Crossroads Coaching https://crossroadcoach.com Christian Business Coaching and Consulting Thu, 28 May 2020 15:16:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://crossroadcoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/cropped-crossroads-favicon-32x32.png Crossroads Coaching https://crossroadcoach.com 32 32 177651870 Dealing with Anger https://crossroadcoach.com/dealing-with-anger/ https://crossroadcoach.com/dealing-with-anger/#respond Wed, 27 May 2020 16:56:21 +0000 https://crossroadcoach.com/?p=13054 dealing with anger

Dealing with anger can be difficult. I often have a short temper with those I am close to. But, immediately getting angry is not okay and clouds your judgment and actions. I have struggled with this throughout my life, but God has helped me work on improving it. 

So what should we do with our anger? How do we stop ourselves from saying and doing things we will regret? What does God want us to do? 

It can be so easy to get angry. 

Your employee made a SIMPLE mistake that they are experienced enough to AVOID. 
Your spouse FORGOT to do something important that you REMINDED them about a million times. 
Your child did something that you JUST asked them NOT to do. 

The list could go on and on… 

In the moment, it can be difficult to think of all the reasons you should NOT be angry. 

Your employee has been overwhelmed with customers all day and they are worn out. 
Your spouse has a lot on their plate and you stacked another thing onto it without stopping to consider. 
Your child is under a lot of stress from school and changes that are happening around them that they have never experienced before and don’t know how to handle it. 

We can often be blind to the situations of those around us, even those closest to us, when we become frustrated. 

When we are angry, either with ourselves or someone else, we still shouldn’t lash out at someone, because it is often hurtful and spiteful. 

Dealing with Anger in a Godly Way

Admit You Are Angry 

So how can we deal with this anger? We should strive to deal with the anger in a Godly way. 

Simply trying to hide your anger and not acknowledge it, it can often lead to rage boiling under the surface that will soon explode or turn into resentment. 

The first step then, should be to acknowledge that you are angry. Not lash out, or do anything in retaliation, just admit that this emotion needs to be dealt with. 

God is aware that we will become angry at times. Ephesians 4:26  states, “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” 

Being angry is not a sin, but acting out of anger can be. Rather than act, take a second to breath, admit you are angry, but do not act. 

Commit to Forgiveness

The next step is to set your heart on forgiveness. Once you have admitted you are angry, committing yourself to not hold what made you angry against that person is an important step. 

At the moment, you may still feel reistment against them. But forgiveness should not be about how you feel in the moment, but in the long term. 

When we make the heart decision to forgive, and set our will to no longer hold what someone did to me against them, God understands we are striving to let go of our anger and forgive. 

Act on Forgiveness 

Once we set our heart on forgiveness, it is important to act on the commitment. An effective way to do this is to Pray, and again admit what made us angry, but that we are letting go of it. 

Putting things in God’s hands helps us lighten our burden and recognize that He is in control. 

Once we have given it to God and stated we have forgiven the person, it can also help us treat them in a respectful way again, because we have let go of the anger. 

Pray for Help with Anger 

It always helps me to also ask God for help with dealing with these feelings of anger in the future. To have greater patience and understanding. 

Praying for this can help give us peace, in the moment, and in future situations, so that we have more control over our anger. 

Continue to Let Go 

We can get control over our anger with God’s help, rather than acting blindly out of anger. 

By following the teachings in the Bible and leaning on God, it becomes easier to step back for a moment, calm down, and move forward with a level head. 

“Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
– Colossians 1:12-14

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Why Being Stuck is Okay https://crossroadcoach.com/why-being-stuck-is-okay/ https://crossroadcoach.com/why-being-stuck-is-okay/#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 00:07:56 +0000 http://kogbeta.com/crossroads/?p=13022 Being Stuck is Okay

About a year ago while working on a large, mentally-straining project, I had a personal revelation: being stuck is okay. Even good.

Creatives may refer to this ‘stuckness’ as “creative block”, “mental block“, etc. Whatever the word is for it, we all understand it’s a stressful place to be in. You can’t move forward on the project, deadlines are approaching, people are waiting on you. It’s emotionally draining and defeating.

You’re about ready to throw the project out the window.

How You Stay Stuck

I know when I’m stuck my natural tendency is to become overly analytical. “Maybe if I examine the problem a little longer, I can deduce a conclusion.” However, deductive logic doesn’t work in creative world. It’s not even in the same world (left brain vs. right brain).

What needs to happen in order to create is to introduce something new. We do not need any more answers about where we have been, we need answers on where we ought to go. We cannot observe the solution.

Put another way, I think the root of staying stuck is trying to find a black and white answer. An objective right and wrong. It’s either left or right, front or back…but we know these aren’t the only options. There are many ways to turn and step out of the hole you’re stuck in. It’s just someone may not have done it that way before so the analytical brain draws a blank.

Another way you stay stuck, and this is a long-term issue, is by passing off the work to someone else who you think is more capable. While the work may get done, it’s never as satisfying and only handicaps you in the next situation.

Training your brain to handle new situations is the only way to become stuck-proof.

How to Get Unstuck

Allow me to introduce the three A’s of getting unstuck. Think about them the next time you’re in a problematic situation and can’t find the solution.

Accept

The first thing you need to do is accept that you’re stuck. It happens to everyone. As I discussed above, there’s no point in stressing or over-analyzing. That’s not going to solve the problem. Tell yourself, “Good. I’m glad I’m stuck. Something entirely new is about to happen.”

Rather than getting anxious and trying to force an immediate solution (usually breaks something), sometime’s it’s okay to just sit and stare at something. This doesn’t fit the norm of our fast-paced culture—always producing, buying, scrolling, swiping, watching, reading…doing.

