Written by: Stephanie Parris, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
As many individuals and businesses across the globe have been impacted by COVID-19 in some way or another, many businesses are facing closure. Is your business facing closure, do you know someone who is? In the United States, the government passed an aid measure to assist many small businesses. The problem for many is the aid may be too late for some and is unattainable for countless others. Many cities, states, and countries have enacted shelter orders driving many businesses to consider closure due to lack of sales/customers.
Instead of closing your doors, consider a way to pivot. The pivot can mean a new way of doing business-versus closing the doors. Many of my clients have done the same thing for over twenty years and have been successful but now find themselves considering dissolution. What may have worked twenty years ago, likely needs adjusted for today’s environment. Just as employers have had to adjust to employees working remotely, organizations should look at adjusting their mindset to continue operations. Sometimes during trying times, the greatest business changes evolve. Perspective in mindset can spark creative thinking.
Start by reviewing your financial statements to determine where cash flow is going and what can be trimmed down if anything. One quick way is to evaluate subscriptions to determine what if anything is unnecessary. Often, organizations lose track of what subscriptions they maintain month over month and end up overpaying. Review insurance policies and contracts. It never hurts to review a contract and request adjusted rates. At my firm, we have adjusted rates for ninety days in order to provide some relief for business owners. We are all in this together, I consider the reduced rate as my investment in my clients. Review your main suppliers and consider asking for better rates. Chances are suppliers are feeling the pinch as well and want to continue business with you.
"Look at what your competitors are doing to determine what is working for them and what you can implement in your business."
Once you are confident with where things can be trimmed down, take a step back and evaluate your business model and goals. Before paying for someone to review your business model and structure, review it as if you were buying the business and had no background on it. Look at the processes, what works and what doesn’t work. What appears outdated, if it appears outdated, it likely is. If your restaurant only accepts call in orders, consider partnering with GrubHub or Door Dash. Look at what your competitors are doing to determine what is working for them and what you can implement in your business. Some of the best business minds in the world will tell you they are always evaluating their competition.
After reviewing your business as if you were an outsider, consult with an outsider. My firm looks at processes for potential clients, reviews their financials, and evaluates their market space to determine what if anything can be changed. A fresh set of eyes can be useful when emotion and history is removed. Most times, my firm is able to implement processes for clients saving them an average of twenty percent overhead costs. We have been able to listen to a struggling business owner and decipher their goals and challenges to offer a fresh perspective on market trends allowing them to pivot and not only remain in business but grow.
How many organizations do you know that are growing in these times? The organization that pivots and adjusts to the current economic situation, seeing opportunities where others may see challenges, will be the organization that grows and thrives during trying economic times. As a business owner, you must ask yourself, do you want to see a challenge or an opportunity? The mindset shift is often the hardest to accomplish but generally pays dividends. Take this time to invest in yourself. Find a mentor, a coach, a consultant, or all of them. Don’t stand still and let business pass you by, instead pave the way for other business owners.
Stephanie Parris,Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Stephanie Parris has a Masters’ Degree, in Accounting and Financial Management. She writes about accounting and business for today’s world. She has extensive knowledge of the non-profit, construction, real estate and service industries which she serves. Stephanie has become a leading expert in QuickBooks as well as outsourced accounting services. Stephanie lives in Missouri and volunteers and cooks for her local rescue mission, serves with Made to Serve as well as Race for Rett, mentors local female high school students, has a passion for wine and cooking, and loves spending time with her family and close friends