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Terry Walker
Crisis and Strategy Consultant

Success Rules
   Make Goals Happen
   

Dear Friends, 

These are difficult times for all of us both personally and professionally. I wanted to share a few business survival strategies I have used during previous times of major business interruption or need to pivot. 
Terry Walker 

  • Coronavirus Business Survival Strategies

    Every day it seems like we get more news that affects our ability to continue to do business. Social distancing, carry-out only at restaurants, lost sales, closings, sick leave questions and how to shift to work-at-home are all challenges we may never have faced before. What can you do right now to ensure the future of your business after this emergency? Here are some strategies that can guide you through this unprecedented business interruption.

    • Cash-Flow Forecast. Prepare a cash-flow forecast through June 2021. You need to be very strategic on how you spend any cash. Who do you pay, how much and when is critical. This is not business as usual. Your long-term forecast will serve as a baseline to adjust as things evolve over the coming 90 to 120 days, and will provide a scorecard to help you map out your payments. If you have interruption insurance or end up needing a loan or a government grant, the data will also help you document the impact of this interruption.
    • Adjust Rationally but Quickly. Don’t wait to make cost-cutting adjustments to your business. Making useful adjustments too late to impact your business is not a success strategy. Some of these adjustments could include such things as freezing hiring, moving to working at home, closing your business temporarily, decreasing marketing spending, reducing delivery frequency, or consolidating delivery routes.
    • Identify Key Team Members. You may not have the resources to pay everyone through this crisis and may be forced to lay-off or furlough part of your team, or you may have to reduce working hours. When you’re making these difficult decisions, consider which team members will most impact your business today and as you recover. Work with an HR professional to ensure you’re following your local employment laws.
    • Communicate. Be very transparent to your employees, customers and vendors and communicate regularly. Be honest! You don’t know what you don’t know. The best answer may be “I don’t know, but we will let you know of changes as soon as they can be determined.” Give information to your team as quickly as possible and try to tell everyone at once to avoid miscommunication.
    • Research Best Practices. If you’re a member of an industry association, see if they can help connect you with businesses similar to yours that have had to react to emergency business interruptions in the past. Businesses in areas impacted by natural disasters have had to figure out many of the issues you may be confronting today, and may be able to pass along what worked best for them.

    To survive the current emergency and have a full recovery afterwards, you need to be fair and treat your team members like the valuable assets they are. Good leadership is critical – be open to suggestions, evolve your business to fit the new normal and make your key decisions at the right time.

     

    Terry Walker