Non-doing is what needs to take place before a new idea can come to you. Imagine trying to merge on the interstate into bumper-to-bumper traffic. It’s possible…if you run something over and cause chaos. But that’s not what we want to do. We want to clear the road (your mind) so new ideas can naturally and freely merge in.

Act

If your mind is quiet long enough, you’ll start to notice little ideas come and go. That’s our instinctive process taking place for figuring things out.

Once you have an idea your brain attaches to, it’s time to experiment. This is where the right brain’s tag team partner, the logical mind, can come back in.

Try new things out. Watch them crash and burn if needed. This is how you get over your anxiousness: get used to failing. When you understand that not every idea is going to work out, you’re much more likely to find the best solution, rather than the quickest.

You have to let go of your ego and accept the failure of a few bad ideas for the sake of the right one.

Appreciate

I talked earlier about training your brain. Part of doing that is frequently engaging in the first two steps above, but there is a third very important last step.

You have to create a positive feedback loop so that your brain becomes addicted to producing new ideas.

Once you have discovered that illusive solution and executed it, take the time to appreciate your work and reward yourself. This is the perfect time to take a break and reflect on the situation. You again get to flex the analytical side of your brain and think about improvements.

So, remember the next time you feel stuck and that dreary feeling enters your mind, you’re in the best possible situation you could be in, you just don’t know it yet.

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What is Truth? Facts, Opinions and Running a Successful Business https://crossroadcoach.com/13025-2/ https://crossroadcoach.com/13025-2/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 06:34:00 +0000 http://kogbeta.com/crossroads/?p=13025

Many recognize one of my favorite Bible verses from a line in Mel Gibson’s movie production,The Passion of the Christ, when Pontius Pilate asks “What is Truth?”  John 18:38

Pontius Pilate is questioning Jesus of Nazareth when Jesus says he has come to testify to the truth…to which Pilate replies, “What is truth?” Instead of waiting for Jesus to answer, Pilate goes to address the crowd outside which confirms Jesus’ fate of crucifixion. 

The Biblical account of Pilate’s question “What is truth?” has been the subject of much philosophical, Biblical, and historical study and writing. Was Pilate asking in jest?  Mocking Jesus’ testimony?  Was it a much deeper rhetorical comment on how hard it is to grasp and work with actual truth?  Often the truth is not what we use to guide our actions, our lives, or our business.  

I believe Pilate’s question was his commentary on both the difficulty of ascertaining truth and how we often create our own truth by doing what we want in spite of facts before us. Pilate knew he only had to take a few steps outside to hear the judgment of the mob; showing how difficult it can be to answer the question, “what is truth?”   

The question “what is truth?” has broad-reaching applications to our everyday lives.  

We struggle with gathering solid facts from news reports, accounts from other people, and advertisements.  Making decisions and having confidence in our actions is difficult when we question whether our reasoning is based upon fact or fiction. 

Like Pontius Pilate we are subject to the court of public opinion.  The influence of others around us may lead us to actions based on something other than the truth.  People don’t always intend to deceive us but their opinion is just that: their opinion.  Often an expression for a preferred outcome.  

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with diverse opinions.  On the contrary, I believe sharing of varied opinions is good; healthy for our understanding between people and improved decision making.  

Problems arise when we can’t discern between what is fact and what is opinion. When we become confused over what’s most important or true. And unfortunately, people present their opinions as facts quite freely.   

Pilate had to interpret many points from those around him: that the people would riot if he did not act, his authority would be threatened by Jesus, Rome would remove him from office if he allowed Christ to live.  The truth had little to do with how Pontius Pilate finally acted.  Pilate knew he was not dealing with facts when he said to the chief priests, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 

Here’s a pivotal point in the history of events:  Pilate didn’t feel confident in the case being presented, but he acted on the opinions and preferences of the accusers anyway.  

In the same way, I don’t want your business or my business to go the way of Pontius Pilate and the accusers.    

Is it an understatement to say that you will run a better business by acting on accurate information and facts?  Yes, it is an understatement.  

Have you found yourself with an uneasy feeling over a decision because you were not sure of the facts?  In practice I often feel I am dealing with information that is incomplete or less than the whole truth.  It’s so common in business to feel the pressure of others working to persuade you to act where you question the logic or whether outcomes will be desirable.  

It is absolutely critical that business leaders are adept at recognizing facts versus opinions and  properly use both when choosing how to act.  

The main point here is to see the facts clearly in contrast with opinionated information.  It’s not that opinions are not informative or valuable, but you need to be confident in knowing which information is fact and which is opinion or fiction.  

Here are three tips on confirming facts versus opinions:

1.  Look in the Mirror. 

We all have our own opinions and bias that can lead us to see what we want to see in any situation.  You have to want to know the truth more than you want to confirm what you already believe.  This is referred to as “confirmation bias.” 

Reporting only the solid facts and data that support your position is a common application of confirmation bias. I can receive a report from my staff that our product model A has a perfect 0 defect warranty claim record which omits that I have sold a quantity of only 1 model A unit.  Like Pontius Pilate, I may wonder if I’m dealing with the truth, but choose to ignore concerns over manufacturing.  While the statement may be true, it leaves out important details; implying an inaccurate conclusion.  In reality there weren’t any defects because there weren’t any sales. Be honest with yourself in looking for the whole story and you will be better informed. 

You must really want to know the truth in order to find it, or you will likely fall prey to your own wishful thinking and wind up with a faulty premise for decision making.  

2.  In God We Trust.  Everyone Else Brings Data. 

The easiest and fastest way to identify factual data is to see it for yourself.  If someone presents information that you will be using to inform how to act, make a habit of asking to see the underlying data, including the source of the data.  

There’s magic in developing a habit of looking at supporting data for decisions.  You can recognize robust information in contrast with fragile or weak source material.  Practice asking yourself whether information is collected in a scientific or objective fashion.  Does the information prioritize  accuracy?  Or is it closer to an off-the-cuff opinion that furthers a specific agenda favored by the messenger?  

