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20 April 2020

No, Cash is not King!

At the risk of sounding counter intuitive, I am more convinced today than ever that ‘cash’ is not king for companies in this time of crisis – the ‘Business’ is!

Companies across the world have been advised to shore up working capital and funding to prepare for an unprecedented fall in demand challenging every aspect of the business. Like Brexit, this crisis has the added lethal dimension of uncertainty – where companies cannot prepare for a scenario they don’t fully understand. They end up planning for a ‘worst-case’ scenario with cash flow modelling and ‘cash’ as the means to the end and the end itself. Without in anyway diminishing the importance of cash flow forecasting, I strongly believe that the central unyielding focus for any business owner today should be to safeguard the ‘Business’.

Cash reserves are a by-product or an outcome of a successful business, of course this itself is debatable. But the success of the business cannot be attributed to having cash in the first place. In the beginning, there was an idea or a product, then there was an incubation period where the idea or product was developed and established, there were important people that joined the journey and of course there were those first customers and clients who believed in the idea and took that leap of faith. This evolved over time and created the business that we see today. If there is anything worth fighting for, in this time of crisis, it is for those important elements that have created the ‘Business’.

There are three simple things below that every business owner should consider today as they prepare to respond to Covid-19:

As businesses scramble to respond to the extraordinary challenges facing them due to Coronavirus, are they losing sight of what truly matters? In this installment of the Covid-19 Business Support Series, Ashok Thomas outlines three important things you will need to consider in this crisis.

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  1. Back to basics – understand what your business truly represents

The first step is to pause and reflect on what your business truly represents. What are the building blocks of your success? How did the business get this far and how is it perceived in the market? What is its ‘secret sauce’, what are the ingredients and what is the recipe?

  1. Shield you core ideas, relationships and businesses

Governments today are taking significant steps to shield its vulnerable people from the deadly Coronavirus. Similarly, it is vital for businesses to shield it’s core ideas, business structures, relationships, people, brand, entrepreneurial spirit and everything else that makes it what it is today. Difficult decisions can be made much easier if you have an eye on what truly matters.

  1. Accept that there are challenges ahead but know that true leadership ensures that they are not insurmountable

Accepting that the journey will not be easy is an important step in this process. Difficult decisions will have to be made and uncomfortable conversations will have to be had. This calls for decisive and caring leadership from business leaders. Peter Drucker, one of my favourite management gurus couldn’t have described leadership better, he said “Management is doing things right whereas Leadership is doing the right things”. People will rally around its leaders at a time of crisis.

In the end, when the dust settles, it is your business that should survive. The business that generated employment, profits and success in the past, should be primed and ready to lead the market recovery and ride the next economic cycle.

Contact Ashok

Ashok Thomas / Senior Manager

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