ANCONSULT SERIES: Business Shutdown – What To Do? – Part 2
Your are confronted with an unthinkable scenario – within a couple of days all your money inflow stopped. No time to prepare, no time to think about it beforehand.
If you have employees please read part 1. Now we are going into the next steps, broken down as a To-Do-List so you can calmly tick off one after the other without having to panic.
Pay all your suppliers
Since we are all in this together, do the right thing and pay whatever you haven’t paid yet – I’m talking direct suppliers like food, beverages or other supplies. You will be receiving pay relief from the government so you should not have problems to do so.
Call all your service providers – electricity, gas & telephone
Depending on your situation tell them what you are planning to do with your business and ask for pay relief until the business re-opens. You are in a very strong position for negotiations because they can’t do anything about it.
Pay them what you feel is right now but don’t overstretch your remaining funds.
Call your bank or any other lending institution
Banks have told us already that they are very willing to help small businesses through this. They should be freely offering repayment deferrals if they want to keep you as a customer in the future. Remember, banks live off your interest payments – no bank will want to lose their customers now because they need you on the other side. If a bank or lending institution is not helpful, go to the next one and refinance. With the government backing small business loans that should not be a problem.
Current update: Banks are getting inundated with requests and questions at the moment. Maybe hold off for the moment and let them get their strategy ready.
Call your landlord
Tell your landlord what you are doing and that you are planning to re-open as soon as this is all over. They will listen to every reasonable offer because they have no other option. If you tell them that you are doing all the right things and will be ready to re-open on the other side of this, it is very likely they will agree to a rent free period.
Even in the unlikely case that they would threaten you with terminating the lease – stay calm. There is no other business at the moment that would sign a new lease for a hospitality shop.
Cancel all regular payments for software, subscriptions or other services.
Go through your list of direct debits that gets taken out of your bank account every week, fortnight or month. Make sure your bank account will not be debited any more from TODAY! Whoever wants money from you has to come to you directly – that way you are not losing track of your funds.
Sell off your excess stock
Rather than letting the excess perishable stock in your store rooms go to waste try to sell it to fellow businesses, friends and neighbours or give it to charity.
Close down shop
Make sure all non-perishable stock is stored securely so you can access it straight away when you open again.