PREPAREDNESS + OPPORTUNITY = ???
Imagine this scenario. You visit your favorite theme park (mine is Universal Studios), wait in line for 30 min for that 45 second thrill ride. You get seated and the safety bar comes down into your lap, what emotions are you experiencing? Are you nervous? Anxious? Excited? Unprepared?...
The cart starts moving, slowly rising up in elevation with the audible clicking of the tracks. Then…it slows to an almost dead stop at the apex…the calm before the storm…what comes next? A sudden increase in speed as gravity grabs a hold of your cart moving left and right, up and down, even upside down… Are you ready to puke yet??
Or…are you so aware of what’s happening and what’s coming that you enjoy the ride with no nervousness or anxiety? Are you prepared for those ups and downs, manipulating your head and shoulders for each turn? Do you scream with joy with your arms raised because you know the thrill is on and it will soon be over…all too soon…
Q1, Q2 and arguably Q3 of 2020 were devastating times for many businesses. Every state addressed the Covid19 pandemic with different limitations and restrictions. Some states were tough, some were lenient. Heck, it’s almost November and after almost 8 months, our local gyms in Los Angeles haven’t been allowed to open back up…devastating to the fitness industry!
Whether it’s a global pandemic, catastrophic natural disasters, economic downturns…the question is, are you prepared? Is your business financially and emotionally prepared to hunker down and survive the temporary slow-down?
If your business has been struggling in 2020, or you were forced to close, then your answer is NO. If you answered no, what was the cause? Was it that your business was young and didn’t have the resources available to hang on? Was your business a long-standing business but you didn’t have a rainy-day fund for these times? Did you take too much profit, buy that boat and not reinvest into your business?!
Did you know that most business experts recommend having a rainy-day fund to cover your business for 3 months…and some even say 6 months?!
Every business should keep a certain amount of liquidity for a certain amount of time. Whether it’s 3 months or 6 months, keeping something aside is critical. What you should be saving for is your fixed liabilities/expenses. Here is a sample of what could be included:
Waiting around for a bailout from the government or rent relief isn’t practical, your biggest asset is arguably your team, and Benjamin Franklin once said “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Don’t wait, prepare.
There are many ways to save money, and although I may sound like them, I am not your financial planner nor am I your CPA, but I am going to be that nagging voice in your head. You ought to have this discussion with your financial planner and CPA. Nevertheless, I do have ideas… Here’s an easy one... If you put $200 a month into an interest-bearing savings account, starting now, in a year you will have saved up over $2400 (plus that accumulating interest). If your monthly expenses are $2400, you are now covered for a month of no business. Put $500 a month, and that’s $6000, ~2.5 months of coverage. Do that for 5 years, and you’ll be safe for a long time.
DON’T TOUCH THAT MONEY UNLESS IN A DIRE SITUATION! All too often do business owners see that big dollar amount and think, we could use all new furniture…or repaint the walls…I’ve seen some of your businesses…yeah, you should do it, but, don’t you dare touch your rainy-day fund for it.
Using your credit cards and maxing them out during a business slowdown is risky and can sink a business if you’re not careful. The fees for keeping that balance will keep accruing until you pay it off. Although a great temporary solution, be careful and pay off that balance as soon as possible.
Borrowing from friends/family and negotiating with your vendors are other great options. Be mindful of your relationships in case you lose it all…you may in fact lose it all! The best lender may just be yourself! Tap into your personal savings accounts or retirement accounts (discuss with your CPA) and loan the business that money (with interest) to stay afloat.
Speaking of staying afloat…take a look at the cruise industry. One breakout on a cruise ship and the whole industry came to a floating halt. For most of them, they were able to use their cash reserves to bear the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to keep themselves in business…PER MONTH!! And they haven’t gone bankrupt yet. Good news for most of them, they will be sailing as early as November 2020 providing arguably the safest environments for anyone to vacation on! (shameless plug: https://bit.ly/2I76mxc)
You see, like the cruise industry, we must grab the opportunity to be even better. Hold on as long as you can, and, when the time is right, pounce on the opportunity!
Preparedness + Opportunity = SUCCESS!
If your answer to my earlier question was YES, then congratulations! We, along with many suffered a couple of months with little to no revenue and did not furlough or let any of our team go. However, with strategic planning, we were able to weather the storm. I can tell you, our September was one of our greatest revenue months…in the 19 year history of the clinic!
I sincerely hope every business owner takes these actions to plan appropriately, and if you need help, you can always sign up for my ‘Achieve Growth’ course which helps businesses grow with personal coaching. To learn more visit www.drgosalia.com/business-consultant
Wishing you great success in Q4 continuing into 2021!