I am deeply saddened by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and I know that our business community has already been deeply impacted. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
At this point, none of us know how long it will be until we get back to business as usual, but as information becomes about resources or other important announcements, I will post them on this website.
The title of this post is “Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” In business, that’s probably a good idea. But, even if you’ve done that in your business planning, you probably did not anticipate anything of this magnitude.
Since we are just at the beginning of dealing with COVID-19, it may be a good idea to run some “what if” scenarios with your financial projections. When you run what if scenarios, you can help yourself make better decisions. Certainly, we are all working with some major limitations, but entrepreneurs are well known for their ability to navigate difficulties and figure out a way to get through even the toughest of times.
The first resource I’d like to mention is the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC has consultants that will work with you, one on one, providing help with cash flow projections and business planning.
You can get started working with the SBDC through requesting assistance on their website.
The second resource that I frequently use is LivePlan, an online business planning software that comes with a monthly subscription.
LivePlan allows you to create multiple forecasts and budget scenarios. Learn how to use your actual numbers and financial history as a starting point, and then create 2 or 3 alternate financial scenarios to keep your business going.
1) Build a current “good scenario” (if you have one already, that’s great!)
2) Create a “worst-case scenario” and several alternate scenarios that include bridge loans.
3) Use these crisis forecasts to understand your projected cash flow and how much financing you might need to survive this time.
This process will help you know your “runway,” so you can have peace of mind about the future of your business.
You can try it for free, and if you like it, you can go on to subscribe. You can find more information on LivePlan here.
The SBA has made Economic Injury Disaster Loans available in several states, but Minnesota businesses are not eligible as of today. I am hoping that Minnesota is added to the list of states soon. Meantime, businesses in the community have access to traditional bank financing.
I continue to keep regular office hours and encourage you to reach out via phone or email if you have anything you wish to discuss, including talking through some what if scenarios.