My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus
By Nicki Kinton, founder of Confident Cashflow offering outsourced credit control services, terms & conditions advice and delivery and cashflow strategy.
When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business?
A couple of weeks ago. a business said they wanted to work with me (for outsourced credit control) but said they didn’t want to start until the Coronavirus situation had settled down as they didn’t want to be adding to their expenses at this time. This is of course, counter intuitive as credit control is a key part of managing cashflow.
What has been your plan to continue?
I am very fortunate in that my household has another steady income for the time being and so I can afford to ease back a little, and not pay myself, as long as I can get enough work to cover my main expenses.
I have categorised my business expenses as essential, useful and nice to have and know how much of each of my services I need to sell to cover each level. I am being asked for lots of free advice at the moment, which I’m happy to with the free discovery call that I offer to everyone and I’m working with other small businesses to deliver webinars and online workshops, again for free, to provide support to the small business community.
I’m working on the principle of paying it forward, if I can support the local business community now, I will be front and centre of their minds when they are ready to take positive action in their business to get their cashflow back under control.
What advice would you give to others in business?
Know your figures, now more than ever! Look at your expenses and when they are due to go out and look at the income you are expecting in. Is there a gap? What can you do to fill that gap?
Don’t just stop paying your suppliers! You wouldn’t like it if people did that to you.
More often it is the uncertainty of their cashflow that kills a business. If you’re struggling then talk to them, try and reach a compromise, at the very least they will be able to make decisions based in facts rather than false expectations.
What can we do to help each other?
Don’t expect to get everything you need for free, just because we’re all struggling! We are all running businesses and need to cover costs, pay the bills and put food on the table.
If you can support a local business by buying from them please do. If not consider a skills swap. Do you do something they may need for their business but can’t afford right now? That might be the key to both of your businesses weathering the storm.
What do you think can be learned from this in the business world?
As small businesses we tend to live in the moment. We take all the money we can out of our businesses for ourselves, after all that's why we set them up in the first place.
I think this teaches us that you don’t know what’s around the corner and we need be thinking and planning more than 3, 6 or 12 months into the future, we need to contingency plan and build up reserves to support the business through the lean times, so it’s still there for us when a disrupting event has passed.
Your parting thought?
Don’t try and go it alone. If you’re struggling financially, talk to someone about it. There may be Government help you can access, or things you can do in your business to ease the pressure. We’re all in this together, and together we are stronger.
For more information visit www.confidentcashflow.com