Shared Wisdom, Bottom Line Success

When you own a business, a “hard time,” isn’t a hypothetical – it’s an inevitability. All businesses fall on hard times at some point. But having a strategy to weather these times gives you a much better chance to not only survive, but to ultimately thrive.

In working with various clients in countless businesses, I’ve seen them all struggle at some point. I put this “checklist” together hoping it could serve as a guide to navigate the toughest times. Some will be applicable to your business, some maybe not. Hopefully, it can help you along the way.

For more detail on how to create a strategy for your business, contact me at

  1. Get key employees’ input on your planning strategies.
  2. Create a revised business/strategic plan for the next six months.
  3. Revise your pro forma statement for the next six months based on your revised business plan.
  4. Explain your plan to the entire staff and ask for their input.
  5. Hold off replacing personnel that have resigned, retired or been terminated.
  6. Make cuts in personnel – quickly if necessary – starting at the top of the organization.
  7. Maintain a larger cash position to take advantage of sale prices.
  8. Do monthly aging of your accounts receivable.
  9. Enforce your collection terms.
  10. Be flexible in looking for new solutions.
  11. Review inventory for slow moving items; turn these into cash.
  12. Establish temporary line of credit through your bank.
  13. Reevaluate timing of capital expenditures.
  14. Use barter to reduce cash needs.
  15. Keep in closer contact with existing customers.
  16. Review all former clients to see to whom you can sell again.
  17. Don’t cut employee training,
  18. Review and justify travel expenses; replacing with video conferencing, webinars or teleconferencing.
  19. Review and justify entertainment expenses.
  20. Review and justify office supply expenses.
  21. Refigure your break-even analysis based on your new business plan.
  22. Review your recent monthly P & L statements for percentage trends.
  23. Do a monthly check of your P & L statement against revised pro forma statement.
  24. Offer a settlement on receivables before turning over to collection agency or attorney.
  25. Use small claims court to collect a certain amount of your problem account receivables.
  26. Join monthly meeting group of other companies to exchange ideas and learn new techniques.
  27. Review your insurance programs. Consider increasing their deductibles.
  28. Don’t manage for the moment. Consider long-term goals of the company before taking action that could affect the future of the company.
  29. Take time to plan and review your operation against plan.
  30. This is a great time to take a closer look at your business. What can you do without?
  31. Renegotiate payment terms.
  32. Try to get more work from existing customer base.
  33. Encourage referrals from existing customers, suppliers and staff.
  34. Increase meetings with employees focusing on growth and profitability.
  35. Look at selected price increases.