Ask Powerful Questions and Get Powerful Answers– the biggest question you will need to ask yourself right now is have you really taken the tough decisions you need to, in order to protect the future of your company?
Right now as a business owner, you probably have a challenge on your hands, and you’re not alone. As far back as April, more than half a million UK businesses were reported to be in significant economic distress, and around a quarter ceased trading altogether temporarily. Now we are seeing some easing of lockdown measures, it doesn’t mean things will return to normal and bounce back immediately. In fact, we are expecting a long period of recession and economists don’t foresee us springing back quickly with a V shaped recovery. So, what does this mean for your business? I remain an eternal optimist and I know there is always a way to succeed. The key is not to panic but to take the time to ask yourself the right questions and to look at every area of your business.
Sometimes it is all too easy to put off making the tough decisions, but acting at the right time really can be the difference between make or break. Quite simply, you can get to profit two ways, increasing income or reducing costs. Look at every cost line, if it’s not needed now, get rid of it, the only exception being if it massively impacts your business when volume returns. If so, find a way to put the cost on hold.
This is where negotiation comes in. You would be surprised at how, in the current climate you can renegotiate existing contracts and deals, as your suppliers are in a different position. Where you can put off costs, you must do so now. Have you really been through every cost line and challenged both on the amount you are paying and the payment terms?
Right sizing your organisation- the biggest tough decision.
Getting your staff planning right is essential at any time. Given the furloughing scheme, I believe most employers are doing the humane thing and furloughing staff but it doesn’t stop there. You will have to remodel your business and account for several scenarios. How many staff will you need for each one? If you really don’t need them any more and you cannot afford them, you will have to make the tough choice of letting them go. This needs to be balanced carefully with long term pain of course; recruiting is much more expensive in the long run than keeping on good people, as long as they are needed.