How to survive a business in a war: expert advice
Entrepreneurs need to adapt to the new reality.
According to the latest calculations, about 30% of businesses have suspended work. Despite the fact that the government supports the work of business during the war, many entrepreneurs are forced to suspend their work or even completely stop their activities. How to keep your business afloat and not become bankrupt, said Olga, CEO of the European Software Engineering Association EASE Lyubov Mochalova.
How to try to keep your business
- Keep yourself and your team safe
The first thing to do is to provide yourself and your teams and their families with safe places where people can begin to function adequately and continue the project. In addition to moving employees to safe places, you need to understand if you need to relocate your business. Analyze all aspects, the main thing - no delay, no "it will end soon." Each day of inactivity is a step closer to ruining your project.
Earlier we said that in Ukraine launched a business relocation program, which will give him the opportunity to work in a war in a new place.
- Analyze and understand: is your product needed in the new reality?
Obviously, during the war, everyone is trying to meet basic needs, and businesses are trying to save money. If before the war the business was associated with the production or delivery of essentials, then most likely it is still possible to make money during the war. Everyone else will have to reformat. Analyze your business: how can you be useful during the war? The sooner you do this - discuss the new format with the team, get to work, the better for your company.
- Give employees new responsibilities
During the war and remote work, many professions lose their relevance. The coronavirus pandemic has already made adjustments to the usual life of Ukrainians, and part of some processes have already been transferred to a different format of work.
But if you were lucky and it didn’t affect you, now you need to think and act based on the new conditions. So, for example, if a marketer's budget was cut, this does not mean that he can just sit and not work. It can create an outgoing stream, but it is already free: it can generate key messages and distribute them on all possible platforms. An office manager can help people with finding housing and paperwork, and a PR person can look for a free psychologist for the team, for example.
It is important that the leader knows his people and their capabilities. In addition, you need to constantly communicate with the team: explain the situation, suggest changing the functionality. A good leader is unlikely to want to reduce his team. The main thing is to be honest about all the changes with your colleagues, to reassure them if necessary. If they are charged and ready to work, believe me, they themselves will offer many ideas on how to make money for the project in the new conditions.
- Increase your expertise in your field
Unfortunately, there is no time to learn new skills in wartime. As well as there are no funds for expensive training. So you need to start from the skills that you already have: you can, for free and quickly, rebuild what you already know and fit it into wartime.
- Make a financial plan with different options
It is necessary to carefully analyze the current situation in the business and correctly draw up a financial plan. It is natural that we are not talking about far-sighted plans, during the aggression of the Russian Federation on Ukraine, planning is a maximum of a week. However, there must be an understanding of where to get money for the basic needs of the project for the next three months. Lyubov Mochalova offers three options:
- Plan A: if everything drags on and the world will never be the same again.
- Plan B: if everything ends soon and returns to normal.
- Plan C: If none of the above work.
“The first thing to check is whether you have a financial cushion on all the company's existing accounts, and distribute it in the near future among key payments. This will take your headache away for a while. Further, no matter how hard it is, to evaluate the functionality of the existing staff: to temporarily or permanently cut those who cannot be useful now. Negotiate with contractors, landlords, etc. to stop ordering any services that are not currently vital. So we will stop paying for them and save our money. Those payments that cannot be canceled must be delayed and split as much as possible. Next, you need to determine the services that are ready to provide your business on a volunteer basis. Fortunately, now they are ready to help us not only at home, but also abroad, ” Mochalova says.
Как пишет businessman Orest Tooth, it is also necessary to develop foreign cooperation. "Now there are many opportunities to get a “business registration” in the EU. For example, before the war, in order to receive payment from abroad, I became an Estonian e-resident. Now Estonia has generally simplified a number of processes for Ukrainians: from living, obtaining and extending a visa to various job search platforms. Moreover, there are more than 5 thousand Ukrainians among the participants of e-Residency - contact them, create joint projects, collaborations, offer your services. Look for diasporas of Ukrainians abroad – now is the time to unite not only in Ukraine, but all over the world. We have every chance to demonstrate how we can hold out not only during the bombing and information attacks, but also to work and support our economy,” he says.
We previously reported that during martial law in Ukraine, business loans are introduced at 0% and guaranteeing 100% deposits.
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