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Our Stories - Facing The Pandemic

Discussion in 'Money matters' started by Paul - FS Concierge, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi and welcome to Flying Solo @Marisa Lawlor .

    What you are doing is textbook. I am sure you have also had early talks with your landlord or bank about rent relief should things not stay the same.

    Things are changing, hour by hour it seems so being prepared is key.

    Before you are through, you'll feel like the lady with two heads, I am sure.

    Cheers

    Paul
    Marisa Lawlor likes this.
  2. Marisa Lawlor

    Marisa Lawlor Member

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    At least that might give me more brain power!
    Paul - FS Concierge likes this.
  3. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Update:

    I have lost about 10% of my business and counting. As the conditions change everyday, so does the operating landscape.

    Some of the stories my customers have are heartbreaking.

    One bought a thriving restaurant, probably for top dollar 9 months ago. Now gone temporarily.

    One operated a sports centre and saved enough to buy another but only last November. Government ordered shutdown.

    One international school opened a big new campus 12 month ago. They have have decided to do everything online. They have a lot of international students are facing a huge lag to recruit new international students when travel restrictions are lifted.

    One resort's occupancy is down to 20% - it normally sits at 90%+. Things will get worse. They have been forced to close the pool due to having to have a dedicated staff member monitor social-distancing. They can't afford it.

    Another restaurant is trying to hang on. They were a big hit. The original owner operated a another very busy restaurant employing 70, opened this and a cafe in another suburb.

    The cafe was opened just a month before his partner was due to give birth to their first child.

    These are stories of Blood.Sweat. Tears

    The good news for my business is that the Government Stimulus Money for Small Business is likely to be much higher than I anticipated.

    Still.
  4. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    From an email I sent:

    Cash Flow has not ever been your friend, always your enemy.

    You needed two good years to get out of the cash flow hole and begin operating in clear air.

    You didn't get it.

    You are "All-In" because circumstances (the virus) has put you there.

    In these times, everything is on the line. Time to go into survival mode because at stake is:
    1. Your Family's Financial Future
    2. The business you have built through years of blood,sweat and tears
    3. The Partners Future
    4. Your Employees future
    Here is a really simple framework to put in place but one that is right for the times.

    Put number one first, number 4 last. It doesn't stop you from caring but if you don't survive, none of the others will either.

    For every decision you take with a financial component, ask, Does this decision improve the chances of the Company surviving, have a neutral effect or decrease the chances of survival?

    Really big decisions can go beyond the company and threaten you family's financial future. Ask, Does this put my family's financial future in jeopardy? If it does, it's worth fighting for amongst the Partners and considering the alternatives, even if they are unpleasant if, you can't get your way...
  5. Daniel Courtney Gallery

    Daniel Courtney Gallery Member

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    Hi Paul,

    We ended up standing down our staff and closing with Monday our last day. Were losing too much money.

    I've heard on the grape vine that gov is talking about rental freezes, but there was meant to be an announcement about it last night from Slomo and it didn't happen.

    It's our only hope of emerging on the other side.
  6. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Daniel,

    That is devastating for you and your staff.

    We might run businesses, but out stakeholders are always human.

    These are human stories.

    They ways things change so rapidly, who knows if you will get some relief from a Government announcement soon.

    I hope for you that you do.

    Your head must hurt now from the stress of the decision you have faces. It must hurt a lot.

    But now is a time for a practical plan to salvage what you can going forward. If you need to go on income support and qualify, do it today if you haven't already done so.

    Don't wait.

    And reach out to others if you need support emotionally. No man is an iceberg.

    I hope you are going to be fine Daniel.
  7. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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  8. Rowan@quaotic

    [email protected] Well-Known Member

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    After taking the seats out of my minibus I have started getting some small delivery orders. It is a slow start but as people get to know and more people are staying home I expect it will pick up. I have an exemption to cross the SA border to pick up and deliver essential supplies which a local medical clinic has taken advantage of already, though I gave them their delivery on the house as it was emergency medical supplies they needed in a hurry.
    Small stuff yet, but, yes, I think I can make a go of this.

    Thanks for your concern :)
  9. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    Great PR that, in particular in the current situation
  10. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank goodness. I am cheering you on on the sidelines as I am sure all the regular members and staff here are.

    People of your community will remember the service you have provided and good deeds done in difficult times. That can only help your future along.

    Well done.
    [email protected] likes this.
  11. MH08

    MH08 Active Member

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    Theres two ways you can essentially look at it I think personally. Massive opportunity or exceptional failure. Just depends which side of the coin you looking at.