As you make reviewing data a habit, your staff will know you expect them to use accurate data in their decision making and recommendations.  You add a layer of accountability as you ask to see their supporting data.  

3.  Consider the Source. 

Because all information sources are not of equal quality, it’s helpful to be familiar with exactly where data comes from.  Know who authored the data if it’s a person, what measured the data if it’s a machine, or the reputation of an organization if it’s a published analysis. 

As you exercise the discipline of checking data and sources, you’ll begin to identify those that are objective and reliable over time.  You’ll also learn to recognize those people and sources that have consistent bias or error.  

Some sources are intrinsically biased, such as a political pundit, while others may simply be lower quality, like  an employee lacking skills or tools to properly research and analyze a given problem.  Either will provide less accurate data that isn’t fully factual . If you’re going to carry the cross of your decisions, it’s important to know who or what is supporting those decisions.  Challenge yourself to learn the quality of your data sources and work to lean on the most reliable and accurate sources you can find.

Again,there is nothing intrinsically wrong with opinions and opinions can be helpful in decision making.  Let’s close by marrying our fact-based data collection to a world full of opinions.  This will allow opinions to work to our benefit instead of letting them confuse us.

Merriam-Webster defines truth as “the body of real things, events, and facts: actuality.”  

Why would we want to muddy the water with a bunch of opinions?  Why not just collect and deal with only the facts?  

Because we are all God’s creation of unique individuals, if you try to remove the humanity from your decision making, you will live to regret it.  

Pontius Pilate’s question “what is truth?” speaks to the fact that we must tend to the needs of the people in our decision making. It’s the hardest part of leading an organization of any kind.  Pilate could feel he was living a moment where facts were being trampled under-foot by the opinions and desires of the crowd in the streets.  You are likely to feel pressure from other opinions in the course of running a business; it happens all the time.  

It is important to listen to the opinions of those around you if you are going to lead well.  Armed with solid facts and analysis, you can be a good listener for anyone’s opinion.  “I’m all ears” is one of my standard lines for my staff and clients.  I want to know what they think.  I want to know why they think it.  I want to know if they are attuned to the facts and have good information to contribute.  I also want to know if they are off base but open to learning new information that could help them perform better.  

When you make a discipline of requiring really good information from your team, you help them base their own opinions on a more solid foundation.

Other people’s opinions usually do influence my perspective even if I don’t agree with them.  Having a sense of empathy for fellow man informs decisions in such a way as to improve both the decision and your own understanding.  Deeper understanding and respect for other points of view, even where they might not be seeing the facts clearly, helps your chosen actions resonate with a broader population.    You will be more persuasive in helping others follow your lead based upon the facts and truth by respecting their differing opinions.  

What is truth?  It’s complicated, but based upon reality and important to running a successful business.  As you run your business, let these 3 steps lead you to the truth:

  1. Become a disciplined seeker of facts and good information.
  2. Listen sincerely to other’s opinions and let them make a positive influence where possible.
  3. Make your decisions based upon what you know to be the truth.
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How To Lead A Confident, Bold, And Strong Re-opening https://crossroadcoach.com/strong-re-opening/ https://crossroadcoach.com/strong-re-opening/#respond Tue, 05 May 2020 06:00:00 +0000 https://crossroadcoach.com/?p=12044 re-opening

By the time we lift the stay-at-home order here in Louisiana it will be at least two months of basic physical business shutdown.  Even if you were able to work at home, in most cases, business is still impacted.  Whether it is projects pushed back or lower sales as conservative customers modify their spending.  And, if you are working from home, it just isn’t nearly as efficient is it?

  • Keeping teams motivated and on track.
  • Keeping yourself motivated and on track.
  • Technology issues.
  • Kid or pet distractions.

If you watch or read any media, it is full of threats that even upon re-opening, things will not be the same. 

We still have choices.

We can plan and produce a best-case scenario, or we can wait and let whatever scenario occurs dictate our outcomes.  Practically speaking, we still need to communicate something to our customers and employees. 

I for one believe in being proactive and trying to create as positive of an outcome as possible. 

Disclaimer:  I’m not suggesting we to go into over control mode to make something happen outside of our dependence on the Lord and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  However, I think He wants us to put our best foot forward with confidence that He is right there with us.

What Do We Need To Consider In Our Planning?

We all have different types of businesses.  All or some of these may be applicable:

  • Are employees willing and able to come back to work?  Some may be sick or have kids at home that still don’t have school to go to.   If you laid employees off, they may be receiving higher unemployment and unwilling to come back.  The higher unemployment ends July 30, so that would be unwise long-term for employees.
  • Are your facilities ready?  Do you need to do some deep cleaning?  Do you need to change your set-up to support social distancing for employees and/or customers?  Do you need extra PPE to ensure people feel safe entering your work environment? Some of our clients can assist with people to clean and equipment to help.
  • How will people know you are re-opened?  How will you promote your products or services to ensure sales rebound as quickly as possible?  Do you have a marketing program in place?  Do you need one?
  • If you received a PPP loan, are you proactively tracking expenditures against it so you can easily prepare your forgiveness application?  Are you able to follow the requirements of the loan and understand the implications if you can’t follow them?  We can help.
  • Do you have processes in place for your employees to follow that are clear and defined?  Do your employees know your plan and the message you want to send to customers, and do they embrace it? 
  • Are your finances in order as well as possible to operate?  Are credit policies in place to ensure payment and cashflow?  If you don’t have a PPP loan, do you have other cash or credit in place to pay for expenses until revenue regains momentum?

This may feel like too many questions and not enough answers.  Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all plan because weall have different circumstances.  That is why it is important to go ahead and start considering all of these questions; and come up with a plan for your business.

