You need to address the urgent needs of keeping your family safe and healthy. You need to address the critical issues around employees, payroll, managing your cash and other realities of the current crisis. Period! Absolutely! If you haven’t spoken to your bank about the financial relief bills that congress is about to pass, call them now!
You also need to get back to business to the greatest extent possible as you address these – hopefully – short-term issues, even if you are doing it from your home kitchen table in your pajamas. During the last recession, I saw too many business owners slow down when they should have been redoubling their efforts.
You need to get back to basics and plan out how your business may change (opportunities!) and how you are going to ramp up as quickly as possible. You need to get back on The Value Track and back to exit planning – creating your future: your exit / succession / transaction. Make sure that you are integrating your short-term crisis management decisions into your planning. They will impact your business and its value just like any other decision.
How can you keep to your timeline for the sale of your business or get back to family business succession planning for the transfer/sale to your children or other family members? It may be delayed but don’t assume it will and don’t slow down working toward it.
What can you learn from what other companies are doing? What is likely to change as we come through this period that you can adapt your product or services to address. (Hand sanitizer in happy meals? McD’s, I want royalties!) I am very serious about this. My clients have been hit hard like everyone else, in a variety of ways. They are all getting creative in the short-term and I know that these decisions and detours are going to make them stronger and more valuable companies.
You need to have a clear, but flexible plan that considers the “what-ifs”. Whether here in the Spring of 2020 or in every year since you started your business. You won’t always know what those “what-ifs” are, but they WILL occur. Hurricanes, recessions, competitors, regulations, your own illnesses, tariffs, hacking, lawsuits…
Here are 4 brief blogs I have written over the last 10 years on the topic of business risk. These business management and leadership issues did not start today. Take a few quick minutes: Thoughts to Consider on Risks to Your Business
In the meantime, I am reiterating my offer of a one-hour conversation with you, your clients or other business owners who could use a sounding board at this time – whether for input on urgent problems, thinking through strategy in order to come out of the crisis or to focus on building/rebuilding value if working toward a sale.
This year of challenges marks my 20th year in practice as a consultant, coach and exit strategist; helping clients grow, solve problems, build value and work on exit strategy. I would be happy to explore how my 20 years of experiences with other clients – and how they are addressing this situation – might provide insights and help your business survive & thrive!
Stay Healthy & Safe!
David Shavzin, CMC
Exit Strategist – Value Growth, Exit Planning, Succession Planning
Founder and President, The Value Track, Atlanta, Georgia