It is no secret that the coronavirus is having an impact on many businesses.  Declining sales, contract cancelations, increased staff absences, etc are all a reality for many businesses.  The uncertainty around what will happen in the future and how the government will respond puts a lot of extra pressure on business owners.  The reality is you may have to make quick decisions (that you really don’t want to have to make) in order to ensure the survival of your business. 

The worst thing you can do during times like these is to rely solely on gut feel when making these decisions.  As my mentor Keith Cunningham say, “G.U.T stands for Gave Up Thinking” and in many instances this is on the money!  While intuition and gut feel need to be considered they should not form the only reference point in making quick decisions.  

The businesses that survive times like this make informed decisions, not emotional ones.  They review their numbers (profit & loss, cash flow, marketing & sales KPI’s, break-even point) both current and historic and design scenarios from this data on the impact of the current situation.  They create a series of “if this then that” scenarios that enable them to see the impact of decisions as well as making assumptions as to when certain decisions will need to be made.  They will look at a worst-case scenario and be prepared for that, but will also look at other outcomes that could eventuate.

By taking this approach to your decision making you will:

  • Sleep a little easier at night knowing you have an action plan in place.
  • Be able to display certainty to your workforce that you have things under control and a plan to get through this. 
  • Be able to move with speed and accuracy as you have modeled out the impact of your decisions prior to execution.

Now for those of you that are stuck in the story that “I’m not a numbers person, I’m a gut feel person”, my advice is that it’s time for a new story.  You’re a business owner.  Numbers are the language of business.  It’s time to learn the numbers and graduate to the next level of entrepreneurship.  Everyone can learn this, and it is a must for you and your business to successfully navigate through these times.  

My advice, if this area is not a strength then seek the help of your accountant or a virtual CFO.  Don’t wait until it’s too late and you are forced to shut the doors – you need to act now and get clear on the path forward.