Extra expenses. Growing concerns. Business challenges have accumulated over the past year. In times of corona, doing business has changed in many companies. How do you stay in control of the costs? What can you do to maintain or even grow your business? As a finance professional, these are questions and challenges that you are now dealing with more than ever.
During Exact Live, we asked several experts and entrepreneurs about their experiences. Know how a company can successfully weather a crisis. Read on and take advantage of it!
With dot on 1: keep a close eye on what comes in and out! Of course, this has always been important, but when you have to finance extra resources and negotiate a lot, accurate registration is necessary. Are you over budget because you have to purchase extra protective equipment or homeworking equipment? Are the cleaning costs skyrocketing? The better you register the variable costs, the better your insight into liquidity. Moreover, you can present your bills better and faster to the government and insurers to get part of your expenses reimbursed.
Organize and anticipate
Hit hard or less hard, and the gentlemen agree that the extent to which they have anticipated in advance will determine how they get through the corona period now. For example, in February 2021, Exact was already thinking about ‘what if corona comes here?’ and ‘what if offices are closed?’. She started looking at current contracts and thinking about purchasing the necessary licenses and techniques. At the GGD, they are also continuously preparing for possible future disasters, and timely ordering the material you will need in the future is necessary. The tip is, therefore: to think in possible scenarios and organize your organization accordingly. Focus on ‘what if …’ and see what this means for your service provision, continuity, customer payment behavior, and your expenses. If you do this only when the crisis happens to you, you are too late.
Because you can quickly need materials in times of crisis, your budgets and purchasing processes must be in order. Also, to tender and be accountable towards the government, bank, and shareholders. At the beginning of a crisis, there may still be a panic situation, and you can still do without extensive calculations and arguments. Still, after a few months, you will fall back under the applicable rules. If you want to make sure it never takes too long to get your stuff: record what you want as accurately as possible. This is the best chance that your investment plans and projects can continue.
Don’t throw out all your beautiful plans
But keep an eye on the course in the longer term! Did you plan to grow? Then ensure a good overview of the development of your business-to-business or business-to-customer plan. Clear reports and a good model with drivers of the business – such as your customers, sales pipeline, outstanding quotations, and maintenance contracts – help with this. A clear dashboard on which you can quickly identify developments is also indispensable for strategy development. Which way are you flying?
Will there be time and budget left for that intended acquisition or merger? A look at the present makes sense. Taking a moment to think about the beginning of the crisis is also expected. But do keep your eye on the future! Later you will be grateful to yourself.
Invest in social cohesion in your company
Maintaining contact with employees is one of the biggest challenges in times of working from home. By involving people in everything as much as possible, you stimulate loyalty, togetherness, and creativity. So still put social activities on the agenda. Give someone who is struggling some extra attention and start a video call asking what someone’s weekend was like. Other tips: arrange a regular virtual coffee and tea moment. And do not get annoyed by children walking through the image or barking dogs, but use these types of interventions for a game of social talk!
Stay in touch with collaborating partners
What applies to internal also applies to external. Your customers and suppliers also like it when you don’t get too businesslike and keep an eye on the social aspect. The shorter the communication lines and the more personal the relationship, the more a customer, bank, or investor is also willing to think along and help with unforeseen circumstances. So show genuine interest in the other person, and you will get the goodwill factor when you need him.
Make sure you have good teams that work together
If you have to figure out how to build a dam together in the storm, you are running late. Quiet periods are the time to build up your team. Do not see working from home as too much of an obstacle, the gentlemen suggest. Working remotely also has advantages. For example, sometimes the contact only becomes more intense if you have to put in more effort and digital meetings run more efficiently. In addition to the doom and gloom, keep seeing and appreciating the resilience of your team.
Focus on the right markets
Just like the teams you build in quiet times, the same applies to sales: you don’t repair the roof when it rains. To convince your (potential) customers of the usefulness of investing in your product or service now. So that they are ready for the future when needed. For example, if you sell expense systems such as SRXP, your customer wants the declaration process to be ready as soon as travel is allowed again. At SRXP, they offered their current customers masterclasses during the corona crisis to get more out of their expense system. They have also started to focus on new companies where their product was needed at the time, such as the medical sector.
Let Exact support you
Your main task as a financial crisis is straightforward: arrange, record, specify and communicate. What better tool for this than a good accounting package? By working with a professional system from Exact, you realize precisely the depth you need and save a lot of time. The time that you can spend on the human side of the business. Because yes, systems and figures are essential. Especially in times of crisis. But people? They are still indispensable. So take the time that a sound automation system gives you, and you are optimally prepared for future crises!