While it may feel like there are no good choices, we believe there can be good decisions.
Let's take a closer look at what's involved.
Given those assumptions:
Of course, does it "pencil out?"
Be careful; don't dismiss your newly-imagined business too quickly. Embracing those changes can seem daunting.
But, you do have to give just as much constructive thought to whether now is the time to close down your operation. (See the "Ready to Move On?" section in the OWNERS Center for more.)
Start by thinking through all three kinds of assets in your business. This goes beyond the Balance Sheet numbers. You have Other Tangible Assets and Intangible Assets, all of which have value.
Recognizing all of the assets that you have built over the years puts you in much better position to consider what's next.
Of course, you also must consider what would be next for you?
It comes back to three fundamental questions retailers need to answer:
That of course is the most telling question. Do you still have the requisite "fire in the belly?"
You DO Have Choices
Again, while it may feel like there are no good choices, we believe there CAN be good decisions.
So, summon your optimism, and take control; choose your own adventure! It truly may be the opportunity of a lifetime!
A frequent recommendation for how to navigate the current economic uncertainty is to be more diligent about controlling expenses, and focus on profit. (You'll see; we challenge that below.)
Hmm. Concentrating on profits is easier said than done in today's environment, with cost increases proliferating under the umbrella of inflation.
Let's assume your stores have been closed for weeks now.
We recognize how conscientious you are. So, after paying what you can to your employees (and yourself), the next most-worrisome dilemma is your rent.
As you likely have discovered, a common choice for many landlords is to offer to defer your payments. But that means taking on more debt, as those payments are only being postponed to a later point in time.
You need a better solution than that.
As Amazon Prime Day approaches – it is June 21 and 22 this year, the earliest ever for this 48-hour promotional event – retailers from all segments are wondering (or being asked): "So, how do you compete with Amazon?"
Our response? You don't, at least not directly.
Yet independent retailers do have many strategic advantages over Amazon. But you must recognize them, and enhance them at every opportunity. Here are some ideas that you may want to consider.
Remember thinking that Amazon was the most disruptive force to happen to retailing? (Well, at least since Walmart was the most disruptive....)
However, the coronavirus pandemic eclipses them all. No matter where you live or do business, it is not whether, just when, COVID-19 will impact your life. Disruption with a capital D!
For retailers, the Fog of Uncertainty that began in April 2020 around the pandemics keeps coming back. Just when it appeared that we were ready to "get back to life" if not "back to normal," the Delta variant has surged.
This has created more uncertainty. How willing are your customers to actually go out and shop? Even more important (to you): how willing are YOUR customers to shop with YOU?
So, here's an idea: Why not ask them? Really. Send them a short questionnaire.*
Each of us, our households, businesses and communities are in different stages of shutdown due to the coronavirus.
While we cannot speak to when this will end, we do have some ideas for dealing with the "fog of uncertainty" that hangs over us all.
Still less than $1 a day! 👀