In this time of crisis business owners in transport firms need to keep cool heads and sign up to a clear road plan on how to steer the business in the short to medium term. Here specialist transport financial advisor Donal Dempsey outlines 10 key business strategies, if they are adopted the business will not only survive this crisis, it will thrive.
- Accurate and Timely Management Accounts
- Realistic Financial Projections & Targets
- Detailed Cash Flow Analysis (Short-Medium Term)
- Cost Control & Benchmarking
- Niche Expertise, Economies of Scale in Business & Business Co-operation
- In depth analysis of Information – Cost effectively with results
- Team Development
- Ability to Adapt & Train
- Compliance & Quality Standards
- Business Promotion
Most business owners refer to the current crisis as if they are in uncharted waters, at any stage they can be sunk by a submerged rock. The first 3 items in the 10 strategies listing in weathering this crisis means having the knowledge to move safely forward, because the financial information and forecasts are similar to accurate and tested depth gauges and electronic navigational aids. As if on water, the business still needs a cool head at the top and a vision to see changing factors that are not always pre-planned.
Currently businesses are looking to reduce costs. Be very careful, cutting unnecessary costs are vital but some costs such as fair wage rates for all employees are still important factors in keeping the business afloat. Even the toughest of business owners will endorse that a motivated, able and smart employee is value for money even if his/her pay rate is above the norm, because of the productivity and cost control that person brings to the business. In cost control eliminate the unnecessary and that may mean questioning a whole range of incidental costs. Look a smarter ways of doing business and on the finance side, achieve better finance rates across all business borrowings.
In the current crisis it may be time to set aside business rivalries and see where economies of scale can be gained and dramatically reduce costs. Perhaps the goal of ever increasing turnover is now being questioned and what is really needed is less risk and more margin!
In most transport firms it’s not the fact that they do not have the information to hand to make a decision, it’s the fact that they have too much information that is never seamlessly knitted together to give KPIs that are relevant to the business at that point in time and not expensive to produce.
In a time of crisis what firms need is a really strong team. Most transport firms in Ireland are family owned businesses and of course employees need to be part of that team too. If availing of the Government wage support there is no reason why the company cannot sustain and even develop that team in this crisis. Workers will take on extra responsibility if they can see there is a benefit to them and the business long term. Bosses cannot sustain it all, and while the buck stops at their desk, they are many workers and external consultants that can and will assist.
In every crisis those that adapt will succeed, and avail of opportunities. Never before in any crisis has there been so much support to businesses, as the Government wants to be seen as caring and compassionate. And the banks are positively beaming in the fact that they did not cause this crisis. So get out there and use these advantages.
For once transport and logistsics is seen as an essential industry, use this to promote the business in gaining the best staff, best financial advice and mentoring and best negotiation position with financial institutions for the opportunities that lie ahead.