Business owners across the globe were undoubtedly shaken when the world seemed to stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though they have seemingly made it through the initial blow from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, most business owners are still feeling the lasting effects. This has caused them to be hesitant in taking the next steps. They’d rather cautiously stick to the status quo rather than take any conceived risks by investing in themselves.
In reality, now is the perfect time to invest in your business. Cerboni Financial Services offers an array of consulting solutions to empower business owners to take control of their financial and operational systems. When consulting with our clients during the pandemic, we have found that — despite initial hesitation — the ones who have taken the proper steps to strategically invest in the success of their business are the ones that have not only survived but have also been able to grow and expand.
Understand the details of your business’s financials
One of the most valuable pieces of advice we can offer owners is to develop a deep understanding of their business’s numbers. This is something a financial services business like Cerboni can help with, but business owners can also regain control on their own during unpredictable times through analyzing cash flow projections and budgets. Utilizing these tools can help business owners or management see the company and its potential opportunities from a new, different perspective.
It’s extremely important to utilize projections, such as a 12-week cash flow forecast, hourly labor cost projection, profits and losses, gross profit contribution and break-even. Analyzing sales and guest or client counts on a weekly basis also plays a huge part in budgeting, and investing in a solid POS system can track sales and offer real-time numbers, which helps with projections. Just as important as examining what’s coming in, useful projections also include knowing what payouts you can anticipate, such as expenses and payroll, allowing you to pivot as needed. Maintaining flexibility is vital when owning a business in any industry, but when you’re intimately familiar with your financial situation, you’ll notice when things aren’t working, and you will have the opportunity to make a change.
Don’t stop at surviving; take strategic steps to thrive
Those that mastered these skills and survived during the pandemic are in an even better position for growth. We’ve found that as people feel more comfortable and look forward to going out back into the world and utilizing all sorts of services, it is the perfect time for business owners to analyze and manage costs and investments while we head into an upswing in business. We advise our clients on how to cut costs, but we also take things a step further by strategizing how to increase sales and ultimately grow. For example, many of our clients have found that this situation has allowed them to negotiate better lease terms and lower interest rates, giving them a unique opportunity to expand their market presence.
Don’t be afraid to invest in your business, whether financially through a better POS system or through the investment of your time in understanding your numbers. Of course, if you don’t know where to begin, investing in financial services is a great first step. Understanding all of these financial nuances can seem daunting, so financial services companies like ours offer assistance in understanding how to make the right investments – whether that’s through marketing and advertising, switching vendors to reduce unnecessary costs or managing operating costs – and allows you to get back to building your dream.
About the Author: Maria Degaine, Co-Founder and Partner at Cerboni, has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years. Her experience began at the well-known Sun Valley Resort in Idaho, and she later went on to open a Swiss boutique hotel in Brazil and four restaurant concepts. Degaine later moved to Houston and began investing in and opening restaurants with her husband.