How Do We Ensure A Smooth Re-opening?

A few tips that work for any business:

  1. Lead confidently and boldly.  Regardless of your circumstance, you are the leader.  To execute any plan well requires strong confident leadership.  You’ve got this one.  Having a well thought out plan will automatically enhance confidence.
  2. Communicate clearly and often.  It may be clear to you, but, test your plan and communication on others.  Make sure to ask your team to repeat what they are hearing to make sure they understand and get it.  Things change so often right now.  You may be adjusting in your head and forget to update plans and communicate to others.
  3. Let each person on your team know the role you expect them to play.  Everyone will have to make some kind of adjustments in the re-opening plan.  Current team members may need to take on new responsibilities to ensure social distancing, to update customers regularly, to measure and track spending more closely or to help sanitize workspaces.  Don’t expect them to just know.  Communicate and explain how you will measure their additional responsibilities.
  4. Take customer service up a notch.  Whether you sell products or services, you have customers, whoselives have been upended too.  They are counting pennies and have frayed nerves.  Businesses should always have excellent customer service, but it is imperative right now.  Excellent service includes friendliness, clear communication, safety, follow-up, as well as high quality products and services. 
  5. Take care of your employees.  Again, communicate so they know what is expected.  Also realize that they have family concerns, extra issues to juggle, and in many cases have to adjust to new work protocols.  Make sure your employees are taking breaks, taking care of their own health and safety, and have a clear understanding of their pay and hours.  The distractions are exponential right now, so you have to provide clarity and peace.

Crossroads Continued Services

We have continued our services through week 6 of the 8 week Stay-At-Home order, and are here for the weeks ahead.  We have helped clients plan how to weather the quarantine period, how to get funding and cash flow, and how to continue operations and marketing wherever possible.  We have been fully functional through video meetings and technology, although we miss human interaction.   We are looking forward to a physical re-opening too.

  • Our full team is available and still working on business coaching, cash flow planning, full marketing services, and full recruiting services.
  • We are collecting supplies in order to re-open our offices and ensure proper social distancing, a clean and safe environment, and PPE if needed.
  • Our business coaching services will re-open when the governor lifts the stay-at-home order; although we are happy to continue video conferencing and remote work on your behalf.
  • We are praying for our clients and community daily.

We miss seeing our clients in person, but most importantly, we are committed to continued business support by providing flexible, responsive, high quality services, and keeping our clients and team as healthy and safe as possible as far as it is in our influence to do so.

If you need help creating your unique plan, we are here to help.  We can help you develop a plan that is specific to your circumstances.  We can help you recruit and find employees if your team is not whole.  We can help you communicate and market your business effectively to get your revenues back to where they were as soon as possible.  And, as always, we can help with the stress and strain most business owners are carrying right now. 

Give us a call at (225) 314-4147 if we can be of service.

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How To Manage Cashflow With Business Shut Down https://crossroadcoach.com/how-to-manage-cashflow/ https://crossroadcoach.com/how-to-manage-cashflow/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2020 10:55:47 +0000 https://crossroadcoach.com/?p=12034 how to manage cashflow

Every business owner knows how important cash and cash flow are in business.  At least in theory.  With the statistics of small businesses that close after a year, and the small % that are still in business after 5 and 10 years, the intricacies of how it works and what produces free cash flow, may be a little less understood.

A couple of definitions real quick:

Free cash flow is the cash a company produces through its operations, less the cost of expenditures on assets. In other words, free cash flow (FCF) is the cash left over after a company pays for its operating expenses and capital expenditures. 

Cash flow – also includes cash derived from loans, credit, investors, etc.  These require an additional cost of interest, penalties, return on investment.

Eventually your business needs to produce free cash flow to pay back debts and returns to investors.

Timing

Then there is the whole timing thing.  One issue that bites many business owners is that their cash-in trails their cash-out.  Meaning that our expenses and needs for cash are due before we receive cash from revenues.  When this happens, you can’t pay bills or employees.  This jeopardizes the survival of many businesses that have a good business model, demand for their product or service, but no ready access to cash to keep the doors open before the revenue comes in.

In my 5-mile radius I watched a bakery owner hand-build his new bakery.  It was a painstaking process that took the better part of a year.  My taste buds would tingle as I drove by daydreaming about the hot fresh muffins with berries popped, juice flowing down the sides.

The anticipation of opening was palpable.  Literally cars slowed as they passed to watch the progress.  From day one of opening they had lines out the door waiting for the open sign to turn each morning.  It appeared to be a hand-built success.

I think it was less than 2 months and they closed their doors.  I was crushed and astounded.

I couldn’t stop thinking about how this seemingly successful business would close.  The only conclusion; they ran out of money.  I imagine they put every bit of savings in to build the building and only had enough to have to contract and build it themselves.   So when they opened, they were counting on the daily cash flow to pay for everything.

Would they have succeeded if they just would have had enough cash to provide working capital for 3-4 months?  Did they run out of cash to pay employees and everyone walked out?  Did they over buy to start and needed a couple of months to get their food cost in line?

I will never know for sure; but all of my business experience says it was a cash flow problem.

Overlay a Worldwide Pandemic and Vast Majority Shutdowns

Now we have a worldwide pandemic that has required many businesses to completely shut down, others to work remotely or online, and few to remain “open” as essential, but with less business.

Since many small businesses remain with low cash reserves, the shutdown of revenues has sent small businesses into a free fall.  The government is trying to help by providing cash flow through the SBA in the form of the Payroll Protection Plan and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

However, since the entire country (well world) is impacted, many small businesses do not have access to funds quick enough or at all as the first round of this aid ran dry in less than 2 weeks. As an additional $300 billion is signed into action today by President Trump, hopefully some of these businesses will get funds in time to stay afloat.

