COVID-19 UPDATEApril 6, 2020
The basic strategy for businesses during the COVID-19 crisisApril 13, 2020
The Two Fronts. Life, death, economics
A war is currently being fought on two fronts. One is life and death, while the other is economic.
On the front lines, the nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, and all other healthcare professionals are risking their lives by exposing themselves to the virus in order to care for our friends, families, and neighbours. They risk the lives of their own families by exposing themselves to this virus and they deserve to be praised as heroes. My wife is an RN and she is my biggest hero. I’ve always admired her dedication to her schooling, but the day she gave birth to our first son, I was amazed by her strength and she became my hero. After watching what she went through, I never thought I’d see her do it again, but she gave birth to 3 more boys in the years to follow. Now my hero, an RN, goes back into the fray. I understand the need to flatten the curve to reduce the risk to my wife, her colleagues, and our fellow Canadians.
My area of expertise though is on the economic front. I see the individuals and the businesses hurt by the economic impacts. Some businesses are unable to keep a safe distance and are forced to close. I see businesses that are taking every precaution and trying to keep their business safe for the public and at the same time continue to earn a living for their families and keep a roof over their heads. I see individuals that are unable to work due to daycare or business closures.
The government is stepping in to provide help for individuals and businesses alike. However, no matter how hard they try, it will never be enough for some. Some will be left out, and others are going to feel an unfair burden has been placed on them. I’ve already heard the mumblings about business owners getting Employment Insurance (EI) despite never having paid into it and others complaining about the unfair distribution of EI.
Even as a hardcore capitalist, I must admit the siren call of “free” stuff is alluring. People on social media are celebrating being laid off and being able to collect the emergency benefits. People are patting themselves on the back for sitting on the couch watching Netflix, while shaming business owners that are still open. Most of the measures the government has put in place for business owners are just deferrals or loans. All this “free” stuff is going to cost us once this is all over and done with.
The truth is no one knows how long this pandemic will affect us. Shutting down is a temporary measure needed to stop hospitals from being overwhelmed and having to choose who lives and who dies. This can’t be a long-term solution though. Businesses are needed to keep the economy going. Businesses are needed to provide ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) that our healthcare workers so desperately need.
We are entrepreneurs. Most of us started out working for someone else. We had well paying jobs (ok jobs at least) with steady paycheques and benefits. We ignored friends and family that told us we were crazy to leave that behind for some “pipe dream”. We worked hard for long hours with little to no pay to grow a dream with no EI or other safety nets. We ignored the “What Ifs” and met many unexpected challenges along the way and we learned, and we adapted. We didn’t whine and ask the government for a hand-out when things got tough.
JFK declared that the United States would put a man on the moon within the decade. He set the vision and people amazingly stepped up at what seemed like an impossible task and made it a reality. When Henry Ford told his engineers to design an 8-cylinder motor in one block, all his engineers, to a man, told him what he wanted was impossible. He told them to do it anyway, and the V-8 was born. I mention these stories because we are capable of doing amazing things when we don’t succumb to pressures of what is normal or what we expect the future to look like.
Already businesses are stepping up:
- COVID-19: Coquitlam company retools, will be first in Canada to produce N95 respirators
- Long john producer Stanfield’s reacts to COVID-19 with ‘pivot’ to medical gowns
Average businesses are going to be hit hard by this pandemic. Exceptional business will find a way to survive and maybe even thrive. And who wants to have an average business anyway?
Time for Action
Now it is time for you to be exceptional, to step up, adapt, and grow.
If you are in a business where social distancing isn’t an option, you are really going to need to think outside the box and your comfort zone. How do you transfer those skills into a new income stream without the need to be up close? This might be the perfect time to create an online course, a YouTube Channel, or sell an online product.
If you prefer to wait it out, then use this time to perfect your skills and increase your online marketing by writing all those blogs and recording the videos you never had time to do in the past. While it may feel like it, this isn’t going to last forever, and you’ll want to position yourself to be in people’s minds when they can see you again. Many average businesses will pull advertising at this time to save money, which should make it easier to fill that top spot.
If you serve a particular industry that has been hit hard, look at leveraging your skillset to serve a different industry. When your original niche recovers, you’ll be there to help them pick up the pieces. You may even need to hire to be able to handle the increase in new business.
How we can help
Going it alone is tough. I hate asking for help myself, but the only way we’re going to get through this pandemic is by working together as a community and country.
Here are some of the ways we can work with you to help in these difficult times:
- Be a sounding board for ideas to diversify or expand your business.
- Help you understand the ever changing COVID-19 Government Subsidies for both your business and your employees.
- Work with you to examine the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities that exist in your business at a time like this.
- Make sure you understand your financials and help you reduce your expenses and increase your profitability.
Contact us. Royer Accounting – Langley accounting and bookkeeping company tel: (604) 409-4040
Cutting expenses and improving profitability when things are as crazy as they are right now is going to be important for all businesses. As a Profit First bookkeeping and accounting firm, we will analyze your current situation and help you create a plan to keep more of the money your business earns. If you can do that today, just imagine how things will look when this pandemic is history.
If you’re interested in learning more, please complete this questionnaire for more information and to book a virtual (Zoom) appointment.
If you’d like to stay up to date on the funding available from the government, please join us in our community Facebook group.
Together we can get through this.