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M&A and Consulting Testimonials
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What are the new priorities for Consulting Businesses during Coronavirus?
Sep 24, 2020
Now the focus is on helping businesses survive the pandemic
During the economic pandemic, most consulting cases that we receive are helping business survive in adapting markets. Nothing will ever be quite the same again, so businesses need to better adapt, and adapt at lightning speed if they are to survive in the new world.
I want to share three client cases below:
(Non-disclosure agreement to clients: We cannot publicize their full names)
Joe owns several Pizza stores in California, USA. During the Coronavirus, the stores did not open in several months. He wants to sell his business or find Investors to invest in his business. The finance stress makes him frustrated. The second case is Rebec who has boutique clothing store in Vancouver, Canada. She just opened the business last year. The biggest challenge is she does not have enough cash flow to survive in two months. The third business case is the International Travel Agency in USA, Canada & Taiwan. The owner, Xuang who is second generation in Canada. His father created the travel agency in Taiwan in 1967. After 10 years, he expanded to LA, California. When Xuang was 15 years old, his family immigrated to Canada. At that time, they added a branch in Vancouver and Toronto. During the Coronavirus, Xuang needed our advice for how to survive in this terrible time. I can feel their pressure, so we helped them through the dark time. The difference between stressed business and resilient players will be bigger. What should consultants in emerging markets be advising companies to do if they are to weather the coronavirus storm? Although they all have different problems that need to be solved, there have several common areas in the three cases below:
Shopping habits are changing:
As a result of COVID-19, one of the striking trends was that local convenience stores have performed well in the wake of the pandemic, just as they did at the peak of it.
A fear of travelling further and visiting more highly populated destinations appears to be the rationale for such a shift in behavior.
To win back what are likely to be extremely cautious customers, the offering is going to need to be hyper-relevant and hyper-local.
New relationships and collaborations will emerge sometimes in the most unexpected of ways as business, especially those who will be hardest hit begin to become more and more imaginative in finding ways to survive.
Cash Flow Management Strategies:
Challenge Faces in Business immediately
What do you do when your revenues stop but you still have to pay your suppliers? How do you take advantage of the range of support that governments are offering? How do you interact with the banks?” We all agree that “cash control is going to be paramount” for businesses in emerging economies. You need to make sure they have solid and easy-to-tap sources of credit. “If you don’t have line of credit in a bank, you’ll clearly have difficulties. But if you don’t, is a financial institution able to help?” “The banks could also be under stress as well in emerging markets because the global flows are slowing down.
We have following practices and strategies below:
- Start modelling various financial scenarios
- Ensure your own financing remains viable
- Set up robust board committees that can work through operational and financial scenarios to protect the business.
- Focus on the cash-to-cash conversion cycle
- Analyzing financial reports deeply
- Revisit your variable costs
- Consider alternative or non-traditional revenue streams
- Extend payables, intelligently
- Audit payables and receivables transactions
- Reprioritise investment plans
- Focus on inventory management
- Convert fixed to variable costs, where possible
- Manage and expedite receivables
- Consider alternative supply chain financing options
- Understand your business interruption insurance
We suggest management teams with concerns about Coronavirus actively evaluate their cash flow requirements, develop appropriate actions under various scenarios, and assess potential risks in and to their customer base and supplier network. All the conversations with clients right now are about cash optimization. Cash flow management needs to be an integral element of a company’s overall Coronavirus risk assessment and action planning in the near term.
Protecting employees & customers during COVID-19
Businesses need to start implementing “tracking policies” to make sure everyone is safe. You do need a lot of workforce protection, especially on the manufacturing side of things, with committees reporting on a regular basis.
Risk mitigation measures that are more protective involve separating people from each other or shared surfaces through physical distancing and physical barriers. Measures that are less protective rely on individuals to consistently follow personal preventive practices (e.g., environmental cleaning, use of personal protective equipment, wearing non-medical masks or cloth face coverings. Business are encouraged to find creative and adaptive ways to mitigate risk to the workplace/business setting that align with public health advice and are respectful of workers.
How about your subcontractors? Ensure that they are taking the same level of protection as you are. Their failure is your failure.
If some of your employees can work from home or off-site, make sure they do so. Reduce the number of times your technicians need to go into your place of work and to suppliers. Also, minimize the number of visits to each customer’s location by doing as much as possible in one visit. For example, make sure you have all the likely components you will need so that you are not rushing off to a supplier or a hardware store for parts.
Not only is it important to take precautions in your own company to minimize the risk of infection, but it is important that your customer knows you are doing so.
Is your customer going to feel safe with your company representatives going to their home or place of business? What are you doing to provide them with the comfort they need so that they will call you and not your competitor? How are you getting the message across?
Is there information on your website identifying the steps you are taking to protect your business so that it can protect your customers? Are you being proactive when phoning prospects or when they phone in? Are you sending out emails to your customers? Are you advertising in the media?
Communication is a key element in ensuring your employees stay healthy so that they can also protect your customers. This gives your customers the confidence of calling you, knowing that you care about their wellbeing.
Taking as many preventative measures as possible is basic common sense, so do that! Protect yourself, your employees, and your customers.
Whatever the priorities of businesses right now, executives must ensure they keep an eye on the future too. “What will the business look like in 12 months’ time?” How do you maximize your chances of survival?” How will Companies see different types of restructuring depending on the sector — anything from going into administration to mere discussions about sources of credit to get through the rough patch. Now that everyone is aware of the Coronavirus, failing to take precautions could potentially cause some liability. Consider the risk a commercial customer is taking if one of your employees tests positive for Coronavirus after that employee has been at their company. If you are forced to close or curtail their business, will they hold you responsible? Would your insurance cover a claim? Would you spend a lot of money on legal fees? How exposed are you really? Once you have established your true fixed cost, then forecast your cash flow to ensure you can survive the closure. Accessing the capital, you need and maximizing liquidity now are the most important things we can do to survive; getting that message to legislators who hold the key to our economic future is how we can do it now.
About the Author
Maggie Chen, Certified Management Consultant; Certified Mergers & Acquisitions; Investment Advisor; Founder/CEO at CTL Business Group – Canada, USA & Asia
Buying/Selling Business; Mergers & Acquisitions; Business Valuations; Business Consultations; Corporate Finance; Investment; Business Training
Telephone: 1-800-301-6817; 403-9982436; 626-817-6528; 02-2656-3418
CTL Business Group Canada, USA and Taiwan:
Cruz Armstrong - SVP, WW Sales at Good Powered by BlackBerry
Category: Finance, Acquisitions
Jun 20, 2019, Cruz Armstrong was a client of Maggie Chen’s
Maggie Chen and her team assisted my wife in the acquisition of her dental clinic. Your help in securing financing and structuring the acquisition not only made this purchase possible, but also made the transition period extremely smooth for Dr. H, myself, our patients and staff.
Business Skills Training Centre Reviews
Reviewer – Rebecca Mar
Review Date - 2020-August-25
Reviewed Item – Finance Recovery Advice (Coronavirus Economic Pandemic)
During the Economic Pandemic, our cloth stores didn't open several month. The operation and employees' expenses are the big issues to me. My friend, John introduced CTL Business Group to me. Maggie & Alison analyzed my situations and advise me how to get a government funding and add online business service. I feel confident in recommending CTL Business Group.