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As we head into the second winter of the pandemic, businesses continue to face challenges Stephan King never anticipated. Right now, while running your business you may face the immortal words of singer Kenny Rogers “You’ve got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.”

No matter your situation, your attitude will determine your outcome.  My most successful clients have decided to accept the situation, not waste time complaining about it, and find a way to be successful/survive despite these unavoidable circumstances.

You need to “Know Your Numbers.” You must calculate, understand, and react to your income and expense numbers.   Second, constantly evaluate your needs versus wants.  Third, reach out to potential partners – even competitors - for support, consolidations, potential new revenue streams and expense reduction ideas.  Finally, make sure you’re setting short- and long-term goals and review quarterly to gain a sense of accomplishment.

When to raise – As unlikely as it seems, some businesses have witnessed increased sales or anticipate a huge uptick once Covid restrictions relax.   Maximize your marketing and if you can’t afford traditional venues, make sure you’re utilizing free social media options daily or weekly.  Use this time for additional education and preparing for your re-opening or sudden influx of business.

When to hold – If you’re facing uncertainty, look for additional ways to cut expenses.  Think about selling/trading little used equipment.  Consider liquidating low moving inventory to create winter cash flow.  Maybe institute the Dairy Queen concept if it’s less costly to close or reduce hours until Spring/Summer.  Take this time to venture into e-Commerce to offer customers a new way to spend money with you.

When to fold – I personally suffered through this stage with my own business.  I liquidated my film-photography business when digital arrived.  I wish I would have made that decision sooner, before I borrowed on all my credit cards, signature, and home equity loans.  Sometimes, knowing when to “fold-em” can save you from losing everything.

About the Author(s)

 Mike  Nunneley

Mike grew up in a family-owned pharmacy business, worked for an Anheuser Busch distributor, owned his own photo center and photo studios, and served as an elected official in local politics. Mike joined the 9th largest bank as a business banker, served a credit union as a commercial lender, and is starting a new career as a small business consultant with the Michigan SBDC.

Michigan SBDC
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