In the age of a pandemic, when we are cooped up in our homes feeling powerless, challenges can take on epic proportions. It feels like we’re locked in a fight for our survival, partly as humans but also as business owners in a world economy. The decisions we make as leaders right now are truly a matter of life or death.
But thinking about them in such grand terms can create paralysis. It’s tempting to overanalyze how any step you take right now might hurt you in the future. And for good reason.
But that’s why you have me. And we’re in this together. I’ve read through the $2 trillion stimulus bill and accompanying analysis. Here are my recommendations for what to do right now:
- First and foremost, focus on the health and well being of your clients and employees, as well as their families. The next decisions you make are more likely to be correct if you start from this mindset.
- DON’T PANIC! Did the CAPS LOCK jar you? Exactly. Panic is an external force you don’t need to deal with; there are enough of those. Panicked people usually make decisions that are more detrimental than doing nothing at all.
- Call your bank to discuss options. Many banks are deferring payments on building loans, or operating lines of credit. Ask what that looks like, and if you need to do anything to qualify for adjustments. (We can help with this.)
- Don’t eliminate employees prematurely. This ties back to step one. But from a financial aspect, many of the emergency funding programs that will soon be available through Small Business Administration (government willing) are only available to companies that haven’t fired or laid off employees due to the virus. So, while your first instinct as a business owner is probably to protect your cash flow, this is a decision where you need to think long term.
- Help is on the way! Banks are going to have $350 Billion of funding through a fast track “Paycheck Protection Program” with guaranteed loans through the SBA. There may also be private-industry options available, and these are likely to have different qualifications.
- If you must let employees go because you can’t wait for funding, help them understand that there are additional resources available to them. These include additional funds for workers who make less than $60k a year, plus the anticipated stimulus checks. (These are set at $1,200 per individual and $500 per child and will be phased out based on taxable income once you cross $100k individually or $200k as a couple.)
- Focus on your mental health. You know the saying: Secure your oxygen mask before helping others. You’re the boss, and your employees will take their cues from you and your leadership. Stay positive and stay focused: You will come out the other side of this in better shape once normalcy returns.
Our days are starting to feel like a battle between hope and despair. And no wonder. The questions we’re dealing with are about survival. Surviving this virus, the economic impact, the personal impact. While our current situation is unprecedented, threats to our survival are not. And we know that what gets us through these periods is real leadership and positive changemakers.
In life, when we walk into tunnels of darkness, we’re provided with the opportunity to grow and transform before we ultimately re-emerge into the light.
We will persevere by working together and making smart decisions.
If you need our help at any point, including what to do if you’re planning to call your bank or explore funding options, give us a call 336-310-4233. Our mission to help you thrive and grow your wealth remains constant.