COVID-19 disease has locked us down at home and this disturbance is continuing. There emerges a need to adopt tactics for smart survival for self and business.
The month of March is always very crucial for any business and its promoters. There are several deadlines and several year-end wrap ups usually happen in this month. However, complete lock down situation unfortunately emerged in the month of March creating lot of hurdles in smooth functioning. Luckily it started after due date of payment of last advance tax instalment, so to that extent businesses have protected from landing into penalty, etc.
Government is trying hard and taking all possible economic measures to support distressed businesses and its promoters. However, the said measures are unlikely to satisfy every business’s need and hence, individually we, out of number of years’ experience are required to create a shield to protect business and all its stakeholders.
The first hitting point is cash crunch. The same could be addressed to the extent of reducing unnecessary expenses and investments and payments. The priority payments could be utility bills, government dues and employee dues. Rest of the things could be put on hold. Certain management level employees could be asked for partial payments with an assurance to pay once the situation is streamlined. Certain suppliers could be requested to hold on for some time to get their payments. Those requests to be made personally by the promoters. Certain customers could be asked to quickly process the dues and transfer funds.
The first hitting point is cash crunch. The same could be addressed to the extent of reducing unnecessary expenses, investments and payments. The priority payments could be utility bills, government dues and employee dues.
It would be dangerous to attempt to take short term loans on credit cards or from other street smart lenders, who are not likely to spare anyone in terms of charging interest? Rather our regular bankers could be approached and could be asked to enhance regular credit facilities at least by 25%.
Activate all Internet Banking and electronic payments facilities so as to make quick payments and get quick receipts. Immediately connect UPI (BHIM) facility to bank accounts to have electronic payments without any charges. You must have spare money in your bank accounts, as far as possible so don’t make petty/ personal daily payments through electronic mode. Use available cash for those payments.
Keep proper entries of transactions. If you are familiar with your accounting software use it or else have simple income and expenditure excel sheet. After few days you are likely to forget those entries.
Use this home quarantine time to plan for future. Take review of your business, identify future goals, plan for strategies. Make note of short term and long term steps to be taken in this direction. Also analyse your life style before COVID and during COVID. I am sure there are many good points which everyone can pick up and adopt in the further COVID lifestyle.
I could foresee that many will have different approach and lifestyle after this is over. This could be very well vouched from the actions of people on the very first day when everyone is permitted resume. I have observed that people are more open and co-operative to each other. I think this COVID has rejuvenated cooperation and humanity which was missing for couple of years specifically in metros.
Use this home quarantine time to plan for future. Take review of your business, identify future goals, plan for strategies. Make note of short term and long term steps to be taken in this direction.
I have also observed reduction in garbage and junk e-mails, SMS and phone calls. I think those bad junkies also have quarantined themselves at home. This is positive in this situation and hope to have this continued in future.
Planning and execution of WFH policy for every business has its own interesting challenges and is likely to reveal areas for strengthening for the organisation in terms of data storage, systems, execution part. Once the WFH is achieved successfully, it is going to be useful post COVID. This is also likely to reduce carbon footprints and secure healthier environment for next generations and will be useful for complying with the Individual Social Responsibility (ISR). Make yourself more tech-savvy and utilise this time for achieving additional required skill sets.
Use Zoom meeting, Skype, WhatsApp and other free meeting apps to connect to your colleagues and encourage them to think about future. Don’t allow them to get rusty. Good time to experiment on future strategy to adopt virtual meetings and WFH concept. This will save considerable time and money incurred for travelling and other logistics. Plus, this will be more stress free for individuals.
Planning and execution of work from home policy for every business has its own interesting challenges and is likely to reveal areas for strengthening for the organisation in terms of data storage, systems, and execution.
Speak to your customers and suppliers and understand their viewpoints. Speak to your advisors and understand their outlook. You may in the process get some new dimensions for your business.
Protect your assets, don’t compromise on its security and maintenance. You should be in a position to kick-start immediately once the things are back to normal.
Don’t discontinue your mutual fund SIP. They will definitely pay you back in future. Don’t avoid paying for insurance policies or for its renewals. They will give you required back up if things would be worst.
Look into your succession policy and realign it if required. It would be a good idea to check back all your nominations and back-ups for all banking accounts and investments.
Presume that this may be prolonged till June, think how you can create opportunities for your business domain, when things will restart. Think what customers will need thereafter. What new additions you can bring, in your bouquet of products and services. What could be new emerging areas for you to grow?
Always believe that every disaster opens the door for new opportunties. The patient and persistent will survive.
Most important be with your loved ones the real strength, which makes everyone going.
Stay home, stay safe!