You know what would be unfortunate? Doing whatever it takes – and I mean whatever it takes – to get your business re-opened … scrambling and clawing and scraping … performing super-human feats, meeting outrageously ambitious timelines to ensure your company is compliant, safe, and has all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed when it comes to your re-opening ‘rules’… all just to find out that you’re going broke.
All across Canada and in the communities we operate Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Calgary, and so on, we’re seeing tremendous dedication and focus on safety measures and protocols as businesses begin to re-open. We’re incredibly grateful for all comprehensive guides and checklists that are coming out regarding all the ‘compliance’ and safety related aspects to re-launching a business through these insane times, and we acknowledge those are the most important things – but here we wanted to list 3 other things to really think hard about during your re-launch that are perhaps not as obvious.
1. Most of Your Deferred Expenses are Likely Coming Due Soon’ish’
Besides government assistance concerning payroll, or loans, or other forms of economic aid, you may have enjoyed several other expense deferments as a result of COVID-19. Maybe you had some rent deferred, some lease payments deferred, some software or service subscriptions deferred, etc. Key word here is ‘deferred’. We’re guessing zero to hardly anything, save perhaps the $10,000 portion of the government business loan, will actually be forgiven.
Depending on your individual business and situation you might be soon facing a situation similar to this: April, May, and June 2020 you were afforded a 50% break on your rent, but are now staring at 150% rent in July, Aug, and Sept. The goal is here is not to list the endless combinations, amounts, and repayment schedules of the various deferred payments, it’s simply to emphasize the danger of referring to your focus as simply ‘getting back to where we were before’ revenue-wise, because in several companies your expenses are not going back to normal … they’re going to be inflated with the deferred repayments coming due.
To Consider: Build out a minimum 12 month cash-flow projection tool which accounts for when your deferments are coming due, plus any payments that need to be made on any loans/credit lines you may have tapped into or accessed. Ideally, this would be linked to a graph/chart that shows when you’re estimated to get back out of debt (assuming you tapped into some loans or LOCs). We have a simple template for this type of estimate-projection, contact us today if you’d like a quick overview from a coach over zoom.
2. Re-Examining all Your ‘Pivots’ for Profitability
No doubt countless companies have made inspirational pivots to simply survive and stay in business through the short term during the pandemic, but it’s time to start assessing whether or not those pivots will actually keep us in the black in the long term. Many of the heroic shifts were adopted and evaluated through a lens of reduced overhead, expense deferments, and an outright survival mechanism to generate revenue of any kind. Worthy of applause for certain, yet we still need to put our financially sustainable hat on and assess all ‘new’ methods. Surely some companies will find their shifts and pivots to be extremely profitable long term, and that is fantastic … but we must make certain we’re not making moves to stubbornly keep the business afloat at the expense of what could be a personal financial drowning that could last decades.
To Consider: Run all your updated products and services through a pricing/margin tool and use predicted margins to re-evaluate your breakeven projections. Then consider – is that a model/timeline that will work for us; our business needs, and especially – our life needs and dreams?
3. What if I Could ACT Like I Did at the Start of the Pandemic all the time?
How is it possible that a successful, seasoned, and knowledgeable company (or individual) can take what was a 2 year goal and implement it in 48hrs? At the start of this pandemic we witnessed 5 years plans become 5 day plans, 12 month timelines become ‘by the end of this week’ timelines, and 90 day goals become to-do lists for this afternoon. Basically, we saw what was possible in ourselves and others when we have no choice but to spring into massive and intentional action. Online stores with a 6 month target to launch were live in 4 days, corporations with thousands of employees in office towers had everyone working from home in weeks, and on, and on, and on.
One of the things to consider as you re-launch your business is this very question – what if I could ACT like that all the time? Or maybe the better consideration is – how can we act like that all the time? How can we recreate the conditions that allowed us to make extremely high level decisions quickly and decisively, as well as acting intently and massively with zero distractions?
At our firm this was the number one value we brought to our clients during this time – making sure the pace of decision making was where it needed to be. Then ensuring the new plan was executed. In the month of May 2020 alone our team spent an unprecedented 23,362 minutes on zoom with business leaders and their teams doing exactly this. As we mentioned above – this work now has turned to a test and measure exercise as we start to evaluate these plans through the filters of today’s landscape – as we progress through COVID-19.
To Consider: Think of how you can shift things in your mind from a ‘want to have’ to a ‘must have’ perspective. So many incredible feats were achieved in the first weeks of COVID at incredible speeds because there were literally two options (probably not just two actually, but many of us thought that was the case, which is the point) – make this adjustment or go down. Reach out to have this discussion with one of our coaches regarding the recreation of conditions and environments that can act as incubators for such deliberate and decisive progress.