Small Business Lessons Learned
The past 9 months have been a unique time for small businesses. Many were coming out of 2019 well positioned and the beginning of 2020 looked like a potential for record performance. These were the “healthy” businesses. At the same time there were many small businesses that were hoping for 2020 to repair their dysfunctional business. They were going to add some sales to the organization so they could survive. These were the businesses with “Pre-existing conditions.”
When the pandemic raced across the nation and various government decisions were executed, there was a toll on both life and business. Those people who had pre-existing conditions were hit the hardest. So too were the small businesses with pre-existing conditions. The media tallied the cases and deaths each and every day. Money was pushed at businesses and PPE and ventilators were pushed at people. In some cases the outcomes were outstanding. In yet other cases the outcome was tragic.
As business leaders we must learn from these situations. How many small businesses had or are gathering back a rainy day fund equaling at least 3 months of fully burdened operating costs stashed away to keep them alive in a crisis? Has your organization rethought how it needs to look at its finances?
Business is not going back to normal. The landscape has changed but like after a big storm. Buildings need to be rebuilt. Uprooted trees need to be removed and new trees planted in their place. This is true coming into 2021 for your business. Now is the time to look back on 2020 and plan for 2021. There are still a lot of unknowns but that is absolutely no reason to ignore what you do know and plan accordingly. In some cases businesses are just reopening. The footprint of their business is smaller so changes to the expense line must be smaller. Many of these decisions were made on the fly and needed to be revisited to insure the math works going forward.
There may or may not be additional government support so your plans need to accommodate for either outcome. The reality is that subsidies are not to be considered revenue replacement. They should be looked at as supplemental and needing to be paid back such as a loan. It makes you look at them through a different set of lenses. Consider viewing them as “Angel” investor dollars who expect a return on their investment. As the leader/owner, place yourself in the position of the return on investment using supplemental dollars going forward.
This week is the time to get to planning 2021. You never know all the variables but use what you do know and have plans to address the variables the best you can.
Need a Promise Guide to help you navigate into 2021? Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and talk to a “Promise Guide” about planning your future.