While I recommend using all resources available, I know that to survive, small businesses need to do some things on their own also.  Managing cash and cash flow is always important.  Now it is imperative to survive.

Before moving to some cash management tips, let’s first discuss what cash, or lack of, does to our mindset.

Mental Impact of Cash Flow Problems on Business Success

One thing that can’t be ignored is the mental impact of minimal cash reserves or cash flow on our mindset.  Face it, when your bank account doesn’t have enough in it to make payroll at the end of the week, we go into a scarcity mindset:  Don’t spend a penny, cut every cost possible, stop marketing expense and things that could actually bring business in.  And in realty, depending on your business type, you may not be able to afford the upfront costs to even take on a good job or to produce inventory to sell.

This leads to poor business growth decision-making, and unfortunately, we run out of expenses to cut before we are soon unable to operate.

This just reinforces the importance of always managing cash and cashflow in your business.

What To Do Now Though?

Since no one in their right mind would have ever predicted a worldwide pandemic, here we are, many not prepared.

I think an obvious first step for most people is how do I create revenue?  How can I sell anything?  And while I agree that generating revenue is the quickest way to free cash flow, you are also still battling the mindset issue, which is another powerful, invisible, enemy.

Realizing there may not be any good choices, I would still prioritize efforts as follows:

Get A Couple of Months of Cash Reserves  – even if you want to try to pay expenses with revenue, having the reserves in place will help you make better decisions; ethical ones, moral ones, and financial ones.

I have never used debt to open or grow my business, but I did put things in place so that I have access to cash, not only my cash reserves, but with credit.  I hope I don’t need to use debt at all.  But having it gives me peace to keep making the normal decisions I would make in my business.

I am not saying to do all of these.  Do them in order of eligibility.  The objective is to get a reserve of a couple of month of expenses.

  • Apply for the Payroll Protection Program if you are eligible.  Even if you have laid off everyone.  You can bring them back and get more creative on revenue generating ideas.
  • Apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.  The interest rate is as low as you will find anywhere and they have decent timelines to pay it back.
  • Look at your lines of credit and what is available if needed.
  • Apply for a line of credit or loan.  Rates are not as good.
  • Look at personal savings as a reserve that could be an option if needed.

Again, I am not saying to go get a bunch of debt and spend it like nothing has happened.  I am saying that having access to funds will help you to make the best go forward decisions as it provides choices.  Having options gives us more confidence.

Manage your cashflow aggressively – the goal is to maintain your cash reserves or open credit as much as possible and to generate free cash flow as soon as possible.

  • Aggressively collect any outstanding receivables.
  • Change your credit policies to get down payments on big orders or to reduce credit terms to collect your money on a shorter timeline.
  • Adjust pricing as needed to stimulate demand.  There is no point in losing money on any sale.  That just hurts your business more.  But lower margins, albeit they hurt your profit margins, cover your fixed expense and are free cash flow.
  • Eliminate any non-essential expenses like subscriptions, travel, continuing education, meals and entertainment.
  • Negotiate with vendors of fixed expenses like landlords to reduce or delay payments.
  • Shutdown short-term if the costs to stay open with only partial services outweighs the cost of shutting down completely.

Develop your re-opening and business back-to-normal plan – getting back to generating cashflow at historic levels is imperative.  If you are slow or shutdown, now is the time to plan.

  • Brainstorm with key people in your organization.  Just saying ideas out loud with others will spur on additional creative thinking.  Ideas will morph and combine.
  • Stay in your wheelhouse.  If we go completely outside of our wheelhouse, it usually costs more to ramp up at first for what may be a short-term venture.
  • Implement as soon as possible anything in your wheelhouse that brings in positive gross profits to help cover fixed expenses.
  • Execute excellently.  Business that provide value, excellent work, and over the top attentive customer service will not only get referrals but they will keep the business long term.  This is potentially seeding an even stronger business on the backend of this crisis.
  • Create a long-term vision you can share with your team.  When our team knows that we are planning for the long term, they stay loyal and contribute as part of the vision because they are not looking for Plan B to ensure their families are okay.

Your business may not be in dire straits, and you may have cash reserves and continued cashflow.  Obviously, then I would not go get more credit or debt.  But many have been caught unprepared by this dramatic economic impact.  

If you are one of the latter, there is hope.  We need to do these things to help our businesses survive.  But you know that I still believe that God is the only one in control.  In addition to these tactics to manage cashflow, keep praying and keep looking to the Lord for guidance and direction.  It always trumps what we can do in our own strength.  So, keep a strong tie to Jesus, pray for wisdom and discernment, and move forward knowing that the Lord will open and close the doors He wants us to go through.

We are happy to help with plans for your business.  Contact us at 225-341-4147 to see if business coaching can help you navigate your specific situation.

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Sales Strategies for a Covid19 Quarantine https://crossroadcoach.com/sales-strategies-covid19/ Tue, 21 Apr 2020 12:48:38 +0000 https://crossroadcoach.com/?p=12026 sales strategies covid19

Do you have a sales strategy for the extreme business climate of Covid19 Quarantine?  

Many business owners have had a hard time getting their head around how to adapt to our rapidly changing situation.  Social distancing, employee health and safety, working from home, stock market swings, cash flow concern, oil prices, un-employment, payroll… this crisis is like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetime.  

In this current Coronavirus situation, it sounds out of place and maybe silly to ask about having an effective sales strategy for your business.  But I’m arguing it’s crazy not to.  

The vast majority of us are going to suffer substantial business consequences from the Covid19 pandemic.  Two key key questions are how severe will the consequences be and what can you do to minimize any negative impact?  

I’ve observed some business owners struggle with the “fight or flight” response while making decisions about navigating through this storm.  Flight looks like cutting any possible expense; including employees who may be able to help support both present and future revenue.  While there are clearly situations where there is no choice but to board up the windows and hunker down, many businesses are in a sort of “no man’s land” which can breed a lack of decisive action toward sailing the ship to safe harbor.  

