When one crisis after the next confronts entrepreneurs and the future feels uncertain, keeping a company viable may seem difficult. Our partner Frank van Hoepen has some advice on how to keep your company resilient and flexible.

Evaluate

  1. Keep re-enriching your vision and mission
    Have a clear vision and mission with core values to give yourself and your employees direction when making difficult decisions. You may not be able to change the circumstances, but you can change how you handle them. Share stories about the choices you make, because those can inspire others.
  2. Evaluate your place in the market
    With crisis comes opportunity. Take a critical look at your place in the market and chain, and rediscover your core business. Use this as a starting point to view your challenges. An example is a universal car company looking for young employees. They found out this was not their strength: what distinguished this company from specialized dealers was their wide range. The work was therefore better suited for experienced mechanics.
  3. Analyze your process
    ‚ÄčCelebrate the things that go well and have a critical look at what you can do better. Are you getting the most out of your employees by stimulating them with personal development plans and giving them the right guidance? Could you automate certain processes? Do you offer your services in the right way, or should you switch from product to subscription?

Consolidate

  1. Make sure your budget is in order
    Having all the numbers lined up is an essential starting point. Is budgeting difficult because you can’t predict what will happen? Make three different budgets: a worst case-, neutral- and best practice-scenario. This way you can figure out how much leeway you can allow yourself.
  2. Let IT work for you
    There is an enormous amount of data available on the financial situation of different businesses in the same branch as yours. Lansigt can help you compare your numbers with those of fellow companies. You can also compare your previous years and create a dashboard with your most important KPI’s so you know what to aim for.
  3. Cashflow management
    Cashflow is all about saving and economizing, but also about maximizing your revenue. Oftentimes 20 percent of the customers will yield 80 percent of profits for a business. What makes this 20 percent so lucrative? And maybe it is time to say goodbye to the customers who do not bring in as much revenue.

Experiment

  1. Dare to act fast and with determination
    In time of crisis you have to dare to quickly make drastic decisions. For example, a construction company paused its projects for a full year after the nitrogen ruling of 2019. This saved the company a lot of money. A more positive example happened during the first covid lockdown, when an entrepreneur started offering 3-course meals for takeout from his restaurant. He had his most profitable year to date. Do make sure to demarcate the limits of your budget and time for your experiment in order to maintain control over maximum impact.
  2. Alternative financing
    Getting a bank loan is proving to be more and more difficult, especially with the rising interest. But, there’s more than one way to Rome. At Lansigt we have over fifty alternative lenders in our portfolio through FIRM Financieel to present your investment plans to.
  3. Co-creation
    Look for collaboration in all directions. Is it possible to share flexible employees between companies? Could you match your processes more closely to other businesses in the chain? Perhaps invest in a new collaboration to grow both your network and your services.
  4. Expand your network
    A large network means you get to hear many stories, which can lead to inspiration. Your network can start small, for example at the local business club or a dinner with employees, and grow to collaborations with unexpected partners and an influx of new personnel. 

2 March 2023