How your Small Business can survive Coronavirus

hey everybody I hope you well I've just come out of an incredible couple of weeks I've spent a week with the amazing of Uganda and I want to say to everybody in Uganda that made me feel at home I literally have found my second home just the most incredible amazing place and I'm humbled that you had me in your beautiful country thank you thank you so much I wanted to come into your space today very quickly to talk about coronavirus but more importantly I think the impact that this virus is going to have on small businesses as you know I spent my time working obsessively with people who are building these businesses these small and medium sized businesses and I think I do think the next couple of months have been to be very very very very difficult and I think if you're a small business owner you're up for an uphill battle so I gave some thought to what you can do over the next few months to try and mitigate I think what's going to be a great and very difficult period and I just thought I'd share some thoughts with you so here are the five things five things that I think you need to think about that you have to do for your small business leader in the next 48 hours the next 48 hours these are the five things you have to do there five seas now I codified it so it makes it simple and easy for you to remember these are by the way cause it did exactly the same five things that I'm doing so I'm telling you to do what I'm busy doing right now okay now first one the first C's cash this period is going to be very cash-strapped and if you're a small or medium sized business owner you have to worry about conserving cash what does that mean worry about the contracts that you've got signed and collecting on those contracts worry about the invoices that you've issued and collecting on those invoices I think for a lot of small businesses we generally don't have acts of God a force majeure built into our contracts and a lot of you are going to find yourself tested you're going to find that you can't claim off the back of the clothes you didn't include in your contract so the first thing I want to say to you is relook at your contracts going forward make sure that you have force majeure acts of god built into that contract number one number two make sure that you're collecting on all of the cash that is owed to you by your customers because I think the next 90 days are just all going to be about cash cash and cash number two the customer I think it's really really important for you right now to focus on getting really close to your customers so over the next 48 hours write down your top ten customers and go visit them especially if you in the b2b environment go and visit your customers go see them go talk to them face to face time even if it's an unscheduled visit and I know that for a lot of them they busy they've got stuff going on Jakub chat their reception have a cup of coffee and just have ten minutes of their time and this is important because what you want to find out from your customers right now is this what's important to them and what's keeping them up at night you really want to make sure that if there's anything keeping them up at night you either positioned to help them with it and you can offer a new product or service or supply but more importantly that it doesn't affect your payment that's going to be coming from that customer so get close to your customers number two number three credit make sure that you get yourself adequate lines of credit what does that mean go talk to your bank and see if you can get yourself a short-term lending facility a short-term overdraft something to tide you over the next 90 days guys listen to me the next 90 days of the most critical the next 90 days gonna be the most critical for your business and unless you're sitting on a 90 day cover of of cash flow to liabilities current liabilities I think you're going to find yourself one team we'll call that a cover ratio current assets - current liabilities unless you have a 90 day cover you're gonna find yourself in a difficult place so go to the bank see if you can get yourself a short-term overdraft just something to tide you over for what is a very difficult time ahead our governments are going to stimulate a response I know this to be true presidents era I'm a poster who issued what I think was a sturdy and clear response yesterday and a statement from him spoke about a fiscal program but fiscal programs take time and they're gonna take time to come into the economy so the government is gonna try to do something that's gonna take time on the monetary side I think our reserve banks are gonna try to do a few things too but that's going to take time the other thing about our Reserve Bank is they notoriously like to work through third parties these of course would be the banks and I suspect that the banks are going to use their very stringent credit criterias before they push the liquidity back into the market basically the next 90 days you're on your own number four talk to your colleagues this is the fourth the fourth see Calise talk to the people that you work with your team your support staff and just make sure that you study and calm their nerves no doubt in my mind we're going to see regular levels of liquidations and we're going to see some retrenchments coming through in the system get ahead of the curve and talk to your people talk to them first about the implications of the virus and how to curb it in the workplace talk to them about the right habits washing hands using sand henna ties I've know I've already done like 15 times today using the hand sanitizer right so washing hands using your hand sanitizer make sure that there's a clean environment now we had a whole conversation the other day just this morning in fact with the lady who helps us at the office with keeping the office clean about the office hygiene and needing to step that up just small measures that I think you can take but have a clear conversation with your colleagues to manage expectations and manage fears one of the very clear fears for one of my team members was around public transport the heart train terminals and how busy those are North Station and how busy that is Bri and how busy that is and I know that those stations are busy I know that those terminals are busy so get ahead what we've done is we've said to the team you can if you want to but you don't have to try and see some sort of flexible work hours so rather than travel in peak hours see if you can come in a bit later and then leave a bit later to so that we can make sure that our people are not exposed to some of those traffic's at the most dense time of traffic there and finally the final C communication get ahead of the communication you have external stakeholders in your business I would strongly suggest you get ahead of the curve and you talk to them who are your external stakeholders customers would be customers the marketplace the people who are following you on social media your suppliers who are here in other parts of the world get ahead of the curve and talk to those external stakeholders as we speak my team was talking about how we're going to communicate changes that may or may not happen depending on what happens over the next few the next few days particularly the next 14 days what's going to be the next two weeks with South Africa and our government's response about what we're going to do with my global inspiration tours you know are supposed to be in Germany and Spain we were adding New York and the United Kingdom to that list to New York of course by that I mean the US so what I'm talking about here is just get ahead of the external communication to your own external stakeholders I would advise that you have a press release or some sort of press statement and issue it on your website what is your company doing about the coronavirus and how are you responding and mitigating the risk of the corona virus these are very difficult times we don't know how long it's going to be here with us we don't know the impact and how deep that impact is going to be I wish you and your business as well and I hope that these five tips about what to do about the virus helps you and your small business the best of luck to you Cheers