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Budgets and Planning, Trends

Kindness Matters as now is the time –

 March 14, 2020

By  Jana Hassett

– –   of year small business owners in Utah and Tourist based economies should be starting to implement their business plans for the year.  The trade shows are coming (except the one already cancelled) and it is always exciting to see what new products owners might include in their offerings  Then it is time to settle down and wait as the number of visitors increase over the summer (until the lull during July/August because of the heat).  Stopper Counts increase in September until November and then taper off to winter when one or two stoppers a day is normal.

Yes, adult stoppers.  We used to tally the number each and every day, year round.  We’d then divide the total sales for the day by the total number of stoppers to get the average sale amount by stopper.  It varied by year, month, season, weather, and world events, but was the basis for our annual budget and inventory purchases.  The current health crisis will affect stoppers, sales, and buyer attitudes and thus stopper counts, total sales, employment, and profitability for thousands of small business owners.  Their homes, cars, family life, credit – everything – will be impacted by the Pandemic of Coronavirus, everything is at risk for them.

Some might believe that online sales will save jobs, but you have to have product to ship, and most of the product lines being manufactured are coming from China, the source of the outbreak.  80,000 people have been affected there since the outbreak, and now over 100,000 world wide have had their lives changed forever, as well as their families, friends, and employers.

How do we go forward from here?  Slowly.  Slowly, because it’s going to be 6-8 months minimum before China is going to be able to get their factories up and running and deliveries made to major customers for sales (according to a Bank of America report).  Slowly, because it will take time for families to regroup and decide whether they’ll even continue to be in business (depending on whether they were able to weather the storm and how long it lasts).  Slowly, because the restocking of goods, parts, and other supplies will take time.  We’re spoiled and used to getting “stuff” on very short notice.  We’ll be lucky to get some items at all.

And small businesses will be lucky to retain employees without sales to cover those expenses.  Some already have too much debt to borrow to survive.  Others could look at several possible ways to survive.

  • Reduce employee costs by reducing operating hours
  • Restaurants might implement special menus based on available supplies
  • Close down salad bars/self serve stands unless the food comes wrapped
  • Every business should be cleaning restrooms, tables, doors and handles every hour
  • Consider allowing employees to bring their 7-17 year old to work with them while schools are closed

Be kind.  We all have our unique challenges during this time, and Kindness Matters.

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