The COVID-19 Crisis has caused
widespread uncertainty in the economy and greatly disrupted normal business
activity. It’s safe to say that small
businesses are currently struggling during this unique and stressful time; most
are experiencing either significant falloff of revenue or a complete shutdown
of their business. With reduced or nonexistent revenue, businesses may to
struggle to make payroll, pay overhead costs such as utilities and rent, or pay
for inventory/services/supplies from vendors.
While some businesses have ample
cash reserves or access to lines of credit to help carry them through the
COVID-19 crisis, many businesses are not so fortunate. The two most common ways
to improve cash flow in a business involve creating additional income or
reducing expenses, easier said than done when many of our businesses are
closed. Focus on a step by step process, which includes an honest evaluation of
where we currently stand in relation to cash flow needs. We recommend a process
called “CASH FLOW TRIAGE.”
You may be familiar with the medical
term “triage”, but not how it could relate to your business. When medical
patients are seen in an ER, they are triaged by severity of the medical issue.
Life threatening issues are seen first. When you conduct a cash flow triage in
your business, all issues affecting cash flow are evaluated and then prioritized
in order of severity.
The following steps have been
written in an easy to follow format that will help you triage the cash flow situation
of your business and establish a plan to survive the COVID-19 Crisis.
FIRST AND FOREMOST -COMMUNICATE. It is of critical importance to maintain and
even improve communications with your customers, employees, lenders, vendors
and suppliers. Since the COVID-19 Crisis
will impact everyone, we all need to help each other move forward.
Establish a Timetable
We do not know how long this event
is going to last, but it’s safe to say that you should begin planning for 4-6
weeks of significant economic slowdown.
Determine on Hand Liquidity
How much liquid cash does your firm
have right now? Are you able to meet your expenses for the next two months
without significant revenue intake? Do you have a rainy-day fund?
Many firms have team members that
are unable to come in and work during this crisis; look at how much of this
work can wait until this incident has subsided. Can you afford to pay your
employees if they work from home or is business non-existent at this point and
there is no work? How many employees do you actually need to run your business?
Run the numbers and determine how to
move forward with staffing for the time being, some employees will be
necessary, while others may not. These are hard decisions to make, but necessary
Create Additional Income
In times like these, it is useful to
think creatively about how to manage assets, but also how our assets can be
modified in order to bring in revenue. Additionally, now is the perfect
opportunity to use new technologies to increase client and employee outreach!
Speak with Lenders
Lenders are going to be your
lifeline, speak with them immediately if you believe this crisis is going to
cause issues with liquidity or with your asset portfolio. They are more willing
to work with you the sooner you get in contact with them. It’s in their best
interest to see you succeed, and the sooner you develop a plan to move forward
together, the easier this crisis will be to come out of even stronger!
The good news is that small business
disaster loans are now available at a very low rate. While the information is
changing daily, you can read about small business disaster loans here. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/information/applyonline. We have a national network of Accountants, Bookkeepers
and QuickBooks ProAdvisors who can
help you get your financials in order and walk you through the loan application
process. Click here to find an accountant in your area who can help. http://www.qbexpress.com/find-a-trainer-in-your-area
The reality is, when this is all behind
us, being ready to return to normalcy will be of utmost importance. This crisis
is going to cause financial strain, but it will also open new opportunities!
It’s time to start preparing for those opportunities and bounce back even
stronger! We are “all in this together” and supporting our local businesses,
neighbors and friends has never been more important.
STAY HEALTHY and let us know if we
can be of assistance in any way.