I’m working with clients to execute three basic tactics as their adaptation strategy for the Covid19 pandemic.  Most business owners can execute the tactics which follow as a “fight” strategy.  

1. Solidify your ability to meet any sales opportunity that arises

This may sound obvious but in practice, it’s not.  The general population, including your employees, is having fear fed to them with large shovels.  Scared employees will not execute or service any customer opportunities as well as confident employees, which can easily translate to lost business.  

It’s your responsibility as the business owner to protect your employees and ensure they have safe conditions and training which gives them confidence.  Address their concerns over safety. Engage with them in the details that both meet changing customer needs and give them the knowledge to work safely with confidence.  

2. Actively seek innovative ways to serve your customer’s emerging needs

The Covid19 pandemic has created a new normal for everyone.  Be proactive in adapting to the new normal by seeking new ways to sell your products and services better than the competition.  Military training teaches this as ‘adapt and survive.’ 

Broaden your field of vision and consider with the new normal: What new needs have developed? Who could be your customers?  How can you differentiate your business within the new normal? Prospective customers need capable suppliers who are fighting to stay in the battle with them.  

3. Energize your new market prospecting

Every business leader I’ve ever worked with has a dusty list of markets or customers they were going to get to someday.  Well someday has come.  

The Coronavirus has served as a huge market disrupter with no industry or geographic boundaries.  Dust off those plans from last year and the year before; arm them with your capabilities from Tactics ‘1’ and ‘2’ above; and go on the hunt.  It’s cliché because it’s true, you’re either a hunter or you’re being hunted. Where competitors may be hunkering down and waiting for things to go back to the way they were, you have an opportunity to provide valuable products and services to the new market reality.  

I would be happy for things to go back to the way they were on January 1, 2020; our clients’ businesses were booming which means our business was booming, and there was no global health threat.  

I am also happy to help business owners adapt to the changing landscape so that they not only survive, but overcome and succeed.  The three components of a Covid19 Sales Strategy outlined above will keep your resources mobilized towards successfully navigating the ship and help prevent your business from sinking amidst this new normal.   

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Learning from Experience https://crossroadcoach.com/learning-from-experience/ https://crossroadcoach.com/learning-from-experience/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2020 16:28:21 +0000 https://crossroadcoach.com/?p=12020 learning from experience

I want to share first where my learning comes from.  

I remember driving to my commute job in New Orleans when we heard the news of the 9-11 terrorist plane crashes.  By the time we got to the restaurant I was managing, we had visual of the second plane crash. Everything seemed to freeze in time.

When Katrina hit, I had changed my career to become a Christian counselor and was on staff with my church.  Finding ways to help both physical and emotional needs were overwhelming. Through counseling I met so many who had been caught in New Orleans and evacuated to Baton Rouge.  They saw the stark reality of the devastation surrounding them.

Then Gustav came.  This hit Baton Rouge harder and had more implication for me personally.  My father suffering from congestive heart failure and stroke on route to evacuating and upon his returning home, my Mom had a massive heart attack.  After triple bypass, my Mom came to stay with us for several months. I had to rearrange my private practice so I could care for her. She had a feeding tube and needed both food and medicines several times per day.

In 2016, we had the Great Flood here in Baton Rouge.  At this point, we were doing both counseling and significant business coaching and business services.  The initial week after felt much like this past week has for us at Crossroads.

Businesses and individuals trying to grasp the impact to their families and businesses.  Many lost physical homes and businesses. And in general, with the city shut down for weeks, immediate business was certainly impacted, even if you were lucky enough to have no physical damage.

I have learned a few things over the years in weathering these storms as an individual, a family, and a business.  I thought I would share some of the learning in case it helps you.

Personal Stress and Resilience

I am prone to worry.  I know as a professional I am calm and productive, but trust me, I have a worrying super-power that I have overcome only with the help of Jesus.  In order to do my part to stay physically and mentally strong, I have:

  • Always tried to stay productive; whether at home or work there are things that need to get done.  The more productive I am, the less time available for idle worry.
  • Maintained a healthy eating plan.  I try to continue to eat normal meals, fresh foods, lots of vegetables and stay away from too much junk.  Trust me you feel much worse if you are worrying and comfort eating, and then just feel lethargic and depressed.
  • Reading the Bible and journaling to God (aka prayer).  I have written about journaling many times, here is a good journaling post to check out.  Staying close to God’s word and pouring out my concerns to the Lord is always a huge spiritual and mental relief.
  • And more recently, I try to keep up exercise.  Not only does it burn off nervous energy, it helps keep depression at bay and energy high.

I hate the saying “this too shall pass” but if history proves true in the future, life circumstances do move forward and rebound.

Business Continuity

I know that panic doesn’t help, but I do believe that proactive planning and contingency planning are prudent and make the difference in how quickly your business bounces back.  I have learned over time that liquidity and available cash are important in times of “disaster”. If nothing else, having access to cash gives us peace of mind. But, panic can lead us to distraction, doing things that don’t really help our business, as we chase straw opportunities. 

This learning I posted on FB earlier this week, but will repeat here:

Small Business Owners, here are a few things to consider to secure your business right now:

  • Review your accounts receivables.  Whether small businesses make up your account list or big businesses, now is the time to make sure everyone is current and stays current.  Call on any past due balances and make sure they have everything they need to get you paid.
  • Stay focused.  It is human nature to look for opportunities in catastrophes and economic turmoil.  But if an opportunity is not in your wheelhouse, it can easily be a distraction from what is important.  Make sure you are looking for opportunities in your own areas of specialty.
  • Develop an employee plan.  If schools close, parents will have to work from home.  Also, depending on your type of business, there may or may not be added risk to your employees.  Meet on it immediately so you have a backup plan.
  • Check on your liquidity.  In addition to your receivables, it is important to have access to cash and credit.  Evaluate your current liquidity and determine an action plan if there is a concern.  The federal government is putting in measures to keep access to funding available to small businesses.

