A guide for entrepreneurs in financial crisis mode!
Not everyone has been infected with COVID-19 yet, but everyone has felt the financial effects it has had on our economy. Be very clear on this subject; no one is immune to financial setbacks, regardless of their net worth. If you are among the 80% of Americans that are overleveraged in debt then you might say that the nasty virus has infected more than people, it has also infected our wallets. So, how do we best manage this financial crisis as individuals and young entrepreneurs? I will give you 4 key steps to the best chance of survival
Define “surviving COVID-19, and Why Does it Matter?
Surviving COVID-19 means that we continue to make money and pay all the bills while weathering the storm. Survival is the last-ditch effort, and when it comes to business it pretty much means the same thing as it does in life, staying alive. Be aware, however, that your business may look completely different on the other side of the storm. That is okay, and it might even be the opportunity that you needed to make that big change in life. Whatever the outcome of your business, you and I must continue to make money, feed our families, pay the electric bill, and stay alive. That is survival.
How to Survive COVID – 19 [Financially]
Cash is King
This is not just a funny saying among the rich and famous. This is an actual principle of finances that you and I must turn into a daily habit. It means that we need to have cash available. How do we do this? Stop all unnecessary outflows of cash. For example, if you have a federal student loan then they have been placed in forgivable deference. This means they are not building interest, and you do not have to make the principal payments until January 2021. On the other hand, if you have a loan that will allow you to defer payments but is building up the interest and deferred payments for a certain date in the future, do not do it. Do everything that you can to make those payments today. That large principal and interest payment will kill your cash flow on the inevitable due date. Employee benefits are great, but there is a time and season for them. Stop any frivolous spending on employee benefits during this crisis. Also, stop paying extra on your individual and business debts just for this period. If you have subscriptions that are unnecessary, like Hulu at home or Spotify for the office, cancel them. You need the cash. If you are putting cash towards anything that does not keep your lights on, or allow your customers to buy your product, then stop spending it today.
PILE UP THE CASH
What do we do with the cash that we are saving? Pile it up. You need to open a savings account if you do not already have one. All the extra money you would have paid to that credit card bill needs to go into this account. All the money that you are saving on your subscriptions needs to go into this account. Any money that you are not paying on deferred loans needs to go into this account. This money is for the rainy day that has already come to so many Americans, unemployment. When the crisis is adverted then you will immediately place all that cash towards the debt outstanding, and then keep rocking and rolling.
CREATE AN AIRTIGHT BUDGET
You need to know exactly where your money is going to go before you receive it. Start putting your budget together today and stick to it. Do not let yourself be overcome with the “wants” during COVID-19. If you are running a business then sit down with your team and let them know what is going on with your spending. This is a good exercise for trust and team building, and I promise they already know it is coming. If you are not having monthly budget meetings with your spouse then I highly encourage that you start this month. It will change your marriage for the better.
KEEP THE INCOME COMING IN
The main requirement for surviving in our economy is money. This is hard to hear for the folks that do not believe we should focus on money, but you will feel it someday when you have to decide between your child eating and your electric bill. We do not worship money, but we must have an income to continue surviving. If your small business is not keeping up with the income you require to live on then it is time to go and do something that will. I am not telling you to abandon your dream, I am telling you to take care of your family. This is our main priority. Fast food restaurants are hiring all over the country. Big chain stores cannot fill their positions fast enough. People, America is open for business and hiring. Go and make the money that you need to weather this storm.
This is also a great opportunity for some to start that new business adventure. COVID-19 has created a lot of needs for our world, and you could be the one to meet the need. Does your business need to make a shift in the major product line? Do you need to let some pet projects go? Gather your team, have a heart to heart about your mission, and make the tough decisions. Remember, you were made for such a time as this.
DO UNTO OTHERS
Last, but not least. This is not a time to get ahead at the expense of others. Do not use your business to take advantage of others. It will cost you customers and income in the future, and integrity today. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.
Quick Recap on Surviving COVID-19 [Financially]
In a nutshell, we need to: pile up the cash, maintain an income at all costs, be open to opportunity, and help everyone in every way that we can. Do you see that this is what high net worth individuals do every day? I think it is no coincidence that it takes a crisis to bring us to a place of discipline and financial integrity. Keep on surviving my friends. Call me for any reason because we are here to help. Comment below and be sure and sign up for our blog posts.