How Will My Business Recover Post Down Market?
Dylan Telerski / 5 May 2020 / Business
At Ubiquity, we understand that right now situation is dire for many small businesses–boot-strapped fighting for survival. Nearly half of U.S. small businesses do not have enough liquid cash reserves to handle two weeks’ worth of expenses, let alone two months.
The federal government’s initial Small Business Administration loans have been exhausted, leaving many to wonder how to take self-protective steps to recover or what comes next.
Here are some tips for how small businesses cannot only survive moving forward, but thrive and grow:
1. Consider This Opportunity to Improve.
The coronavirus crisis is likely to create a “new normal” going ahead. Customers may be worried about new pain points, like:
- Panic buying
- Supply chain disturbances
- Switching between on-location and remote work
- Travel restrictions
- Market uncertainties
- Cash flow management
Think strategically about how you can help your customers with some of these stressors.
Use the new sales and communication channels not just during the crisis, but as you come out of lockdown as well. Many companies plan on replacing costly in-person sales meetings with virtual training solutions and video conferencing.
Taking a long-view can be cathartic. The short-term slowdown gives you a chance to re-evaluate your operational processes, lead management programs, vendor relationships, and contingency plans. It could be a great time for competitive analysis, auditing, and reviewing inventory management.
2. Consider Your Five Ps.
Management Theorist Henry Mintzberg recommends adapting your business framework to 5 Ps: Plan, Ploy, Pattern, Position, and Perspective. Harvard Business Review revised this line of thinking to meet with the demands of the current crisis:
- Position – What is your organization’s position in the overall ecosystem? Who are your main competitors? What do you want to achieve? Are you able to take your former position after all this is over, or can you accelerate growth due to changing market conditions? Map out the possible scenarios to determine your resilience.
- Plan – What course of action will you take to achieve your objectives tomorrow? You’ll need to take a series of broad, deep, long view steps to get through the crisis when the pandemic eases. Don’t let the re-opening take you by surprise.
- Perspective – How do you see yourself in the world? Your corporate culture and identity may shift due to what has happened. How can your perspective evolve to bring employees together and set your organization apart from the pack?
- Projects – What new projects do you need to coordinate? While you don’t want to drain critical resources or overload a particular department, it pays to prioritize and coordinate initiatives that will future-proof your business should a second wave of COVID-19 send the economy to a screeching halt.
- Preparedness – How prepared are you to execute your plans? Your organization should have ways of accomplishing remote work and protecting employees.
3. Review Your 401(k) Provider
If you’re an employer offering a 401(k), there is an opportunity for you to save on costs. While some businesses are dropping their match or reducing their contribution percentage in ways that harm the employer-employee relationship, another approach is to consider what other providers can offer you.
Changing 401(k) plan providers can open up a world of benefits for small business employers:
- 401(k) Cost Savings: Most plans overpay for investments and underpay on employee engagement. If you’re not working with a plan provider offering a clear, transparent fee structure, it’s time to reassess.
- Business Fit: SMBs need more hands-on assistance and personalized guidance than many 401(k) advisors who specialize in big business packages are willing to provide.
- Employee Benefits: Have you checked in to see how satisfied employees are with their 401(k)? Do they feel financially prepared and confident in their retirement savings? Employee education or a more flexible plan may be needed to get your employees maximizing their nest eggs.
- Investment Options: Plan providers differ in their range of investment styles, customization levels, management abilities, and education.
It’s surprisingly easy to switch 401(k) plan providers. Your current 401(k) may be costing higher fees without delivering value. Contact Ubiquity to gain access to streamlined, transparent 401(k) plans that will help you and your employees more efficiently manage your investments.