- Which clients / projects / activities have brought income to the business before?
- Which of these clients / projects / areas were the most profitable?
- Who can I continue working with and under what conditions?
- What other revenues are planned for the current period (eg investments, loans)?
If your clients are from Ukraine:
- Contact them
In person or through your sales / support managers. Find out how they are doing. Those who continue to work, those who have stopped working, who have left, simply cannot afford to do business.
- Find out who is willing to continue working with you
Discuss the terms of cooperation. War is a force majeure circumstance and almost no one has a plan of action in such a case. So be in dialogue as much as possible, look for compromises and negotiate. Now your main task is not to earn in the moment, but to keep the business and continue working and help customers to stay as well.
- Think about how you can support those who are not yet ready to cooperate
Maybe you can help them with information, useful contacts, your expert advice or something else.
If your customers are from other countries:
Most likely, they know what is happening in Ukraine. And they can either support you in any way or be afraid to continue cooperating due to the unstable state. Ago:
- Communicate how you are currently working.
- Show that you have a contingency plan.
- Provide up-to-date information on what is happening exactly where you are to make sure you are really able to keep working.
Also, be in dialogue as much as possible, look for compromises and negotiate.
You will understand what income (and hence what profit) you can expect in the near future.
Review your costs
1️. Systematize all the expenses you had before the war
It is important to understand:
- How much did you spend on average per month and what categories of expenses did you have on a regular or periodic basis?
- Which of the costs are currently irrelevant? For example, you have completely closed one of the areas of production, so the costs associated with it will not be.
- What costs do your business have left?
2️. Decide on each cost category
Can you reduce, postpone or abandon it altogether? Your task now is to minimize the burden on business costs.
For example, you can agree with the landlord on partial payment or deferral of payments. Learn about tax breaks during the war. Do not take dividends.
How to decide what costs to give up?
Answer the question: “If I do not make this expense, my business will stop?”. If the answer is yes – leave, but think about whether it can be optimized. If “No” – refuse.
For example, if you don’t buy coffee and cookies at the office, will the business stop? Most likely not. So you can give it up for now. You can also temporarily suspend the cost of training courses for employees, subscriptions to entertainment services, pay for the gym or English for the team, change the office to a less expensive or cancel the lease altogether, and more.
What about salaries?
Most likely, you want to keep a team to keep working and support your employees and their families in difficult times. So how do you do that?
- Check the financial cushion of business security.
Are there funds to cover the costs if there is not enough or no income? Including whether you will be able to support the team with a salary during the period of suspension or fall in sales.
- Think about how you can negotiate with the team.
It may be easier to pay your salary in installments each week. This will relieve the burden of costs at the moment and save time on revenue generation.
You will have a cost plan and an understanding of how to cover them. Nowadays, when long-term planning is almost impossible, you will still feel more confident, because you will have a picture: what awaits the business in the near future and what exactly you plan to do.
Financial indicators that need to be monitored now
Break-even point (point 0)
That is, how much business you need to generate sales to go to 0 (cover all costs). The break-even point is also called the state of the business, when it does not make a profit, but also does not suffer losses. That is, costs = income.
For example, if your business spends $ 2,000 a month (along with the cost of a product / product / service), you need to make at least $ 2,000 in revenue to cover those costs and not lose money.
This will help you understand how much money you need to generate now so that your business does not run into losses.
The difference between income and expenses. What your business really earns. For you to see: earns business, suffers losses or goes to 0.
This is the ratio of profit and expenses, expressed as a percentage. It is important to analyze this indicator to decide whether it is profitable to continue to run each line of business / project / client. Or predict whether to start working in a new direction / new market.
Although long-term planning is not possible in wartime, entrepreneurs can focus on the current state of their business and the opportunities available.