    But from experience, people in business who were you friends are most likely aren't anymore. From what I remember everyone to slowly feel for each other, and slowly the cannibalising starts against one another.

    Look at it one of the best learning curves to date because this won't happen all the time, recessions come and dips and gains come and go but true mettle will be tested this time round.

    The most realistic factor of all this is cashed by buyers looking to by businesses on the cheap and you don't really have to be that cashed up either, I mean I'm staring at some old competitors that are running the gauntlet but bones won't be left behind this time, the entire carcass will be there for the taking.

    I'd allocate as much capital as possible to acquire dead competitors out and keep moving forward and business plans would essentially have to change dramatically.

    There is so much opportunity but people are looking hard enough really think outside of the square.

    A friend of mine has a huge restaurant, died, literally rang me crying. I said it's fine divide up the space to create a hub for people with online businesses and charge $50 a week per person. Managed to bring in around 25-30 people renting out space because it was cheaper then what they were getting at larger incubators and closer to home for them.

    Another turned his business into a grocery store, filling his own fridges with pre made meals for local community.

    Offer what's in demand now to survive it regardless of the ego.
  12. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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  13. Tom ISW

    Tom ISW Active Member

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    A lot of my business has dried up, even before the pandemic hit our shores. Today my largest client has deferred all new work until at least June.

    Serendipitously, I've been reading a book called The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. It explores the Stoic philosophy and how we can change our perception of a crisis to overcome the crisis.

    To use an analogy closer to home, in a video game, we only know we're going in the right direction because we're facing enemies, solving puzzles, and encountering locked doors.

    For business owners in this pandemic, we're facing enemies (economic downturn), solving puzzles (how do we keep our cash flow up), and encountering (literal) locked doors.

    I started plying my trade to resume and tender writing, opening up a mini-site for it. I figured demand for this will be higher than ever over the next two quarters or so.

    I've also set up a new online support group for men dealing with anxiety and depression issues, as our usual meetups are no longer tenable.

    If things get especially dire, I can use my car to deliver supplies or food.

    As @MH08 says "Offer what's in demand now to survive it regardless of the ego." No job is beneath us. Not now, not ever.
  14. Henri K

    Henri K Member

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    Yeah, but that is only because the video game programmers don't waste time in designing a long track of enemies, puzzles and locked doors in the direction where you are not supposed to go...

    Unfortunately, the real world is not designed by video game programmers, so even if you're going in the wrong direction, you still face a long track of enemies, puzzles and locked doors, without a clear end or external reward.
  15. Tom ISW

    Tom ISW Active Member

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    Sure, if you take what I said literally.
  16. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for sharing @Tom ISW

    It has always struck me that there are golden opportunities but also big risks in having one or more major clients.

    Good luck with the mini-pivot and I agree with the sentiment about work - working in employment services, we had a client - a doctor in another country, point out about his new job in Housekeeping, "There is dignity in all work".

    Cheers
  17. Tom ISW

    Tom ISW Active Member

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    Thanks @Paul - FS Concierge!

    Also a friend of mine has set up a new community website while in self-isolation: crisisheroes.com.

    It's sort of like Uber for connecting volunteers to those who need help during this pandemic (or any other crisis for that matter!) I hope you'll all take a look.
  18. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Tom - That is such a great idea - I signed up and offered to help in my local area. Thanks for letting me know about it!
  19. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Tom, I worked employment services and had a successful US based recruitment website for a few years.

    I have some ideas around resumes that might be worthwhile discussing - basically, "New Features". If you want to discuss them, PM me.

    In case it is not clear, I am not looking for money.
  20. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    I have an update about my business.

    Most days for the past week and a half, I have received notifications of cancellations.

    To date, we have lost 21 customers from a pool of slightly more than 100.

    Preparing for the day when normal programming is continued, I can't stress enough the advantages of aiming for a very broad and deep base of customers if that is something you can control.

    I have also banged on for years about the advantages of having more cash in the bank than you think you need. In normal times, if nothing else, it cuts down on the stress level of running a business. In times like these, it can be a saviour.

    All lost customers have said they will be coming back to us when they re-open and so many are so apologetic when letting us know.

    We have some amazing customers - one gave us extra work solely on the basis that they wanted to help us! Incredible.

    One supplier didn't know how he was going to pay his rent and other bills. He was devastated having run his business on low margins, for over a decade and was now facing a financial meltdown.

    I let him know about the QLD Government Loans scheme - was he happy! Hope and optimism are traits that a lot of business owners have and my supplier allowed his to peek out from the virtual doona he was hiding under.

    It fills the heart.

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