The world two weeks ago, heck one week a is a very very different place then it is today.
I don’t know if there’s ever been a time where we, as a world , felt as vulnerable and as powerless as we feel now.
Never in my wildest dreams did I see the world coming to a screeching halt in this way. Live’s have been interrupted, families devastated, the economy an avalanche of tumbling stocks.
In my inbox emails across the online communities I get to be a part of are pouring in.
“I’ve lost 8,000 dollars in business” , “my clients have pulled 6 months of work, “who is going to buy beauty products in this crazy time” .
This is just a sliver of the cries that are being echoed across the world.
One thing that is glaringly obvious from this pandemic businesses and the livelihood of so many families is going to be one of the unfortunate causalities.
Let’s talk triage.
If this conjurers images of hospital procedural shows, screaming doctors, messy red hands.
Welp we aren’t too far off.
This isn’t to scare you or feed any fear fires.
This is let you know that I know - sh!# is real.
While other resources and links, all great and all needed are going to tell you how to pivot your business.
I’m going to talk to you about business triage 101 over the next following weeks.
What do we do here and now to keep your business from bleeding out.
Even if you have to stick your hands in the chest cavity of your business and keep your heart going with manual pumps.
We are doing this (and we will do this with too many medical analogies because that is all I am watching on Netflix right now.)
The Goal of Triage:
To identify critical areas where we can increase performance immediately while the larger strategy is being put in place.
Running out of money is a small business's biggest risk.
You are going to have to change your accounting method from accrual to cash
The cash method is beneficial in terms of tracking how much cash the business actually has at any given time; you can look at your bank balance and understand the exact resources at your disposal.
At your current operating capacity :
Green Light Budget - You have 6 months of operating budget on hand and can - you will decrease Yellow Light Budget - cut your expenses by 10-15% percent .
Yellow Light Budget - You have 3-4 months of an operating budget on hand. You will need to decrease your budget by 15-25%.
Red Light Budget - You have 1-2 months of operating budget on hand. You will need to decrease your overall budget 30-50 % .
You may need to begin examining business finances every week rather than every month. Catching problems earlier can make a huge difference – 10% cost overruns are far easier to fix than 50% cost overruns. This is to increase your capacity and bandwidth to find longest terms solutions.
Some Cost-Cutting Strategies
Ask Existing Partners/Vendors for Discounts
If you buy a substantial amount of goods or services from any company, ask them to give you a discount. Remind them of your long-standing account and frequent purchases. If it came down between losing your business all together and make a little less on each transaction, more vendors would prefer to keep your business.
Find a New Partner or Vendor
If your current vendor won't lower their price, or won't lower it enough, consider switching vendors. Give the new vendor smaller orders at first, and then increase them in size if their quality, on-time delivery and service satisfies your needs.
Focus on Your Biggest Seller
Owners often know what funds are needed day-to-day but are unclear as to how much revenue is being generated, and what is their biggest source of revenue. Focus on selling or stocking your top revenue generators. Save your time the energy and resources needed to fulfill,
It’s an unfortunate, heart-breaking fact those Red Light decisions can include letting go of team members. However there are Coronavirus-Related Labor Laws for Businesses in place. Before making any of those decision See what your local government is putting into place for example: "NYC businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen a sales decreases of 25% or more due to the virus will be eligible for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. New York City is also offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months (an average of $6,000) to help retain employees. Eligible owners who would like to learn more about these programs should call 311 for assistance.”
Business Impact Analysis
Ready.gov has a business impact analysis that determines and evaluate the potential effects of an interruption to critical business operations as a result of a disaster, accident or emergency.
Federal Financial Aid
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA will be working directly with state Governors to provide loans in amounts up to $2 million to small businesses that have been severely impacted by Coronavirus economic disruptions.
Tech:NYC has put together an invaluable daily digest of the latest news related to COVID-19 and the technology industry. Latest news include a NYC technologists slack channel for volunteer opportunities, employer updates, tools and tricks, and information on the latest COVID-19 development.
The City is providing relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19 in the form of zero-interest loans and direct-cash grants.