The Corona Virus and related economic fluctuations will impact all of our small business. There is no such thing as a “safety net” for small business owners. We don’t get sick or vacation pay, we don’t get unemployment benefits and we often make sure that our employees receive a pay check before we do ourselves. If you are a small business owner who is available to help you? Most entrepreneurs aren’t that comfortable with their bookkeeping & financial reporting and few can afford a monthly consultation with a CPA. The main resources that are available to help small business owners in Central Ohio are:

  1. Columbus SBDC. The SBDC is located on the Columbus State Campus where they offer business planning courses, adviser meetings & connections to lenders.
  2. The DEC (Dublin Entrepreneur Center) and Innovate New Albany. Both of these organizations serve their community and provide some type of expert office hours where you can meet with a business expert in a variety of fields for free help (Bankers, CPA, Attorney, etc)
  3. Cultivate – This is our business incubator and entrepreneur center with locations in London, Grove City and PIckerington. Cultivate is a member based organization that provides business advice and also offers workshops and typically a free discovery consultation by phone with in-depth and ongoing advising support for paid members. Cultivate is expecting to live stream all of our future workshops in the coming months to keep our in person attendance below 30 people per the CDC recommendations.

For all of us, the core principles of managing our company still rely on the most important tool that we can use which is a Cash Forecast. Since 2016 I have advised hundreds of small and emerging businesses and many CEO’s and Small business owners do not have a current cash forecast. The forecast or cash projection, provides visibility into how your business will fare in the coming months ahead and allow quick calculation of “what if” scenarios. A business lives or dies based on its cash so an owner must have an accurate cash forecast to determine how their business will fare when or if:

  1. Revenue declines significantly
  2. There is a business interruption such as employee missed work that restricts your ability to generate revenue or complete work to be billed
  3. Customer receivables stretch from 30 days to 60 or 90 days
  4. Impacts to cash based on adjustments to payroll and other variable business expenses
  5. The timing of how expense cuts or revenue delays impact key decisions
  6. What opportunities are available to delay cash outflows
  7. What sources of Cash are available or could be enabled to bridge cash flow

For everybody that is a small business owner, the most imperative task that we do is to maintain a cash forecast. This forecast is the essential decision making tool that provides a dashboard for our decisions. This is how we know when we must adjust payroll, defer new investments into our company or take other steps for the business to survive. For this reason, I am announcing that starting immediately, Cultivate will host a business owner group that meets twice monthly. This group is exclusive to our members although we have spots for new members in specific business categories at our various locations. This group will:

  • Meet the first and 3rd week of the month (days and times will vary based on your Cultivate home location)
  • We will provide our members with business growth advice and give you the opportunity to provide referrals to other members. This will be the focus of the meeting on the 3rd week of the month
  • We will help you to develop and maintain your cash forecast. This will be the focus of the first week meeting each month so we can assist in updating your forecast using financials from the prior month
  • As a Cultivate member we will continue to provide you with one on one sessions as needed to dive deeper into specific business challenges and can be a sounding board to help you navigate tough business decisions

Our goal for this business owner group is to help our members make good financial decisions with input and feedback. The last thing a business owner should do is try and navigate uncharted territory in isolation. There is no added cost to our members for participating in this business group and getting this extra layer of business advising support. Our members that are unable to attend in-person will be able to participate using our online meeting software (Zoom) as we have Zoom room capabilities in all of our locations. These zoom rooms are also a member amenity should you need to video conference or live stream a presentation. Lastly, we are hoping that our elected officials take action to provide financial relief to small businesses and our employees that miss work because of illness or because they need to stay home. We will try to be our members best source of information for these programs.

Matt Yerkes- Founder

Schedule a Cultivate tour or exploratory conversation https://www.cultivateoh.io/grow