Imagine: You have a thriving business. Then Covid strikes. With the right actions you get through the first wave well. But now: the second wave is here. Fortunately, you, your loved ones and colleagues are healthy. You take care to make sure it stays that way. But your company?
Face reality. Maybe things don’t look good for your company now if the second Covid wave doesn’t resolve quickly. Let alone if it takes even longer. What will you do?
You may have already thought about the future of your company during the first wave. You have a plan, a strategy. If not, now is the time, despite all the hectic pace, to take the time and make a plan. The main question is, what happens if you don’t act now? What do you need to do to ensure that your business does not get into trouble? What can or must be done differently? Could it be smarter, better, less?
Make an honest overview of your position: where are you financially and competitively? What are the strengths and areas for improvement of your company? You probably already knew them, but they are now under the magnifying glass! Think about the products or services you offer: your proposition. View your financial position: cash flow, costs, contractual obligations: where are adjustments possible? Consult with crucial staff members: they can indicate where there are areas for improvement. For example, you can organize an inspiration session with them to get insights in a creative way. Discuss the situation with your accountant and suppliers. But above all, stay in good contact with your customers. Nowadays they also have a difficult time and you do not want to be surprised by unforeseen developments such as: customers who no longer meet their obligations, demand falling, suppliers not very flexible. Consult with the Advisory Board (if you have one).
In these difficult times, surprisingly often positive things are possible: different agreements with customers and suppliers (payment arrangements that give you some relief), other contracts with your staff and partnerships with ‘competitors’. Remember: creativity is a lifeline especially in these difficult times!
Above all, remain positive and radiate optimism, do not cry with those who view all developments from a negative perspective. There are still opportunities in these troubled times! Take the time to study all the possibilities for help by the government. However, be aware that you will eventually have to repay (part of) them.
It is important to keep facing reality. If all the measures you can think of and implement do not help, then it is wise to make an exit plan to stop in a timely and controlled manner. There is little point in letting things run their course and waiting: bankrupt without it being your fault is still bankrupt. Unfortunately, going bankrupt in the Netherlands still haunts an entrepreneur in the future or at least he is blamed for it even if it was not his mistake. That is why it is better to keep matters in your own hands: with the help of the exit plan you can put your company on hold or terminate it in a controlled manner. That can help you restart your business in better times or start a successful business again.