4 STEPS TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS INTACT MAKE WOOD SEXY When Facing Economic Downturn APRIL 2020
EVALUATE YOUR RISK The start of every economic downturn should prompt you to reevaluate three key areas of risk. First is recession risk. Even though it’s tough to predict, it’s important to have some idea of the reality of the crash. Talk to experts who can give you valuable insight into what to expect. Second is business risk. Evaluate where your business stands in terms of survival. • How many months of cash do you have in the bank? • What do you owe to lenders, clients, or partners? The third is client risk. Ask yourself how the recession may affect your customers and their needs. Is your service something they’ll keep spending money on? This question is also essential for evaluating your services. You need to know what to continue offering and what to discontinue. PRIORITIZE CLIENTS It might be difficult to choose which clients are a priority because every client is important. But in times of economic distress, making this distinction is a necessity so you know where to focus your efforts. Take a look at your list and determine which clients are important to your operations and what abilities you have to serve them. You should be able to discern which clients will immediately depart, which ones will wait and watch before making
decisions, which ones will bargain for lower rates, and which ones will remain as they are. The last two client groups are the most important to focus on because losing them can be extremely tough to overcome, even in the best of times. TAKE ACTION When you understand where your business and clients stand, you can home in on how you’re going to best serve the clients who are most valuable. To retain them, you need to make them your top priority. Reach out individually and reassure these clients who form a large percentage of your business and use your top revenue- generating products and services. You should go above and beyond with your services, offer them discounts, and be willing to renegotiate contracts if needed. When it comes to your top clients and customers, you should do everything you can to retain them because it’s much harder to get a new valuable customer than it is to keep one you already have. Creating a recession-proof business in a good economy isn’t easy, let alone doing it in a rocky one. But preparing is never a bad idea, even in the midst of a downturn. If you continue building your visibility, know your business inside and out, and give special attention to your most valuable customers, you’ll have strong practices in place no matter the state of the economy. -Ankit Sharma
With the outbreak of COVID-19 taking its toll on Canada, the question of an economic recession is no longer “when” but “what now?” The downturn is beginning, and health concerns and new safety measures have disrupted businesses across the country. However, you can take steps to keep customers and stay in business during the beginnings of an economic recession. CONTINUE SALES & MARKETING Although it might seem like a costly investment when customers aren’t making many purchases, studies have shown that businesses that continue to advertise during a recession often see their sales grow. Customers see active ads as a sign of business stability. Plus, many competitors will be cutting down on their advertising, allowing you to have higher customer mindshare. Ad rates and prices tend to drop during lower demand as well, so the money you spend on advertising now could stretch much further in the long run.
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RAPID CHANGE 3 Things to Keep in Mind as the Economy Shifts in 2020
Everyone has questions about what’s next for the economy. Over the last few days and weeks, the markets have taken a hit, and the daily headlines are often grim. Some days, it can be hard to find the silver lining. You may be asking yourself, “What should I do to protect my money? My savings? My accounts?” While we don’t know how long COVID-19 will impact the economy, there are steps you can take to protect your wallet and your accounts. Here are a few important things to keep in mind: 1. Don’t stock up. You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars stocking up on things like toilet paper, meat, dairy products, or canned goods. While some supply chains will experience a few hiccups because of a surge in demand, in reality, most supply chains remain intact. Stick to a shopping routine that takes you to the store no more than once or twice a week to minimize contact with others. If you want to save some dollars, cut out extravagances and shop for basic ingredients. If you’re not a home cook, now is a great time to learn. Browse YouTube, watch cooking tutorials, look up recipes, and give cooking a try. 2. Don’t panic sell. The stock market has taken an unprecedented hit, which can be tough to watch. Your first impulse may be to act on emotion in order to save what you can. However, selling investments based on an emotional response can do more harm than good in both the short term and long term. For one, you are now selling low rather than high. When the stock market recovers — which it will — you’ll no longer have those investments because you sold them. Stocks are a great long-term investment and should represent part of a diverse portfolio. Think rationally before selling. 3. Do consider buying. As Warren Buffett said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” While the stock market may have taken a turn, now can be a good time to think about adding stocks to your portfolio and investing in your business. Most machinery and raw material suppliers are looking to unload inventory, and there are good deals to be had. Call your raw materials suppliers to discuss what deals or opportunities they have and take the appropriate course of action that makes the most sense for your situation.
How to Get Outside Safely
SOCIAL DISTANCING DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE TRAPPED
Many people think that to observe social distancing they have to stay inside, but that’s not always true. In most countries and communities around the world, people can leave their homes; they just have to be cautious when and where they do. In fact, getting outside to get some fresh air and stretch is good for your health. Dr. Roy Buchinsky, the director of wellness at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center, says that getting outside for a few minutes “increases serotonin and dopamine and makes you feel good.” During this time when anxiety is running high, taking a few minutes to step outside is incredibly beneficial for you and your family. Here are our favorite ways to get outside while practicing social distancing. STAY HOME FOR BACKYARD FUN Your backyard is a great place to get outside without coming in close contact with other people. Put up the family tent for a staycation and enjoy a few camping activities, like roasting marshmallows for s’mores, telling stories, and watching the stars. For a fun daytime activity, plant a vegetable or flower garden. If you don’t have a backyard, take yourself or your pet for a walk around the block, just be sure to maintain the proper distance — 6 feet — from anyone who has the same idea. HEAD TO A PARK If you live near a park that is spacious enough to allow social distancing, get outside and exercise. Taking a walk and riding your bike by yourself or with others in your immediate household are great options, but you should not travel in large groups. Also, keep in mind that many provinces have closed playgrounds in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Keep in mind that while you’re outside, it is absolutely essential to use caution and practice recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which can be found at Canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/ coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html. Be careful and be safe.
