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Business Services

Small Business Survival

 April 4, 2020

By  Jana Hassett

At a time of total uncertainty, small businesses around our country are wondering “What’s to become of me”?   How will I survive Business Financial Uncertainty? 

The answer?  However you want.  I know, that doesn’t sound realistic.  But it can be the answer if you are willing to put in the work to craft the new company.  Because every company, small or large, will change with this economic event.

Raoul Pal, the former hedge fund manager who founded Real Vision, thinks the fallout from the coronavirus will have immense, far-reaching impacts on the global economy.

For context, in October, Pal called the Federal Reserve cutting rates to zero and the US having negative rates. In late February, Pal said to buy bonds and that the impacts from the coronavirus would be "meaningful and real." Both predictions came true.

Mr. Pal is now predicting every company will be different after this event. His interview with Christopher Competiello in the current edition of Business Insider was both interesting and frightening.

Where does that leave small business owners?  Probably struggling with financial uncertainty.  What should they do? Downsize? Close? Change?  

For some, it will be so difficult they will just close.  Some will declare bankruptcy and try and find employment to take care of themselves and their families.  Others will decide to downsize their operations and work to pay off debt and survive in the long term.

Those that choose to change have the largest advantage.  They may have been thinking about making changes to their operations but were afraid to rock the boat and lose loyal customers.  Others might have been dreaming about a different focus or adding to their focus.  Whatever the change owner has been dreaming of, it’s the perfect time to launch.  Because many businesses are going to change, the choices customers are used to having are going to be impacted and sharing the reasons for your change are going to be critical, but more acceptable during this upheaval. 

Whatever you choose, make sure you’ve taken the time to put your plan on paper and write a tentative budget to go with it.  Make sure you can demonstrate how your new operation will work, where and what you can project for income that makes it feasible.

In the 25+ years I ran our retail Gallery/Gift Shops we created an annual evaluation, inventory, and budget based on past years results.  This dictated our expenditures for the coming year and any changes we decided we’d like to make were based on this information.  You need this information for where you’re going with your business in order to protect your plans and your livelihood. So, whatever you do, get your information in order now.  Take this time to figure out exactly where you are financially with your business and use that to determine what you can do.

Whatever you’re thinking, you need to be considering what you’ll do to cut costs and survive.  As part of my “Small Business Survival Guide” I have a cost cutting checklist available, at no cost, to download.  Visit my website for your copy.

And lastly, I know it feels like you’re alone.  Whether you are the owner or the family of the owner, working through all this is critical.  Don’t just throw your hands in the air and walk away.  There is help in your own community, either paid or free resources through your Business Development Centers.  Some of you have colleges that provide assistance to their communities, and don’t overlook seeking guidance from your lending institution.  They are, or should be, your silent partner in your business adventures.  They have trained loan officers that can help you access the information you have put together to explore solutions to your problems or help guide you on your path.

If I can be a resource for connections and/or ideas, please do reach out through my contact page or simply reply to this email.

Sending you my best –

Jana

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