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Boost Your Business Financial Immune System

Financial Planning Business Coaching



Why do some business owners see opportunity during economic disruption, while others see doom? It depends on their financial immune system: the strength of their financial foundation and their resilience – the ability to adapt well to difficulties and stress.

What is the financial immune system?

The financial immune system protects your business from the most harmful effects of outside events which negatively affect the demand for your products and services, or your ability to supply them.

Just like the immune system in the human body, the financial immune system has both innate and adaptive aspects. These aspects of your financial immune system work together to keep your business healthy and strong.

Your financial infrastructure provides innate immunity

The innate financial immune system of your business is baked into the structure of your business and how you manage your business finances. As business owners and entrepreneurs, we cannot control what happens in the economy. We can only control the decisions we make.

Are you a small business owner who wants to adapt to changes and move your business forward? Explore our 90 Day Group Business Financial Coaching program.

We can make wiser, more confident financial decisions which help us more skillfully manage operations and build a stronger financial foundation. Innate financial immunity includes:

Multiple sources of income – Income diversification is essential. The more sources of revenue you have, the less likely it is that you will lose all of them at once. Many small businesses that have traditionally focused on one product, service or location must adapt or pivot to create new sources of income or reach their customers in different ways.

Cash reserves and sources of liquidity – I coach all my clients who own small businesses to build cash reserves. The ideal emergency fund is a full year of must-pay business expenses, such as rent, payroll and insurance. Most small business owners start in the red, so the goal is to build their cash reserves while they are building their business.

Other sources of liquidity – like a business or personal line of credit - can also help during rough economic periods or disruptions in cash flow.    

A plan expressed in numbers – Your business budget is your business plan expressed in numbers. Learn to love the budgeting process. This is how you make purposeful, wise decisions about what you plan to do – and what you will not do – in your business. By expressing those decisions in numbers and tracking them, you can measure in real time what is working and what needs attention.    

Risk management and insurance – Every small business, no matter if you are a solopreneur or have 100 employees, needs to manage the risks that can occur during the operations of the business. This includes purchasing insurance, such as workers’ compensation, business interruption and professional liability coverage, as well as mitigating uninsurable risks, like changes in consumer demand or the economy.

Note that generally, businesses cannot insure against a pandemic. Policies typically have exclusions saying an insurer will not pay for loss or damage caused by or resulting from pandemics, viruses or communicable diseases (such as COVID-19).

Behaviors which cultivate resilience provide adaptive immunity

A resilient infrastructure boosts the financial immune system through acquired and adaptive behaviors. As a business owner, you can recognize threats to your business health and defend against them. These include taking steps during the pandemic to:

  • Invest in yourself and your learning
  • Create a digital strategy
  • Clearly define your message and visual brand
  • Cultivate a diverse and inclusive workforce, supply chain and consultants
  • Be the leader who values different thinking styles
  • Design processes and workflows which make the work easier and fun
  • Tell your business story in the media

The challenge for small businesses with a strong and well-defined niche is to find new ways to serve the same niche through a different platform. In my NJ neighborhood west of NYC, a popular café (who had just opened a new location when the pandemic closed indoor dining) used their restaurant supply connections to offer packages of essential groceries to customers with curbside pickup. A personal trainer with an older clientele who typically worked out in his well-equipped gym began to coach clients via their phone’s camera, using equipment they had around the house.

Preparing for the next normal – whatever that is

Research just released by McKinsey and Company calls this period in history, “The Great Reset.” The research describes the five forces shaping the next normal as it evolves:

  • Metamorphosis of demand
  • Altered workforce
  • Changes in resiliency expectations
  • Regulatory uncertainty; and
  • Evolution of the virus.

Businesses that are the most resilient will be best prepared for the next normal, whatever that is.

Are you a small business owner who wants to adapt to changes and move your business forward? Explore our 90 Day Group Business Financial Coaching program.

This blog is for general financial education purposes. Information contained in this blog should not be construed as financial, tax, real estate, legal or investment advice. For educational purposes, blog posts may contain links to other websites which are not under the control or and are not maintained by Real Life Planning. Real Life Planning has provided those links for your convenience but does not necessarily endorse all the material on those sites. Please consult your financial, real estate, legal, or tax advisor for advice specific to your situation.