This is tough for all of us. We’re all experiencing very challenging times – unprecedented times, right now. But we’re all in this together: whether you’re a big or small business, we’re all struggling. We’re all trying to find new ways of working, and we’re all just trying to survive day by day.
But what I do know is that the page will turn; this chapter will end and we will go on to build successful businesses.
Through depressions and recessions, the entrepreneurial spirit really does come alive. You really feel the heartbeat of the entrepreneur all the way across the world right now. What I would say to all of you out there – if you’ve already got a business, or are thinking of starting your own enterprise – we need to hold on to this energy and harness it like a currency. We need to help and support each other. We need to share all of our good news stories, because that’s how we’re going to get through this. Afterwards we’re going to need to rebuild.
Here’s my advice for business owners during these challenging times:
FOCUS ON CASHFLOW
This is what’s bringing companies under the water and drowning. Any expense that you don’t need, take it out. Just look at what you really need to survive. These times will end, it’s not going to carry on forever – but that pot of money that we’ve all been saving for our future, or our next product, or our next shop, whatever it may be, unfortunately a lot of that money is going to go. But when we’re over this and we’ve come out of this terrible, awful time, this country is going to need businesses that pick up the pieces and are able to build. So shave everything down that you need to.
DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF
There are some tough decisions that I know people are having to make – founders and owners having to make tough, tough decisions. Don’t beat yourself up over having to make those. We’re all in this together and we will get through this together. Just focus on one step at a time.
DON’T GO INTO HIBERNATION
Businesses that go into hibernation, whereby they shut everything down and let everyone go, those businesses I think are going to find it really, really difficult to come out of this. Take advantage of the government with all their initiatives, from furloughing to business taxes being dropped for a period of time.
LEARN TO ADAPT, QUICKLY
A month ago, when we were looking at our business, we were looking at it week by week, month by month, and everything just suddenly started to spin and change – and we were suddenly looking at it day by day. Adapt, turn yourselves around, learn to spin on a sixpence, change your product – whatever you need to do.
REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES AND THEIR FAMILIES
When you start a business, it is a responsibility. There will be highs and lows. The landscape of business can change quickly, and we’ve seen it transform rapidly over the last few weeks in a way that no one could have predicted. It’s devastating to see casualties on the high street, because you know as a business owner that you have a responsibility to these people who work for you – their livelihoods depend on you. For me, I’ve looked at my business and we’ve taken everything out that we possibly can, that we can survive without, but kept everyone on.
IF YOU’RE A LANDLORD, BE COMPASSIONATE
Please, you need us and we need you, so we need to collaborate and work together. During these three months, where we’ve not been able to earn any money on the high street, it would be really nice if you could be compassionate and help us out – and we will in turn help you .
From Harper’s Bazaar UK