Lockdown Crisis: An entrepreneur’s take

This necessary and essential lockdown has left us all stressed and worried. The frustration of not being able to do anything in the most crucial month of the financial year left us stressed. The realization of losses, the fear of facing another recession left us worried. It is natural. We are not alone going through it. I thought of writing about formula to beat this state of mind. Here it is,

A. List and Neutralize Enterprise Stress Points

List the points which can put your enterprise under stress. It could be your unsold finished goods, capacity underutilization, overheads, outstanding payments, interest costs, or any other factor. Estimate the loss, take action to minimize it, and accept it. Once we do it, we break the chain of those thoughts and move on.

Let me narrate how we did it in our case.

What was our major Enterprise Stress Point?

It was a BLACKbox inventory in large quantities and value. Historically, as we increase prices in April, 45% of our yearly sales happen in January, February, and March. We held tremendous inventory to meet such a demand in January 2020.

How did we neutralize it?

We accepted the fact that this tremendous inventory is not worth-holding in the hope of profit. In the aftermath of the pandemic, it will be our severe stress point. We launched the clearance sale at never before discounts in the last week of March 2020. Most of our prospects could not take advantage of the discounted price due to lockdown. We counted on our dealers who bought the inventory at huge discounts. We no longer hold any stock.

YOU MAY DRAW A SIMILAR ANALOGY AS BELOW.

CAPACITY UNDERUTILIZATION: Have a capacity contraction plan and accept the losses

Outstanding Payments: Opt for the moratorium, expand working capital, check RBI guidelines to your bankers, and proactively arrange for finances. Acceptance of losses and the availability of funds will relieve the stress.

Overheads: Get back to the drawing board. Mark every expense as necessary or unnecessary. Optimize your overheads.

Force majeure: Find this term from every agreement/contract you have signed. Invoke it with the counterparty. You can legitimately skip the payments, or renegotiate the terms.

B. Dig the Diaries

Let’s not lose focus. Let’s account for our time at home. If we are spending most of our time on News, WhatsApp, and Internet for COVID statistics, let’s try something different. I dug into my Evernote I use to note my ideas. I discovered the ideas which never made it to my priority list. Suddenly everything that exhausted my priority list disappeared. No travel, firefighting, interviews, investor updates, HR issues, troubleshooting, yes, everything just faded away. Lockdown spared me with me. I am working on our ideas of UnitedSMEs, restructuring BLACKbox features, redesigning our business model, application of AI in our processes, and many more.

Find your such diary and refresh your business to take on the challenges and exploit the opportunities.

C. Make the Positive Difference

Let’s list things we were not able to do because of our professional obligations. Let’s pursue them. I always wanted to lose weight. My 20 day per month travel never allowed me to do it effectively. Let me announce that I am 22 pounds lighter in this one month of lockdown. Most of us have temporarily relieved our household help in the wake of lockdown. We have divided housekeeping, dishes, and cooking. My sons sound so mature and responsible. If we ignore corona news, WhatsApp, and the internet, we can have plenty of time for our health, hobbies, faith, soul. We can share our life learnings with children. We can cherish our memories with our old family members. Let’s take this opportunity.

Accept, provide for the losses, and bust your stress. Prepare for challenges, identify the opportunities, and get rid of your worries. Make the best out of this me-time and family time.

I hope to have prompted a thought process amongst the entrepreneur fraternity.

Best Regards,

Vishal Shah

Founder and CEO,

Synersoft Technologies Pvt Ltd

The author Vishal Prakash Shah has 25 plus years of experience in Technology Commercialization in the field of Cyber Security, Data Loss / Leakage / Theft Prevention and IT standardization. Over the 25 years, he has worked from Management Trainee to senior positions to entrepreneurship, through various opportunities in IT. Currently, he is leading Synersoft Technologies Private Limited maker of path-breaking technology BLACKbox. His blogs can be found on here.

I am a leader who can play any requisite role to complement teamwork and achieve results. Over 22 years, through various opportunities in IT, I have evolved.