PROSPER OR PERISH #6 by Stephen Gross. Click here to read past issues.
1. Survive first
Do not succumb to the crisis.
- Take advantage of ALL available programs for funding.
- Cut costs in the short term – everywhere you can.
- Plan for a medium-term recovery of 6-12 months.
- Involve your investors, management team, and bankers on medium-term funding plans – equity-for-debt (if possible), and HOPE notes for landlords, meeting costs, banks, vendors.
- Involve your key team members in looking for solutions as well as care for them.
- W/E payments – up to $1,000 per week.
- PPP program loans for 1099 employees.
- Financial planning help with employees – cars, rent, schooling.
- Keep them financially alive until you can bring them back.
2. Adapt your business plan
- Lower fixed costs (rent, utilities, I/T, and administration).
- Utilize remote work schedules or workforce.
- Outsource all processes possible to quality vendors.
- Offer more responsive customer service, tracking, collaboration, and build relationships with each customer.
- Constantly plan, execute, and evaluate how you can leverage technology and services to improve the customer experience of lower and lower cost.
- Look at your business as if it was a Start-Up – what would you do differently with today’s services and expanded markets available online?
3. Reinvent your company and yourself
- Look at every product, services, method of delivery, pricing, target market, and circumstances in the market to challenge your TODAY and TOMORROW.
- Give up or eliminate any product, service, or method of delivering to customers that is not the best-of-the-breed and is highly needed by your market.
- Focus – Focus – Focus – do not be drawn to chaotic apparent opportunities – core value – core reputation – core products and services – be the best!
- Let the world know who you are.
- Grow your web presence and process to attract and inform.
- Create value offers, short inexpensive offers of high value.
- Follow with a deeper offer to help advance with high pain solutions as a minor upsell.
- Lead them into your family of VIP customers with extra content, deals, offers, and expanded costs.
4. Prosper in the new economic world order
You have now adapted your company to a new reality. You have reinvented who you are to your customers, your team, and the market. Now put the peddle to the metal – grow and expand.
Have the end in mind as you begin again.
- Your business is a self-created high paid job, or you are building the company to transfer at High Value to others when the time is right for you!
- Your management team, or your family.
- A financial buyer.
- A strategic buyer.
- Learn the elements of creating transferable value.
- Recurring revenue.
- Growth EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization).
- Market share in your industry.
- A mature management team ready to take over from you.
- Stable, recurring customers that want more each year.
- Constantly know the basic value of your business and the drivers to increase value.
- Manage to the goals of increasing value.
- Understand break-even analysis and how to reduce fixed costs.
- Learn the tracking of marketing dollars, and how to demand 4-10X multiples of sales to marketing dollars.
- Become a sophisticated operator in your niche, following transactions with your peers and in your industry.
- Build your team and advisors with your shared vision.
5. Remember we are in a crisis
- There are equal points of opportunity and danger.
- Be realistic to your present danger and to those around you.
- Adapt and reinvest yourself to respond to these challenges.
- Define, probe, and develop new opportunities in the market.
- Emerge as a vibrant, new, and more nimble competitor.
- The U.S. still the best economy in the work – we will survive and Prosper!
About The Author
Stephen Gross, CPA, CGMA, CVA, CFE — EVP of Hegemon Holdings and Co-Founder of Trusted CFO Solutions — is a big picture thinker and connector, with 40 years of rich and diverse experience in the C.P.A., business consulting, and venture capital worlds. Steve was an early adopter and evangelist of cloud-based accounting, as well as the concept of a virtual C.F.O. or Controller as a method of outsourcing the position in small businesses and startups. Learn More About Steve…