There are seemingly endless literal million-dollar questions on the minds of business owners these days. What will the post-pandemic business climate look like? What should business owners be doing now to make it to the next quarter while also preparing for the long haul? The answers vary, but there are some overarching principles that can help you make it through this time. Here are five to keep in mind.
Have a plan in place
Being suddenly forced to shut down, layoff staff, curtail services or deliver value in a completely new way can result in impulsive business moves and an overall feeling of helplessness. Having a plan in place and executing on it to achieve short- and long-term objectives provides an operational framework, helping avoid impulsive decisions for issues that you actually have control over.
These uncertain times present a fluid situation that requires you to be ready to change your approach as new facts emerge. For example, if suppliers are out of commission, it may be time to explore other options to protect your business and ensure adequate inventory. On an emotional level, family dynamics may have changed for formerly reliable employees, requiring you to provide a sense of flexibility and stability.
Keep in mind that cash is king
Now is the time to explore every all your financial options to increase liquidity, including the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Economic Injury Disaster Loan emergency advances, and programs that can allow you to tap into retirement savings without a tax penalty. What’s more, negotiating rent deferments with your landlord and payment terms with suppliers will give you some breathing room on the accounts payable front.
Don’t just triage — be strategic
You’ve likely paid into the unemployment insurance system, which exists to provide relief to laid-off staff, so allow that system to work before you reopen. In addition, it’s worth reimaging operations by way of tele-dental exams to keep practices and patient relationships going during the shutdown.
Be a leader
Above all, in uncertain times like this, it’s important to provide guidance and demonstrate that you are in control of what you can control, even when you’re unsure of what the future will bring. Talk to employees, suppliers, and other business partners while being as transparent as you can about your strategy.
Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies to help get your next steps in motion.