Last time we discussed the first three ways to V-Curve your business amid this financial crisis. Many businesses saw their business dry up, and their pipeline of new opportunities dwindle. Depending on your industry, you are feeling this crisis differently. Some industries may be experiencing a lag effect, so you need to be prepared.
The first three ways discussed previously are to revisit your vision, practice lead generation, and develop financial rigor.
4. Weekly Cash Flow
Many organizations are in a cash crisis. We have seen relief in the US to help small businesses with the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan that is helping. Although, this is a band-aid and is delaying the inevitable. If you are struggling to manage your cash and worried it will run out very soon, I would encourage you to do a weekly cash flow forecast. To do this, you have to have accurate financials entered into your accounting software each week. Check out the trends historically for customer receipts, vendor payments, payroll, loan payments, and other unusual cash inflow or outflow. Now, I would encourage you to forecast this as many weeks as you can going forward. I am personally a fan of using this in conjunction with a monthly Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet cash flow through the end of the year or even 12-18 months.
If you are business not in a cash crunch, you may find that weekly is not necessary. If there are weeks when you feel that you may have to borrow from a Line of Credit or a seasonal business, I would strongly encourage this exercise. Once you set up this report, review it with your Executive Team as often as you can. This report may help drive new behaviors and improve communication in the company.
5. Hire / Delegate
It is so hard for business owners to hire or delegate when you are in a crisis. The problem is that you need time to think strategically and get out of the crazy whirlwind of the daily business. Recently, in Michael Hyatt’s Business Accelerator program, we did an exercise to calculate our hourly rate. I have done this before, but it is very motivating each time I do it. You simply calculate your income and divide this by the number of hours in a typical week and exclude vacations and holidays. If your hourly rate is lower than you need, you need to consider the tasks that are slowing you down, and you can delegate. If your hourly rate is high, then you should delegate anything in which you can pay someone less, and they can do it better.
Also, if you are finding that you are doing tasks that are draining and not an area of your interest or expertise, I would recommend delegating. There are options such as part-time contractors and assistants that can make this affordable. Last year, I hired a high-level Controller/CFO level employee that works for me 20 hours per week that has helped me focus my energy on other areas. Now, I feel the need to get another employee like her.
6. Sales and Marketing Focus
We already discussed a Lead Generation strategy last time? How is this different? We all need to continually invest in Sales and Marketing and have this focus to grow and maybe even take on market share. Also, the marketing tactics are regularly changing, so we need to educate on these changes. We should continue to invest in this area and not pull back to save cash. Sales require a consistent approach to following up with people and seeing how you can help them to be successful. Over the last few months, my sales process was affected as it all became online. To some degree, it is more efficient to meet people through Zoom instead of driving all over the place. The key is a strategy that is consistent and works. If you have developed a lead generation strategy, then you can use your sales process to follow up consistently with these leads. Also, during this time, there may be a need to focus on different industries and try new methods to get a hold of people that are not in the office.
I think we should all create a consistent Sales and Marketing Process and then assess this every three months and make adjustments. Just don’t give up on Sales and Marketing because your work is planting seeds for your future business.
To survive and grow during this time, do weekly cash flow. Get with a good bookkeeper to ensure you have your financials up to date. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help. Be sure to delegate and hire in areas that you need more expertise and to free your time up for higher value and visionary activities. Finally, do not give up on a consistent Sales and Marketing focus, no matter hard it is. Just be sure to pivot and try new things to find leads and cultivate those relationships.
Next week, we will discuss the final three ways to V-Curve your business.