Are you looking for tangible action items to do for your business right now? Unfortunately, I hesitate to give general action items for any entrepreneur or business without knowing more about their business. We are all in different cycles of business, levels of growth, and various types of business. The advice and action items for one person or business may not be the same for next.
What I do know is we must all change and adapt to the current conditions to survive and thrive this ugly storm. Over the years, I have watched many businesses fail because they are unwilling or refuse to change and adapt even during the good times. There are many things out of our control and as an entrepreneur we must focus on the things we can control to make sure we are doing what is best for our family, friends, employees, customers, vendors, partners, and community.
Right now, my businesses are all in survival mode, so we can thrive when this storm passes. We are definitely not thriving right now. We continue to operate in different capacities to serve the communities we call home. Below you will find a short list of some of the things I have been working on the last couple of weeks. If you think any of them may benefit you or your business and would like me to expand on them, feel free to let me know. It can be in private or part of this post.
- Communications with everyone. I have been reaching out to family, friends, employees, partners, customers, vendors, bankers, accountants, and many more. I continue to try to find time to contact those that I have not reached out to yet. If anyone contacts me with a concern, I am following up as quickly as possible. We have open and honest conversations to find solutions to anything being thrown at us.
- Setting up and learning new technology. Believe it or not, I prefer face-to-face meetings and have avoided virtual meetings in the past for my businesses. Typically all the managers for One-Stop Communications come to Lewistown for a weekly meeting. We had the technology for virtual meetings, but we were not using it until the last couple of weeks. Google Meet and Zoom have become part of my life now.
- Reviewing staffing needs. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by so many good people in the organizations I am involved with. All our teams have jumped into action as needed. We have all felt stress, but the teams I work with have been excellent at communicating and taking action as need.
- Reviewing policy and procedure. Every day and sometimes hourly, we are adjusting our policies and procedures to handle many different aspects of our business. The amount of new information being thrown at us is really just hard to digest.
- Sourcing disinfecting supplies. As we all know, many supplies we took for granted are in short supply. Most of our operations are considered essential, and we have been exploring all sources to locate things like hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and cleaners to help protect employees and others we work with. We are still looking for a good source of disinfectant wipes if you know of any.
- Reviewing the CARES and FFCRA acts. These two acts impact business in many ways. It is extremely important to understand how they impact your business. I have some general overviews if you need them.
- Reviewing unemployment changes. At this time, we have retained all our staff at One-Stop Communications, and I hope we can keep it that way. Although...we need to understand the current unemployment system in the event we do need to make any additional schedule changes. Pennsylvania has been posting videos regarding the changes. I can share them if needed.
- Rebalancing inventory. Inventory demands have changed in the last couple of weeks. We have been adjusting and moving inventory as needed for all our locations. This is being reviewed almost daily, so we stock balance and lower inventory levels for better cash flow.
- Reviewing the Payroll Protection Program by the SBA. If you are a small business and have any employees and have been impacted by the current situation, you owe it to your employees to take action to help protect those jobs. I have some easy to understand information on this program that I am happy to share.
- Reviewing sources for emergency funds if needed. This includes everything from our current resources to programs available from the SBA, banks, state, federal, etc... I have information on some of these programs if you need them and would be happy to share them.
- Reviewing current loans. Contacting the banks I work with for options and taking steps to maintain a strong working relationship with them. This is why I believe in local banking. Local banks are there to be your partner and create long term relationships.
- Finding solutions to close or keep existing deals moving forward. We were able to settle on a property for a partnership and maintain social distancing. It required some unconventional ways of processing our closing, but we made it happen without everyone sitting around a table.
- Reviewing mandates and recommendations for social distancing. This part has been challenging. Not only does it continue to change, but not all the mandates and recommendations are completely clear. Certain activities are deemed essential, and some of them for good reason. For example...facilitating rentals has been clarified by our governor's office as essential, and we were thankful for this. I had some tenants that wouldn't have a place to go if we couldn't finish working on their apartments.
- Addressing repairs for properties. Any emergency repairs are still being completed immediately. We have people who rely on us for their homes and businesses, and their emergency repairs cannot be ignored.
- Still processing daily business activities. Just because the movement of people in the public is different does not mean businesses get to stop completely. This includes paying bills. Our nation hit a pause button, but others are still relying on payment to keep their businesses going. None of the daily business activities have stopped for us. We are just doing many of them in different ways.
- Reviewing budgets and cash flows. Do not bury your head in the sand on this one. You should know your numbers and how you need to adjust.
- Education. I spent almost two full days last weekend live over Zoom with people that are business and real estate rockstars so I could understand what they have done and what they are doing now. It is incredible when you can use other people's knowledge and wisdom to accelerate your growth.
- Planning for when this is all over. Unfortunately, I cannot forecast when this will be over, but when it is, we need to be ready to jump back into action. Our economy is like a garden hose, and someone just put a kink in it. When the kink has been removed, the water is going to come gushing out again. More than ever, people will want to return to some type of normalcy, and we need to ready.
How are you changing and adapting in your business to survive and thrive? Do you need help adapting to a change in your business?
If you need someone to bounce ideas off of or just chat, feel free to reach out to me. I will help in any way I can!
Stay safe, healthy, and sane! 😊
PS...The photo is my current laptop desktop and is not one of my wife's photos. It helps take me to one of my happy places throughout the day as I am grinding away at all this.