Remember February? Those good times feel like ancient history.
Currently, it feels like we are constantly forced into dealing with a new set of problems that we’ve never seen before. For small business owners who want to keep everything you've worked so hard to create, you have to master new skills every single day.
At Core Group US, helping small businesses thrive is what we do. As a small business ourselves, we’ve found a few ways to help deal with the daily onslaught of new, COVID-related responsibilities and we thought that you might be able to apply them to your business as well.
Talk to everybody - We cannot stress this enough – you need to communicate. Your staff is worried that they’ll get sick and laid off at the same time. Your vendors are worried that they aren’t getting paid while your clients are concerned that they aren’t getting what they paid for. On top of that, every one of those parties is worried about their friends and family. A little panic in this situation is worse than throwing gasoline on a fire, so take the time to let everyone know where you’re at what you’re doing to cope with the situation. It’s good for productivity and the sanity of everyone around you.
Optimize your cash flow – We’re sure that you’re already on top of this one, but taking control of your cash flow gives you more control over how long you can weather a storm. Are there expenses you can cut or services that you can put on hold? Businesses always go after labor first, but if you can reduce minor expenses, you may be able to keep up payroll and hold onto valuable human capital. We’ll be talking more about cash flow in the future.
What about people who owe you money? On an average day, it can be difficult to communicate with vendors or clients who owe you money, and these days are anything but average. Be firm but fair, and try to explore options before you drop the hammer on anyone. Everyone’s hurting now, and the bridges you might burn are the ones you’ll need to cross when the world goes back to normal. We’re in this together whether we like it or not, so work to find solutions that are acceptable to all parties, and if it means delaying payments or extending credit, don’t be afraid of exploring new avenues to save the relationship.
Triple forecasting – This one will take a bit of time, but if you can make it work, try to produce three forecasts for the near future; one for growth, one for contraction, and a final one for the status quo. If we’ve learned anything through this pandemic, it’s that anything can happen, and being prepared can make all the difference between success and failure. Know where you’ll invest to capitalize on growth and how you can retrench without killing your operation when times get rough.
Look into every option – There are so many different programs and stimulus programs in the works that keeping track of them can easily eat a few hours out of every day. Spending those hours, however, could help to keep your doors open. Your financial advisor should be plugged into what’s happening on Capitol Hill and in your statehouse, so keep an open line of communication to make sure you don’t miss any opportunities for low-cost loans or grants.
Remember that you serve – Whatever business you have, you serve people in some way. With the way every business is taking a hit, it’s easy to say that you shouldn’t spend too much time watching your stock price or bottom line, but if you focus on serving your customers, you’ll see positive change. What are you or your business uniquely positioned to do that might serve the people around you?
As always, Core Group US is here to serve you, and when the dust settles and you’re looking to improve your operation, we're here to help you plan better for whatever lies ahead.
Now wash your hands and get back to work.
Do you have questions regarding new tax filing deadlines in the wake of coronavirus? Read our 2020 Business Tax Filing Deadlines & Due Dates post to get some answers.