“What can I do right now to keep my business from going under?” This is the most common question all business consultants, advisors, and experts are getting right now. The answer is to conserve your cash. Run out the coronavirus clock. Here are some steps you can do now to stretch out your cash flow.
Get your money back – Hustle those refunds for any cancellations that you’ve had to make. Follow up on any refunds for canceled travel, conferences, orders, subscriptions, etc.
Delay any expense that you can – If it doesn’t make you money, save you money, or help you obtain financing, try to push it off for now.
Work on your accounts payable – Call your biggest suppliers and see what terms you can negotiate. Ask for a deferral, ask for a payment plan, see what options they have available and move on to the next one.
Look at your accounts receivable – Everyone is going to be affected by this. If you a client that is only mildly affected by this, or is still running full steam, give them a call if they are behind on payments. For your clients that have been severely impacted, consider offering them the terms your suppliers gave you.
Sell what you can – Unfortunately, it’s a buyer’s market right now, but if you have something gathering dust, get rid of it. If you have equipment that you can’t use right now – look for ways to lease it to someone else.
Offer a discount for prepaid work – If you are still making sales, see if you can get paid now to alleviate your cash crunch, especially if you’ve been financing purchases yourself.
Apply for a line of credit now – If you don’t already have a line of credit, do this right after you’ve done steps 1-5. You are more likely to be approved when your cash position is strong. The longer you wait, the harder this will be.
Apply for an SBA loan/grant – This new program is changing very fast, it is very likely that if you were to complete this application today, you may not receive your funds for 60 days or more. There is a lot of documentation required and it is going to take you some time to complete the application. Get the ball rolling so that in 60 days you’ll have the ability to repeat steps 1-5 if necessary. You want to get in line as soon as you can, it is first come, first serve. Apply here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
Refinance your building & land if you own it – Interest rates have never been lower, you can convert some equity to long-term debt. Don’t forget that business interest is tax-deductible.
Consider a sale-leaseback of equipment – If you have large fixed assets that are debt-free, consider a sale-leaseback and convert those items to cash.