Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining- Five Recommendations

Keep business going, but ultimately, protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

COVID-19 has been the largest cloud over all our heads across the world, and has set everyone back drastically. Businesses are closing, employment rates are sky high, a volatile stock market, inventory shortages, etc. With all being said, being locked in the house with the fear of uncertainty of when we will start to feel normal again, this may be a good time to start re-evaluating our financial wellbeing and budgeting.

1. Save and create healthy financial habits

The economy was strong before, but could it really set us back like 2008?

On an individual level, I too started to self-assess my average spending.  Granted, I may have been too comfortable in my relationship with Amazon. I possibly may have over indulged in a random trip to Target or Home Goods, and acquired some stuff I really didn’t need but felt the urge to take it home.

Though these times may be uneasy for us, I promised myself to try to exercise swiping my card more consciously. But coming out of this situation, saving more should be imperative for all of us. It will never be easy initially, but when creating healthy habits, I always refer to the 21/90 rule. Takes 21 days to create a habit, takes 90 days to create a lifestyle.

On a business level, there may have been some expenses or financial choices that we all wished we didn’t take. Did we really need to spend $20,000 on that company client dinner party when a wine basket would have been sufficient enough to show appreciation? Did you really need to fly private to New York for a business meeting when JetBlue is just as comfortable?

Regardless of what choices you made with your business and how you spent your money, no one could have controlled our current situation. But what we can control is how we come out of this and how we will manage our business better.

2. Every business should have a budget.

Every business should have a budget. If you never created a budget, try to start today. Budgeting will create benchmarks and goals which will evaluate the performance of your business.

Are you generating a substantial amount of revenue to maintain operations? Is the company profitable? Are you hitting your month to month sales goals? How fast are you collecting AR?

These questions are some of the few that you can ask yourself frequently. If a company maintains a healthy capital and strong financial foundation, difficult times can be easily maneuvered.

3. Utilize the stimulus package and give your financial adviser and/or accountant a friendly call to strategize and find what would best fit.

Even with the COVID-19, businesses are forced to shut down operations. Whether it will be through the end of April or May, exercise every option of the stimulus package. Get with your professional financial adviser or accountant, evaluate if the SBA Disaster Relief loan or the SBA 7A Paycheck Protection Program is a good option for your business.

Make sure you get the employee retention credit or determining if delaying payroll tax deposits will help save cash flow. These packages are issued for every business to use, so take advantage of it!

Moving forward, simple economics explains our current situation. If you’re not producing, you’re not collecting, if you’re not collecting, you don’t have cash to make payroll. So even with the current situation, some brainstorming would be needed to start strategizing other revenue streams or options to keep the doors open even if you are forced to close them.

Thankfully with the ever-evolving technology, businesses can still maintain themselves from the comfort of everyone’s home. Online platforms and social media have been the MVP of 2020.

4. Get innovative- use technology and get creative. Brainstorming is cheap and try to stay ahead of the trends.

If your business allows you to not need direct contact with your clients, make sure you are invested in remote access.

With kids getting “virtual education,” many parents may struggle to work the orthodox 9-5 from home, but being able to work remotely, will give everyone the flexibility to accommodate the situation. With employees working remotely, employers may seem to feel like they can lose connection or oversight on the employees.

It is also important to find an instant messenger or create allotted times to meet virtually, to stay connected and check in. I personally prefer to have an instant messenger to be able to connect to all my colleagues and use fun features of the chat to collaborate. Some instant messengers also have the capacity to share screens, video call and have group chats. In addition, instant messenger gives me fun memories of our good ole days on AOL and MSN messenger.

5. Stay focused

Just because we are locked up in our homes, does not mean we can slack off, but on the contrary, we should be working harder than ever. This is the time to hustle harder and stand out from your competition. Keep business going, but ultimately, protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

Here are the five key takeaways:

  1. Save and create healthy financial habits.
  2. Budget and evaluate your business on a regular basis.
  3. Utilize the stimulus package and give your financial adviser and/or accountant a friendly call to strategize and find what would best fit.
  4. Get innovative- use technology and get creative. Brainstorming is cheap and try to stay ahead of the trends.
  5. Stay focused and work harder. Set your goals and work towards them. The COVID-19 will come and go and our business will need to keep getting stronger

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