We all find ourselves in a similar place with our businesses. Best case scenario is your business is able to continue operating relatively normally (while you are home). More likely is you are able to operate, but at a reduced level. There is also a possibility that you have stopped operating. What should you be doing at this time? Here are some thoughts.
1. Apply for all possible government programs.
This is one thing we hear all the time. While you can try to do everything on your own, I would suggest contacting someone who may have a better handle on the specifics. This could be your banker (if you can reach that person), or someone else who spends a lot of time looking at the various programs. I know I receive numerous emails each day from sources including law and accounting firms, together with “blast emails” from persons that I am not familiar with. At a minimum, you should read those emails. Second, if you are getting an email from one of your trusted sources, contact them. Most important, BE CAREFUL on clicking on any link. While it may look okay, it may be spam, phishing, or worse, a virus.
2. Look at your insurance policies
Look at your insurance policies and see what it provides (if anything) regarding business interruption. Call your insurance broker or agent and discuss it with them.
3. Cash is king.
Of course, we know that revenue has been (and will continue to) go down, certainly in the short run. You should do everything you can do to conserve cash. If you placed orders before the shutdown, see if they can be cancelled. Before you do this, check to see if there is any kind of penalty for cancellation. If you are not sure, contact your attorney and have them review the contracts. Look at your A/R and see what you can do to collect old receivables. Enter into terms with these
people. Provide a discount for payment. If you take credit cards, advise your customers that they can pay you that way.
4. Prepare new financial projections
If you prepared financial projections late last year or early this year, they are clearly out of date. Go through the process of creating new projections. How much cash do you currently have? How much do you need to continue operations? Look carefully at your expenses and see which can be reduced or eliminated.
5. Line of credit
If you have a line of credit that you have been saving for a “rainy day,” this is it. You should consider drawing down on it, even if you don’t currently need it. That is why you got it in the first place.
6. Speak with banks, landlords and others
If you have long term debt, you should call your banker to see what can be done to modify your loan agreements or to see if there can be a moratorium on the monthly payments. At the same time, your banker may have access to information that you don’t have and may be a valuable resource. You should also call your landlord.
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