The past year has been challenging for everyone, with the COVID-19 pandemic taking the world by surprise. But while the effect on individual lives is certainly important, it has also negatively impacted small and local businesses. With the end of the pandemic hopefully in sight, many small and medium-sized business owners are wondering what to do next. If you’re one of these business owners, we have some tips for you.

Kosi Stubbs of Specific Mechanical Systems has helpful advice such as keeping cash reserves, simplifying operations and ensuring efficiency. Try to be an optimist, and look for the silver lining in the pandemic. Though many businesses weren’t prepared for a global crisis, they were able to adapt by cutting unnecessary spending and making their operations more efficient, lessons that can be carried over into the future. When business picks up again, consider taking that money you save with your pandemic-era lessons and putting them into a cash reserve- the Forbes article linked above recommends anywhere from six to nine months.

If you’re primarily a brick-and-mortar business, you may have been impacted particularly hard by the nation- and state-wide stay-at-home orders. Maybe you survived by offering delivery or curbside pick-ups of products ordered online, but don’t put all your eggs in the digital basket post-pandemic. When stay-at-home orders are lifted and when you’re ready to reopen, many people might be eager to get back to in-person shopping, as this article by Manulife Bank suggests. Making sure your business is prepared to accept customers safely by enforcing social distance procedures, offering hand sanitizer and face masks, and accepting touchless payments will ensure the safety of your customers and staff.

By following these helpful tips, you can prepare for post-pandemic business demands and prepare for when a similar situation happens again.