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Sesame Zucchini Noodles
Cutting Costs in a Crisis How Some Wood Shops Are Adapting
Start the process by extending invitations to your now-former employees to possibly return once your business can support
Small businesses across the country are feeling the strain that comes with a global pandemic. Business models have been disrupted, and cash flows have taken massive hits. The coronavirus has left many cabinet and millwork shops and their employees scrambling. Regardless, in this tough time, there is one thing every business owner (and employee) should not do: panic. Panic causes far more problems than it solves. Panic is an emotional response, and when you make decisions — particularly business or financial decisions — based on emotion, you are more likely to make a mistake that negatively affects you in the long term. A recent Goldman Sachs survey of more than 1,500 small-business owners revealed that more than 50% believe they will be out of business within three months if the situation doesn’t improve. In order to survive, cutting costs is necessary. The biggest cost many businesses are addressing is that of their employees. Over the past few weeks, many businesses have let go of part or all of their staff, opting to lay them off rather than absorb the financial burden of keeping them on. Laying off workers can prove to be a good strategy, but only if done correctly.
them again. While they can now collect unemployment benefits,
you need to think about where your business is going to be after the major situation is resolved. At that point, you can do one of two things: Rehire previous staff or hire new staff . Keep in mind that hiring new staff members will cost significantly more than rehiring your old staff. Consider costs associated with retraining, establishing benefits, and getting them up to speed. Also, do not discourage former employees from pursuing other options. While you may be in a position to rehire some of your prior staff, you may not have the budget to rehire everyone . Everyone needs to be able to make ends meet. In the meantime, keep an eye on government relief. Many wood shops qualify for myriad government assistance programs. Here is a list published by the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada: AWMAC.com/ resources/covid-19. TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by PaleoRunningMomma.com
When you’re craving takeout but want to keep your dinner healthy and refreshing, reach for this comforting, flavorful recipe
instead of the phone. INGREDIENTS
• • •
4 medium zucchini
Salt, to taste
3 medjool dates, pitted and softened in warm water for 5 minutes 3 1/2 tbsp creamy, unsweetened almond butter 3 tbsp coconut aminos 3 tbsp pure sesame oil 3/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 3 scallions, thinly sliced 1/4 cup chopped almonds
• • • • • • •
1. If you have a spiralizer, use it to cut zucchini into noodles. Otherwise, use a peeler. Salt zucchini. Allow zucchini to “sweat” out water for 1 hour, wrap in a paper towel, and squeeze the water out. 2. In a food processor, blend dates with almond butter and aminos until smooth. 3. Add sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and vinegar and pulse until sauce is smooth. 4. In a pan, sauté zucchini noodles until heated and slightly softened. 5. Toss zucchini noodles with prepared sauce and top with scallions and almonds.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
How to Build a Recession-Proof Business You’re Not on House Arrest Planning for What’s Next — the Economy and COVID-19
Cutting Costs in a Crisis Sesame Zucchini Noodles Technology Saves the Day
HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
While Following Social Distancing Guidelines
your kids. They can even watch a movie or TV show together. HOST A MOVIE NIGHT. Speaking of movies, Netflix developed a unique way for people to watch movies and shows together: Netflix Party. If you have a desktop or laptop with a Chrome browser, visit NetflixParty.com to download the application. Once downloaded, open the movie or TV series you’d like to watch, create or join a “party,” then relax and enjoy the show while chatting with friends. These are only a few examples of how we can stay in touch during these concerning times. Talk with your family and friends and see what other creative ideas you can come up with together. Even though you may be apart from loved ones right now, virtual communication has never been easier or more plentiful.
catch up with loved ones. While folding laundry or doing other mundane chores, give a friend or your parents a call to idly chat; it can make your tedious tasks much more enjoyable. Video calls are also beneficial if, for example, you’re missing out on your daily workouts with a friend. Hop on a video chat to practice yoga, cardio, or other simple exercise routines together. LET YOUR KIDS CHAT WITH FRIENDS. Kids can benefit from video chatting by staying in touch with their friends while school and other activities are canceled. Letting your kids connect to social media is a pretty big step, so consider signing them up for Yoursphere or Kidzworld, kid-friendly networks that let them keep in touch with their friends while you can monitor their activity. Get in touch with other parents to set up virtual play dates over video chats for
control and prevention experts are encouraging
communities across the world to practice social distancing. While this will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, it also means that social interactions will be minimal. In addition to impeding many industries and businesses, this has significant impacts on families and friends who can no longer visit each other in person. Luckily, the technology we have today allows us to stay in touch while still practicing social responsibility. SPRUCE UP EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES. Hopping on the phone or your laptop to video chat is a great way to reach out and
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