Time management guru Alan Lakelin refers to planning as a way to bring the future into the present, so something can be done about it now. For small business owners under the COVID-19 shutdown, amid rudderless SBA loan deployment promises yet to materialize, Lakelin’s principles need to be applied immediately.
Small business as a whole make up the majority of this country’s economy. Yet we are not at the table in the majority of Governor’s decisions. We are a taxation piggy bank for every municipality’s business & occupation tax hike, but are limited in our advocacy overall. And some states have yet to have a phased-in plan to showcase thinking on if and when, certain business operations can legally begin to function again.
While not advocating for the United States as a whole or individually to re-open our economies before the science tells us to, it is important for us to recognize that ultimately, it will be bureaucrats, not scientists, who will determine what operations are acceptable within our COVID-19 “new normal” societies.
That is why government preparedness coupled with transparency regarding a phased-in plan is necessary for entrepreneurs to survive. There are overhead costs that employees do not have. If our businesses cannot function until 3 to 6 or even 18 months from now based on science, but also elected officials’ decisions, we need to know that immediately. This untenable notion of bureaucratic limbo leads to unacceptable debt accumulation in an absolute negative cash flow environment.
If elected officials cannot articulate where each type of industry of small business might be phased back in after the economy re-opens, it speaks more to malfeasance than governance.
It makes the difference on whether to fold the LLC, cancel overhead such as leases, insurance and/or utilities, along with terminating employees on payroll. These are the harsh realities that exist if you are the last dog at the bowl for a COVID-19 shutdown that the science thinks may be 18 months out, but your governor refuses to give you a heads up for.
Lakelin’s principle of planning is responsible small business advice. But if elected officials aren’t willing to help on their part, it may be wise to simply fold up your tent in general to avoid unnecessary continued investment in an area that sees you solely as a license to print money and not a full economic partner.