Many agencies have seen the rug pulled out from under them. All the 2019 assumptions have evaporated into thin air. As we look back on the April panic, the better agencies were systematic and structured in their approach. Below I have listed the top 21 tactics that I am sure you have also delivered. Use this as a checklist. And what might I have missed?
You’ve heard it all before, but I must quote these two statements from my 2008 Beating the Credit Crunch book!
“Most businesses go bust because of cash-flow”
“Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is reality”
So, the top tactics are as follows
#1 stop money leaving the business: stop buying, stop hoarding, only pay for the essentials
#2 get money in: beg, borrow
#3 reduce any stock
#4 can you survive till the summer, are your pockets deep enough? Do the sums, do 3 different scenarios
#5 if you can survive, will your offer be relevant to the new world? Do the sums, do 3 different scenarios
#6 will 2021 (probably 10% down on 2019 be worth the effort or should you pack it in now? Do the sums, do 3 different scenarios
#7 have you got the energy, passion, and resilience for the long game?
#8 are you prepared to borrow to keep afloat (-kicking the tin down the road)?
#9 renegotiate everything with everyone: HMRC, PAYE, VAT, banks, landlords, rates office, accountants, suppliers, staff…
#10 look for ways to avoid client payment pauses: eg slower delivery
#11 flip your salespeople to collecting debt
#12 review your personal budget (see items 1 -11 above)
#13 cut the fat, keep the muscle: look after your most valuable people but see this as an opportunity to let go of people you no longer need
#14 weekly, if not daily cash status reports (what do you owe, what’s owed to you, what have you got, what are you about lose/spend)
#15 look after your clients – engage with all of them. Pick up the phone
#16 look for ways to engage with new potential customers, to push them over the line
#17 create relevant offerings that reflect your client’s needs, wants and hurts.
#18 use this as an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-jig your offering so that you will be uber-relevant when the time is right
#19 use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your leadership (in the eyes of staff and clients and suppliers) as you help them to navigate the treacherous waters that are ahead
#20 be strong, be resilient: this is a marathon and you need to be fit and healthy so sleep and exercise well
#21 use the crisis as an opportunity to demonstrate that you do live by your principles and values