Instead I am more concerned about how this will impact our 3 companies as well as our employees.
We can Poo-Poo this virus till the cows come home but we only need to look at what is happening in our economy to know that if this virus spreads even a little more business owners could be in for some rough times. One only has to look to Europe ( namely Italy ) to see just how bad things could get for us. It doesn't matter if this is all hype brought on by the media or not. When they start closing the doors to events, schools, sports events, theaters, concert halls, shops, stores, restaurants and such and people avoid walking the streets like they are doing in Italy then you know things can get real bad for our economy. The trickle down effect can be a killer for many small businesses.
I have never been one to buy into hysteria and hype. But I am also not a fool. We have a lot of staff now and I am responsible to them and their families. I also have a huge responsibility to make sure our companies survive a big economic downturn. I held a staff meeting last week and talked with our employees. I told them we need to be prepared for a severe slow down in business and because of that I have instituted new policies which include no new expenditures. The only purchases I will approve are for essential items such as needed supplies. We are also going to reduce our product and parts inventories by not replacing sold items.
So why would I do this ? Because in a big downturn in our economy, cash is king. My biggest concern is paying our monthly bills but also ensuring we have payroll in the bank for several months. Our employees are highly trained and each one performs functions that are critical to our survival. I also have a boat load of money and time tied up in getting them trained to fulfill their duties. The last thing I want to do is lay them off and then 6 months from now start all over with new employees pouring hoardes of money and a years time in training.
My suggestion is to bank your money and let your cash reserves start building so you are in a position to keep going if the economy tanks from society being essentially shut down over this pandemic. While I may sound like I am crying wolf and over reacting, my personal feeling is we have only seen the start of how bad things will get.
I have seen all the comments about the ordinary flu and how it infects or kills more people but this virus is completely different. It is respiratory based and unlike the flu which requires IV fluids and an overnight stay for real sick patients, this virus requires patients being on ventilators and a few weeks stay in ICU. In other words our health system wont be able to keep up. The other problem we are facing is the craziness of society. The run on toilet paper and hand sanitizer is a perfect example. When fear and panic hit society they quit spending money on non-essentials and start hoarding cash. All of us here perform work that is non essential.
My advice, be prepared for even more craziness and hoard your cash. This entire fiasco is going to get much worse before it gets better and as business owners we need to be prepared to react to society and their purchase habits and ensure our businesses survive into the future. In situations like this, it really does not matter if we think this pandemic is a crock of shit. What matters is how we react to it and I have always been one to stay ahead of the curve and be proactive versus getting my ass kicked when panic sets in. Just something to think of.
Off my soap box,