Like most sound business owners, you likely had all of your plans for 2020 neatly prepared and strategized, with the intention of seeing massive growth in this year. Keith J Cunningham has a new set of plans for you that should replace what you had in mind.
The first order of business is to throw away whatever you envisioned for this year because the route has drastically changed and thus, the objective has changed as well. We’ve shifted from a focus on growth to a new focus for the foreseeable future – survival.
Keith explains in his Crisis Survival Guide that we should all be shaping our current business operations around the concept of a hospital emergency room. Their intention is simple, to keep the patient alive and stable. If your intention is also to keep your business alive and stable, you should start with the following 5 consistent characteristics you’ll find in any emergency room at any time.
- Extreme, intense focus
- Constant vital monitoring
- Consistent communication
- Massive flexibility
- Speed of action/interaction
In order to ensure stability within your business, cash is a non negotiable requirement. The more of it you have on hand, the better which means it is paramount for you to consider any means of holding on to it. As Keith insists, now is the time to trim fat, possibly muscle, but exercise caution with cutting any bone.
It’s your responsibility as a business owner to ascertain how your expenses fall into the aforementioned categories. For those who have a solid understanding of their business structure, this should be easy. You may already have a plan of defense in place to combat the current economic crisis.
For those businesses that have only been operating from an offensive perspective, the work required now will be more extensive and arguably less effective, because you are now playing defense without the benefit of a home court advantage. You don’t understand your business well enough to have that and thus, there are certainly fierce, uncharted waters ahead for you.
In the words of Warren Buffet, “a bad economy does not cause businesses to go broke, but it does expose the weak ones.” Any businesses that were facing issues prior to COVID-19, are at an obvious disadvantage than those who were not.
No matter what end of the spectrum of preparation you are on as a business owner, the key at this point is to focus on the problems that you can solve. As we all navigate this unprecedented moment in history, it is absolutely vital to your business’s survival to be anticipatory of a range of outcomes. Develop plans accordingly that confront the potentialities of the coming months with the greatest aversion of loss.
Don’t neglect the lesson that is available to each of us as we all make adjustments as needed. This is an opportunity to develop processes and systems that can lead to a stronger, more resilient business than you had prior to this pandemic.