Sage Advice from Stan: Getting Back to Basics as You Reopen for Business
I’ve been through at least seven downturns in my career. They usually are coupled with a slump in the energy industry. Still, the economic fallout from the pandemic has been equally impactful for business owners. As things slowly return to normal, I offer some advice to businesses as they reopen their doors.
It’s the motto of the Boy Scouts, and as you plan to reopen your business, it should be yours too. Now is the time to clean up the premises, organize your inventory and identify which items are your best sellers.
It’s all about getting back to basics. Take the time to review your value proposition and understand why customers choose you over your competitors. Look at what has made you successful to this point.
Your staff’s safety is essential, and much has been written about creating a safe environment for your team and your customers. What’s more important is your team’s mental health. Many people have been laid off or are worrying if they will have a job in the future. How is your firm handling that?
How are you and your team dealing with customers and clients? Every business has had client drop-off. What clients spent with you before, may not be the same amount they’re willing to spend now. That’s a big concern for your team and may create feelings of anxiety.
Maintain a positive atmosphere. Your messaging should be ‘we’re going to come out of this, and we’re going to come out of it well.’ Show your team the list of things they need to achieve to make it happen.
Be cash conscious.
We recently held a webinar on how to manage your business during a cash crisis. As we told our audience, no rock should be left unturned to save cash because that puts you in a position to last longer. Business owners are learning a valuable lesson in what is a ‘want’ and what is a ‘need.’ When things are going well, everybody wants. ‘I want a new car. I want this, and I want that.’ After recent events, the questions become, ‘Do you need a lot of those things? And the answer is ‘no, you don’t.’
Something I brought up during the webinar is that business owners don’t always look at their personal requirements. Their business success has flowed into their own lives, and they’ve been able to increase their standard of living. And now their situation is changing, and not for the better. How are they going to handle that personally? Those are important things to consider because when you talk to your bank. They will ask them (and sometimes us) ‘are they curtailing their requirement for cash?’ Because they want to see that everyone’s all in when it comes to the financial health of their business.
Don’t be afraid to jump in because a lot of your competition is not going to be there. A lot of your competition is going to be hurting. If you can invest and grab market share, this is the time to act. This is a good time; this is when you get new customers. People look for alternatives in downturns; they look for other ways of doing things. If you can be one of those alternatives, it makes a big difference.
If you’re looking to make a bold move, we can certainly help. Please feel free to reach out to us.