Hope is not a strategy!


By Barry Worth, Partner

These are hard times for everyone. I’m sure everyone is on overload with all the articles, emails and other communications regarding COVID-19.

When I wrote my last article this past summer that appeared in our firm’s newsletter and posted on LinkedIn – I’d like to say I saw this coming; however, it was directed to the Economy and not a Pandemic.

In spite of that, I would urge all business leaders to reread that article regarding “Managing in Uncertain Times.” In addition, I want to give you some additional things to think about.  This is a time of “Crisis Management” when ALL good managers are able to test and use their skills.

One of my partners who is a strategic planning expert always says: “Hope is not a strategy”.  Hope will not get us, you or anyone through this crisis.  What will is our management teams and leaders who are willing to make the tough decisions in order to use all Resources available to them and to keep all of the company’s resources in place so there is a strong foundation when the business is ready to press the RESTART button and move forward.

Management Teams need to look at what resources are available through:

  • Internal people
  • Outside advisors
  • Bankers
  • Government agencies (example SBA)
  • Suppliers

In this time of need all business people are searching for the same outcome – Survival – and everyone is looking to help whenever they can. Don’t be afraid to seek help outside your company – professionals are there to help. This is why you hire them.  In managing the business now you should focus on the immediacy of:

  • Revising your business plan
  • Revising your budget and cash flow forecast for the next year into 2021
  • Solidifying an HR plan. Who must stay on the payroll? Who are the key people to remain in the business? See if the SBA payroll loan program works for you? This could turn out to be a grant.
  • Reach out to your bankers and suppliers to:
    • Defer payments or reduce payments
    • Defer rent
    • Discuss the viability of continuing business with suppliers this could change this would help you gauge your production capabilities

Talk to your insurance broker to see if your business interruption insurance is applicable.

Look at different scenarios for your business to help with contingency planning have an HR backup plan:

  • Continually revisit your supply chain
  • Continual monitoring of your customers and suppliers both key and secondary resources
  • Remember during these tough times:
    • Cash is King
    • Protect the resources of your business (your people)
    • Use your advisors
    • Plan and re-plan

Cash forecasting is imperative to manage, manage and manage.

If you should you have any questions on how to get started our firm is here to help:
Please call: Barry Worth at 314.795.6014 or Steve Finkelstein 314. 409.6869.     

Resource Guide

Below is a Resource Guide by categories:

  1. Advisors
  • CPA, Attorney, Business Advisor, Banker or any other trusted advisor (such as Board members etc.)
  • Insurance agent
  1. Federal Government
  • Stimulus Bill
    • $350 million Federally Guaranteed zero-interest loans to Businesses with fewer than 500 employees up to $10 million to pay:
    • Employee payroll (which could be forgiven)
    • Program could be running by April 2, 2020
    • Details are on the Small Business Association website
  • $500 billion government lending to distressed companies of which $25 billion will be administered by the Federal Reserve
  • $150 billion goes to Health Providers
  • Small Business Assistance
  • Low interest loans
  • Up to $2 million (per loan) to help with temporary loss of revenue (to provide working capital)
  • 75% interest rate
    • up to a 30 year repayment period
    • You can apply online
    • SBA is also offering the traditional loan programs
  1. Other Legislation
  • Federal/ State – check with your Attorneys and CPA for:
  • Labor laws, Unemployment Changes, sick leave and other legislation
  • CPA for tax and unemployment taxes and income tax filing dates and payments
  • Public Companies, check with CPA, Attorney and the SEC
  1. State Governments
    • Missouri Department of Labor
    • Missouri Department of Employment Security
    • Missouri Department of Revenue
    • Missouri Department of Economic Development
    • Missouri Department of Transportation
  • Department of Economic Development
    • Emergency Assistance
    • Effected By COVID-19
    • Apply for Emergency Assistance Program Loans with low interest rates
    • Total approximately $90 million
    • Applications to be submitted to Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Website
  • Illinois Department of Labor
  • Illinois Department of Employment Security