We were all hit with a surprise a few months ago when all of a sudden the world literally shut down and many people had to rely on their savings to see them through. It is crazy how many businesses work month-to-month and the damage sustained in being shut for a few weeks has proven to be irreparable for some businesses (small and large!).
Yet, if we come out of this period without having gained anything:- we lose even more!
Many businesses have been put into a position where they’ve had to shave off the excess and trim even the necessary expenses. Lean and mean.
What I’ve learnt:
- cut the wastage: if it is not bringing in the cash, or contributing directly or indirectly to making the business successful (define what success is to your business), cut it or trim it.
- having said that- you cant cut everything but you can be more smart about compiling budgets and saving for an unforeseen event. As an attorney I’ll never look at a force majeure clause in the same light again!
- work teams must be formed in a way that the business gets the most out of each employee. Getting the most out of an employee does not mean milking them, it means that the employee’s productivity is maximised and that there is a high quality mutually beneficial relationship between employee and employer. In the long run, a healthy business is one that is able to look after its employees when it has to weather a storm.
- the age of technology has not only taught us to be more adaptive to new things, but now we’ve all been forced to change the way we work so drastically in such a short time. It shows us that implementing changes does not have to take months or years- it can be done faster than we thought.
- cashflow is king. Collect your outstanding payments as fast as you can. Whilst businesses are folding fast and people are living month-to-month, you need to ensure that you keep your cashflow steady and not wait until a crisis to collect what is owing to you.
- don’t under estimate how crazy the world can get.
- why wait? During lockdown I was able to do so many things I’ve wanted to do for ages (read and learn more, cooking new recipes, focusing on important business things which were not pressingly urgent) . We miss out so much by being drawn into urgency and not focusing on long-term goals and what is important.