How to prepare your business for Coronavirus impacts
By Rebecca Woolstencroft, CEO, MB+M
Rebecca Woolstencroft MB+M’s CEO will lead you through a process of “How to prepare your business for Coronavirus impacts”.
Right now, if you are like many people, you are feeling a little anxious about what is going on in the world.
If you’re like me you’re doing your best not to get sucked into the vortex of fear and trying to continue being calm and rational about the decisions you’re making. While this may sound easy, it’s hard not to worry about the worst when all around you the media is convincing you the end of the world is nigh.
In times of uncertainty, I think it’s important to go back to fundamentals. As a business owner, it’s important to consider the risk for your business, and you need to think of ways to mitigate that risk. On the other side, you also need to consider that risk is also an opportunity. If you look at Kleenex and Sorbent, I’m sure they’re not worried about whether people contract coronavirus. That being said, I don’t envy their position, trying to plan and manage their business over the next three months will require great leadership and planning for when the world will return to normal.
So, what are the fundamentals in an uncertain world?
The Power of SWOT Analysis & Forecasting
One of the brilliant business tools is a SWOT analysis. That is Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. I’ve found this great website which explains and helps you conduct one. https://www.lucidchart.com/pages/what-is-swot-analysis
I’d recommend highly that you conduct this across your business, and out of this you can identify any threats to your business, but also how those threats might become opportunities. It enables you to focus on what your business excels at (strengths) but also to realise that there might be some external factors that could impact those strengths (threats). Being able to see the bigger picture and to sharpen your focus helps you to remain logical and to put plans in place to improve and strengthen your business.
The other brilliant business tool is a forecast. A forecast enables you to imagine “what if”. Once you can prepare a budget for your business or a forecast profit and loss, you can then also create a forecast of your cash position. Using this tool, you’re then able to tweak that forecast based on some assumptions. Like, what if my revenue dropped by 10%, or what if my customers delay payments? What if I had half of my team away for two weeks? There are endless questions you could pose, but the power of a good forecast enables you to see what impact this would have on your business profitability, but also the cash impact. We all know that ultimately access to cash is what kills a business. If you’re able to do this, then as certain events might occur, you will already know what the impact will be and you can put plans into action. Maybe you need to go to your bank and ask for additional funding or look for alternative customers.
MB+M’s Tools for Assisting Clients
At MB+M we use two brilliant tools to do just this and match them to our client’s specific needs. The first one is a cash flow story. If you’re an MB+M client, you may already have been aware of this brilliant tool. You input your financial results into the software, and it analyses the information. From there, you’re able to use its power of one tool to do your ‘what if scenarios’. These considerably help in determining how to prepare your business for Coronavirus impacts.
If you’d like to check it out, the link is below. Alternatively, MB+M would feel privileged to help you do this, and we already have access to this software for you. https://www.cashflowstory.com/businesses
The second tool is Spotlight forecasting, this is a more complex tool, which also means it is much more powerful. It goes into far more detail, creating a forecast profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow. It still can test scenarios, but at a more detailed level, month to month. Banks specifically like this form of reporting, as it makes it easier for them to see planning has been already done, and you have a solid understanding of your business. To gain a greater understanding, there is a very good article below, or again this is something MB+M can assist you with.
The key message is that in uncertain times the best thing you can do is to stop and take a breath. Review what you know about your business, and perhaps what you don’t. Seeking help to understand the bits that might concern you, a problem shared is a problem halved remember. Sometimes, in uncertain times, what we need is someone to share the load with. A good levelheaded, clear thinker is your best call. They will have less emotional attachment to your business and able to assist you in making excellent decisions that are best for you and your business. Remember that MB+M are always here to help, so please pick up the phone.
If you’d like to know more, please contact our advisor who is happy to provide you with more information. Contact us on 03 58219177.
Rebecca Woolstencroft – CA/GAICD
Chief Executive Officer/Director
Rebecca is a bundle of enthusiasm and energy when it comes to making sure that MB+M provides the best service it can to its clients. The first part of this comes from ensuring that MB+M has a great team of people who share in the core values of MB+M and it’s number one principle “making your life easier”. The first step to this is to ensure that her team love what they do, and they truly care about the people in their community.
Rebecca has been at MB+M for over 20 years, and pretty much tried every role they have. Her passion currently is running the MB+M business from a strategic perspective so that she can continue in her role of advising and mentoring business owners in their daily challenge to run their businesses.
Outside of work Rebecca is a keen community contributor