This is a follow up blog on our 3 Steps in Dealing with a Financial Pandemic published March 27, 2020.
Step 1: Cash Management
- The newly approved federal rescue programs are now being put in place. Contact your banker to get in the queue and complete the SBA application forms. Your banker will tell you which of the programs best suit you. Banks are restructuring their credit departments to handle the SBA application load.
- Under the new Federal programs, you may defer paying the employer portion of social security until after the end of the year and this saves 6.2 % of cash on every payroll. This is an interest free loan!
- You can refile previous tax returns for 2018 and 2019 to take advantage of the new rules on extra depreciation, increased limits on deductions and reduced quarterly estimated tax payments. You can get tax refunds or greatly reduce your taxes owed. Consult your tax preparer or tax CPA to determine what works for you.
- Increase your accounts receivable collections effort before your clients pay other vendors. The “iron fist in a velvet glove” gets action. Even progress payments help your cash flow.
- Get those special offers out to your clients and prospects. Offer discounts for down payments with the order.
- Contact your venders to set up payment plans and be flexible with those vendors that you need in the future. Conserve cash but don’t burn bridges.
- If you have completed the three scenarios: best case, likely case and worst case for 90 day and six-month outlooks, rework them with the possible cash savings mentioned above.
Step 2: Managing Daily Basics
- Examine every contract for ways to reduce costs, delay payments or cancel the contract. Consult your attorney to determine if a force majeure clause can be used to cancel the contract or force renegotiation.
- From Step 1, look at your sales forecast and look for orders more than 90 days out. Focus on offering a program to customers to move up the order delivery. This will offer more employees a chance to work, improve cash flow and reduce future risk of cancellation. Time degrades all deals.
- Discuss the Payroll Protection Program with your banker to determine if you are eligible for that federal assistance program to fund your payroll. The forgiveness portion brings new capital.
- Communicate your COVID-19 plan to your landlord, banker, key customers, key suppliers and employees. Make sure to communicate with furloughed employees as well. If you want them back when the economy improves, you must keep them in the loop.
Step 3: Survive or Grow
- Talk with your banker about existing loan covenants. Most loans have a fixed cost ratio covenant that will likely be broken when revenue declines rapidly. Find out if the bank will wave that for a short period.
- Work with your key suppliers on your growth plan to see if they will support you. If growth is not an option, work with them on an extended survival plan.
- If growth options are not there and your banking situation is weak, contact your attorney about a bankruptcy contingency plan. This can be used as a negotiation tool with suppliers and landlords.
C Squared Solutions provides fractional CFOs and COOs for businesses in nearly all industries. We offer four hours free consultation to help you with the analysis and planning of these steps. Give us a call and let’s discuss your concerns.