More on next steps, after you cover the basics above, next week.

Employees

I know as Christian business owners we want to care for people.  Outside of our family, our employees are right up there. For many small businesses their team is family, or considered family.  I know my business employs four of us that are biological family.

This is where individual businesses all have different situations and resources.  I can’t give a general suggestion because of these differences, however, what I do know that is applicable to all businesses with employees, is:

  • Communicate openly and often to employees.  They are one step removed and they don’t usually know the financial health of the business.  Even though you may not have good news to communicate, “no communication” is worse. Our team members are also managing their stress level and family concerns.  Not knowing is worse.
  • Communicate what you are thinking even if no final decisions have been made yet.  And explain why. In our current situation, the timing and impact of COVID 19 on our health, community, and business are not known by anyone.  All you can do is update your team weekly with what will happen this week, and then next week, and so on.
  • Provide information and resources to your employees.  One restaurant that had to layoff employees provided instructions on how to file for unemployment. Consider what may be helpful to your employees and do your best to aid them in their circumstances.
  • Pray for your employees.  We know that where we are weak, the Lord can work.  We don’t have all of the answers, but He does. So we can pray for our employees and their families, and ask the Lord to work through us as He sees fit.

If you do have to lay-off employees, you also have to trust that God loves them too.  He can provide for their needs even in times that we can’t. So keep praying for them.

This is an evolving process.  The first thing in crisis is to assess where you are and to communicate.

We will provide more insight next week on how to create a plan to be proactive in the midst of crisis….in particular a crisis that is keeping everyone home.  Yes, we can still be proactive. Stay tuned for more information to come.

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We Are Still Providing Coaching and Counseling Services https://crossroadcoach.com/coaching-and-counseling-services-available/ Mon, 23 Mar 2020 10:54:18 +0000 https://crossroadcoach.com/?p=12011 coaching services available

As you are receiving this, the Louisiana state governor has issued stay-at-home orders for all citizens and businesses that are non-essential beginning Monday at 5 pm through April 12th. That is a minimum of 3 weeks.

This is not only financially devastating to many businesses; it is mentally and emotionally taxing to business owners even if you have the resources and can work from home. Overall, it is just an unprecedented time of stress for all of us.

I don’t personally believe that there is a one size fits all approach for any business and we all personally handle stress differently. With that said, let me update you on Crossroads, both our coaching and our counseling services.

First and foremost, we are all healthy and able to work from home, both our business services team and our counselors.

Business Coaching, Marketing, and Recruiting

Crossroads has always offered online and virtual services to expand our reach and convenience for clients. Now more than ever we see the value of offering virtual services to clients near and far. Our coaching, marketing, recruiting, and other services will all continue to be available to you.

All team members are set-up and able to continue to do all of our work remotely.  If you are currently a client, we are continuing to work on your business and are staying in close contact with you.

If you are a small business owner and you need assistance to put a plan in place, we are available to set-up an appointment.  Call us at 225-341-4147 or click the button below to send us a message.

We are also posting suggestions and resources through our blog and social media platforms.  We will work with you to make a plan specifically for your business and help you navigate the decisions ahead of you, pray with you, and process with you.

We will also continue praying for our clients, our community, and the world.

Christian Counseling

Our state and most states have waived state regulations restricting video or phone counseling.  We spent last week getting fully set-up to do teletherapy. All of our counselors (Sue, Steve, Suzanne, and Cheryl) have the ability to do remote counseling sessions.  


Additionally, we are adding an option for 30-minute sessions to our services, as we know many are at home caring for family and may only be able to get away for a short time.  Even 30 minutes to process with a counselor can bring much help and peace. If you would like to set-up an appointment, or have questions, call us at 225-341-4147 to see which counselors offer 30 minute sessions, or click the button below to send us a message.

Other Services

We know that some businesses are essential to our communities right now and are busier than ever.  You may not have time to get messages out to your clients, customers, or communities.  You may have services that people need who have not needed them before.  If you do and need some marketing help to get information out to your potential customers, we have digital marketing expertise in all forms of digital marketing including social media, blogging, press releases, search ads, FB ads, and email marketing, to name a few.

Call us to discuss or click the button below to send us a message.

We want to stay busy ourselves, and we truly want to help.   If you don’t need any services at this time, please let us know how we can be praying for you.  As I have written about before in my post “What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do”, I always move towards Jesus.  I pray even more and one of my most sincere prayers is that God could use me for His Kingdom. So it would be an honor for our team to be able to pray for you.

Our Team at Crossroads Professional Coaching and Counseling are all working diligently to do our part.  How can we help?

Sincerely,
Sue Miley

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Tools to Help You and Your Team Work From Home https://crossroadcoach.com/video-conferencing/ Thu, 19 Mar 2020 14:02:34 +0000 https://crossroadcoach.com/?p=12003 video conferencing

As quarantines increase and rumors of lockdowns circulate, it seems likely all of America will be working from home for a period in the near future.  Thankfully in this day & age, that doesn’t mean business has to come to a halt. Here’s the rundown on tools to help you and your team continue your work from home.

(This is our independent opinion.  We are not an affiliate or connected to any of these products)

Remote Desktops

These tools allow you to login to your work computer and control it from your smartphone or computer at home.

COST:  Starts at $30/mo for 2 computers with a 14-Day free trial available.  Billed annually.  

Access your computers, files, and applications from any device at any time from any device (phone, tablet, computer).  It’s easy to install, and allows you to login to your work computer using actual username and password. Remote access is gained by downloading a program. 

