For many of us, it is a rebuilding time…again. Things have been rolling along nicely since the Great Recession of 2008. The economy has been spectacular, most businesses have recovered long ago and have recaptured lost savings. We were getting close to a top-of-the-market time to sell and move on. Then Covid-19 happened. It’s Déjà vu all over again.

So, what is the best advice we can get as business owners on what to do? For some, unfortunately, it may be to just close. For others, it can be a Distressed Sale and walk away with something. For the majority, with a little forethought and planning, it can be just another hurdle to jump and greater success on the other side.

How can that be? Look around at the competition that is gone. If you survived so far, that means you’ve done some things right and your business is needed by your customers. Maybe you are a Necessary Business. Maybe you’ve opened new markets through the Cloud. Maybe you’ve become lean-and-mean as in 2009. Whatever it is, you are here. Congratulate yourself and start a new phase of rebuilding; the same rebuilding that you may have done several times in the past.

Here are a few “helps”:

  1. Find good mentors for a support team and find a good business coach. Think out of the box. It’s all new out there.
  2. Set new and realistic goals and have a PLAN to reach them. What’s your plan for reopening? For 3 months later? For the next year? Longer?
  3. Delegate where possible. Don’t try to become the sole master of your own destiny. If we’ve learned nothing else, it is that we do better when we rely on others.
  4. Manage your business and its overhead. Stay as lean as possible while recognizing that we all do owe something to our employees who helped us get to where we were. Kindness and supporting others has a big payoff.
  5. What lines have been in demand for the past few months? Focus on those. Find that Niche and exploit it. Stay on-mission and take your high ground.

We are in tough times. They will end. Be prepared.

We all hope and pray for a V-shaped recovery and those out in front with the planning will be rewarded. Whether you are looking to grow and continue on; or, you want to stabilize and then hand your business to a new owner who can capitalize, be wise. Be sharp. Be focused. Be yourself.


John Young is a Broker/Investment Banker with Sunbelt Business Advisors. He can be reached at (408) 436-1900, ext. 103 or [email protected]