. It could be more cost-effective to give up your space and start fresh when it is safe to work again, and there will likely be plenty of commercial spaces available as the economy rebounds. If you also rent your residence, a similar conversation may be necessary with that landlord. Do keep in mind that new state and federal regulations regarding evictions during the pandemic are coming out daily. If necessary, contact your state's attorney general office for guidance on resources and applicable emergency regulations. GET YOUR NUMBERS TOGETHER Now is a great time to get up to date on your bookkeeping for 2020 so far. It will also be helpful to have your 2019 taxes complete and to know your last 12 months of income and expenses in order to file for any loans or grants you may be eligible for. Talk to your accountant or tax preparer regarding when, if, and how much to pay your first and second quarter estimated taxes now that your income projections for 2020 have changed. Visit www.irs. gov/coronavirus for the most current information regarding federal taxes, and visit your state's website for their current updates. Keep a list of any appointments you have canceled and the amount of income you would have received from them. You may do this in your scheduling software, a spreadsheet, or old-style pen and paper. Do what works for you, but track it as you cancel appointments now, so you don't have to rely on your memory later. LOCK DOWN YOUR SPENDING Look at your last few months of transactions. Eliminate any of your auto-debits and subscriptions that you can. If you have monthly subscription services, try to drop down to a cheaper (or, better yet, free) level of service while your business is paused. Consider your bulk email provider, website hosting, bookkeeping software, scheduling system, phone, etc. If you are paying utilities on your office space and can safely get to the office, turn the heat down, unplug everything possible, and consider canceling your internet service. In your personal accounts, defer any payments you can, for as long as you can. You may be able to delay auto loans and reduce credit card payments with no penalties or fees. If it makes sense for you—and it's necessary to maintain minimum cash flow for living expenses—pause your retirement investing temporarily (the key word being temporarily). 32 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k C O V I D - 1 9 s p e c i a l i s s u e 2 0 2 0

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