‘Shark Tank’ millionaire’s coronavirus advice: Small businesses should barter to lower costs

FUBU founder Daymond John is known for his sage business advice on the hit show “Shark Tank,” and he’s sharing some of those tips with small business owners who may be suffering financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Think outside the box

“If you are selling food and you know that you can work with a company that is selling juices or they’re selling gym equipment and you can give a collaborative deal where all their clients get 30 percent off your now-meal delivery and then you kind of borrow from each other,” John noted.

He insisted small businesses need to find ways to anticipate how deep this problem could be and figure out how to get more value out of their business.

The entrepreneur considers that bartering effort to be mutually beneficial since it helps small businesses maintain their revenue flow and also passes a discount on to consumers, which they desperately need right now.

2. Go small if possible

“Go as small as you can with your employees,” John shared. “Usually your top 20 percent of employees are really costing you the same amount as 80 percent of your employees. If you go as small as possible, and you start going in and renegotiating all your terms, your leases, your inventory, you don’t burn through your inventory right away because it gives you some steady cash flow.”

John explained that some people might not realize how similar their budgeting process is to a small business’ procedure. While a household might be living paycheck to paycheck, John told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on Monday many small businesses are living “quarter to quarter.”

3. Take advantage of working virtually

John suggested people talk to their employees to see if they can think creatively to help the business.

“I went to my employees, and we had a hard and a real discussion that’s tough, and I said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I need your entrepreneurship hat on right now’,” John recalled.

He asked them to take what they were doing for his companies and “change the way that we do business.”

John also suggested looking into programs that can help you. He pointed to the virtual personal assistant program Belay. He told the story of a Belay employee he worked with who splits her time between three different employers so she is able to stay at home with her young child. It’s this type of virtual workforce that John believes is the future.