Prosper or Perish #8: Wisely Navigating The Risk Of Opening With The Cost Of Staying Closed

PROSPER OR PERISH #9 by Stephen GrossClick here to read past issues.

As re-opening our economy begins, we are entering the tricky stage of balancing safety, for customers and employees, with re-opening our businesses.  We will face two obstacles in this effort – FIRST, our customers are going to be super cautious about risk (for a period of time), until a normal ebb and flow of people resume with little consequence.

SECOND, our employees will be hesitant to resume activities in a place they feel has a danger for them.  Crowded spaces, open floor plans, lots of foot traffic, and interactions with strangers will threaten their perception of safety.

The unknown is whether the virus is slowing down, OR we will have a second wave of infection that is worse than the first.  The Spanish Flue is an example of a virus that became much more dangerous in its second wave than it was initially.

Our business strategy, in the middle of such uncertainty, should be – careful thought out steps to minimize the risks for both customers and employees, while re-engaging in the business of creating revenue for our business with our core products and services. Additionally, we should explore creative, innovative, and opportunistic revenue that may have not been obvious or available prior to the pandemic.

Tactics to consider in re-opening our businesses:

  1. Use remote technologies, where possible, to allow employees to be productive outside the office.
  2. Convert all possible business processes to cloud-based, location independent, systems to allow flexibility in operations.
  3. Use video conferencing, instead of travel, whenever you are able to substitute face-to-face meetings for in-person meetings.
  4. Reexamine your supply chain processes to lower vulnerability to non-U.S. sources, vulnerable to many threats.
  5. Connect with customers in a way you have not in the past.  Network with them on problems you both face, solutions you are utilizing – help each other through this crisis.
  6. Seek out all sources of capital and finance, to build cash resources to absorb operating losses until the economy recovers.
  7. Ask more of your outside professionals to advise you, guide you, and support you during this period.
  8. Share your thoughts and concerns with your elected representatives.  They are in the middle of many of the funding processes today.
  9. Engage with your bank, landlord, major suppliers in a fashion that says – I will be loyal to you, but I need your help today to survive until tomorrow.  Don’t confront, appeal to their desire to stay in business as well, instead of expensive legal conflict.
  10. Screen personnel interaction with temperature monitoring, rapid testing (10 minute, finger-stick technology) and give 24 hours certifications on a phone app, review every 24 hours with temperature tests.
  11. Have your office disinfected daily, as well as cleaned through the office cleaning services (misting as well as surfaces cleaned with isopropyl alcohol cleansers).

If we carefully move through this transitional period, our chances of survival, adaptation, and success improve greatly!

About The Author

stephen gross picture

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…


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