For entrepreneurs & small business owners

As a small business owner myself, I’m just as stressed out and anxious as the rest of us. So, I turned to some experts for help. They agree that if we’re to survive, we must plan and act for: “What Now … What’s Next?” In this column, I’m going to deal with “What Now?” and in my next column, “What’s Next?”


What Now?

The Ability to Change …

My colleague and evolutionary change agent, Brad Gaulin, suggests that the pandemic has removed the choice as to whether entrepreneurs and small business owners must change to survive. He says, “In the last sixty days, the world has changed, and we’re now living the Darwinian experience of change or die. Our business’ ability to change is the ultimate determinant of survivability. We can have the motivation, we can know strategically what must change, but without the ability to change we will fail.”


Strategies to minimize impact

My colleague and business consultant, Tom Borg, has some tips I believe can help:

For your business:

Be open and communicate with your employees

Ask for flexibility during these trying times. Ask them for their ideas and suggestions. If you must cut wages, cut yours too. It demonstrates that you’re making similar sacrifices.



If you have to lay-off staff, do it gently and tactfully. Remember you want your people to return as your business picks up steam after the COVID-19 crisis passes.


Cashflow helpers

Review your financials. Look at what emergency funds are available. Create a strategy that will allow you to pay essentials. Cancel all planned nonessential expenditures.


Be assertive

Contact your landlord or creditors. Ask them about a grace period on the rent or establishing a payment plan that you can live with.


Contact lenders

Contact lenders and try to renegotiate loan terms for a more reasonable payment. Check with your state government for any federal assistance for small businesses.



Create or beef up your on-line store on your website. This could be an investment that pays off handsomely now and in the long term.


Remember that LKNConnect is offering a quick and easy way to get online at no cost for the first three months. Check out the stores in LKNConnect’s Marketplace. We will waive the $75 setup fee and the first 3 monthly payments ($75/month). There is a transaction fee, but that only applies if you sell a product or service. Give David Beard, COO of LKNConnect, a call to get setup today. (704) 575-7971 or email  —EH Stafford, Managing Editor


Positive changes

After this COVID experience has passed, make note of any positive changes that have occurred in your life.



Personally Speaking:

Make some time to decompress

Be informed but not overwhelmed by daily news. Updating yourself more than once per day, can affect your attitude in a negative way.


Put together a “thank goodness” list

Write down things on it like, having good health, your family members and pets, your friends and colleagues, your home and backyard, your vehicle and other belongings. Review your thank goodness list and add to it on a regular basis.


A six to twelve month emergency fund

As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time, is now.

If you don’t have one, resolve to create a six- to twelve-month emergency fund for your business. Contribute to it regularly. It will help you sleep better at night.


“True happiness is not the absence of problems …
true happiness is solving them.”     — Anonymous




Alan Adler is an executive coach, business consultant, and speaker. He specializes in helping people start a business, improve an existing business, advance in their current job, or discover new opportunities. Alan has worked for both large and small businesses. As an entrepreneur, he has founded and grown Touch Tone Access, Inc., Call Processing Solutions, Inc., and Alan Adler & Associates, LLC.
You can find his books, Getting the Fish to Swim to YOU & Keeping Them in YOUR Boat, and UpStream, on Alan lives in Huntersville, NC with his wife Mindy. They have two grown children, two grandchildren, and a rescue dog named Bentley.






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