LogMeIn’s website touts they are the #1 most reliable remote access tool.  Their partnership with Join.Me for digital meetings (more info on Join.Me below) allows you to bundle these services.

Check it out with a 14 day free trial.  Simply enter your email address and create a password to get started.  

BONUS:  In response to the Coronavirus, LogMeIn is providing free 3 months of Emergency Remote Work Kits for certain organizations.

Click here for instructions on how to setup LogMeIn

  • Chrome Remote Desktop

COST:  Free

The Chrome Remote Desktop app/program allows you to use a computer or mobile device (phone or tablet) to access files and applications on another computer over the Internet.  Alternatively, it can be accessed through a Chrome internet window, but we find it functions better if you download the app to your computer. 

This tool is very easy to set up.  You can have your remote access up and running in 5 minutes or less. Login by using google account and a PIN number you setup. All you need to get started is a Google account and Chrome installed on your computer. 

Click here for instructions on how to set up Chrome remote access

  • Remote Desktop Connection – Windows

COST: Free for Windows Users

This program is automatically installed on all Windows computers.  Work with your IT department to sync it to your work computer. It works pretty seamlessly on all Windows computers — you’ll feel like you’re sitting at your desk in the office!

Click here for instructions on how to set up Windows Remote Desktop Connection

Document Storage & Collaboration

Having access to all work files makes working from home a breeze:

From Basecamp:  Basecamp is more than just a project management tool — it’s a better way to work. Teams that switch to Basecamp are more productive and better organized. They communicate better and require fewer meetings. And they’re far more efficient than before.

From Slack:  With all of your communication and tools in one place, remote teams will stay productive no matter where you’re working from.

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing allows your team to stay in touch and in sync outside of the office.  Compared to live streams or webinars that stream videos & information without participation, video conferencing allows visual and verbal interaction, as well as the ability to share content on your computer screen with participants.

This tool can be used for anything from company-wide meetings to one-on-one check-ins, all vital to keep work flowing while your team works from home.  Be sure your employees have access to a computer or phone with a camera. We suggest hosting a trial meeting early one evening to test the functionality of your setup and ensure all employees are able to access and participate in the meeting.

In the world of Video Conferencing, you have users and organizers:

  • An organizer is the person presenting the meeting.  In a classroom, they would be the teacher.
  • A user is a meeting attendee or participant.  In a classroom, they would be the students.  Users don’t have the same controls or access as organizers.

Most platforms only charge for the number of organizers you have.  We recommend selecting one or a few at your organization as your ‘admin’ or organizer & invite the rest of your team as users/participants.

We’ll give you the scoop on the top 4 video conferencing options: 

  1. Google (Hangouts) Meet
  2. GoToMeeting
  3. Join.Me
  4. Microsoft Teams (formerly Skype For Business)

Also consider Facebook, FaceTime, Webex & Zoom.

Our top 4 options offer an unlimited number of meetings, and do not put a time limit on meetings.  They all offer the ability for the organizer to share their screen and are compatible with Mac, PC and smartphones.

We’ll compare them in terms of pricing and these major options:

  • Download or app required:  Do employees have to download & install something on their computer in order to join the meeting?  Do they have to open or run something every time they attend a meeting? Is a login required, adding another username & password to keep up with?  Is there an app participants can download to your smartphone that allows them to attend the meeting on their phones?
  • Maximum number of meeting participants
  • Cloud storage:  A virtual ‘file drawer’ that allows you to store documents and files
  • Record meeting:  The ability to record a meeting for future reference or to share with participants that were not able to attend.
  • Trial:  Is a free trial available?  What is the length of the trial?
  • Commitment:  Do you have to commit to the tool for an entire year?  Or is there an option to pay monthly?
  • HIPAA Complaint:  Meets security measures that satisfy the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), ensuring patient privacy
  • Keyboard & Mouse Sharing:  The option to “drive” the participant’s computer, or have a participant “drive” yours.  This is especially handy when troubleshooting or working to locate files.
  • Pass Presenter:  Let someone other than the presenter share their screen
  • Transcription:  Keep everyone engaged and on the same page by not having to take notes 

1. Google (Hangouts) Meet More Info

From Google:  Meet takes the headaches out of joining a video call at work. Just set up a meeting and share a link. No worrying about whether teammates, clients, or customers have the right accounts or plug-ins.

We like Google Meet because it’s a great value, and because no downloads are required to join.  Any employee with an account in your company’s G suite will be able create meetings as an organizer or join meetings as a user.  Click here for a list of features.

Google also has great resources to create, edit, save & manage files remotely/online.  They offer web-based platforms similar to Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc. that allow you to create documents, spreadsheets and work files online.

Google Meet is connected to G Suite.  G Suite is Google’s online software tool for businesses that provides professional email, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings, and more (Plans & Pricing).  Offering features similar to Microsoft Outlook, G Suite pricing ranges from $6 per user a month to $25 per user a month.  The higher your tier, the more attendees can join your meeting. In light of COVID-19, all G Suite members will have access to Google Meet’s top tier (Enterprise) features, including hosting meetings of 250.  This complimentary upgrade is in play until July 1, 2020.  Learn more here.

Google Meet requires you use Google’s internet browser, Chrome on desktop.  They also offer a mobile app.

Don’t have or want to invest in GSuite? You can still organize video calls using a free personal Google account through Google Hangouts. Only the organizer will need a Google account. Participants will simply need Google Chrome or the Google Hangouts mobile app. 

How to setup a Google Hangout Meeting:

Google Meet Rundown —

  • Download or app required:  Desktop: Google Chrome // App available
  • Max # of Participants:  GSuite:  250 | Google Hangouts:  25 Video, 150 Chat
  • Cloud storage:  Yes
  • Record meeting:  Enterprise (top GSuite tier) only
  • Free Trial:  14 days
  • Commitment:  pay by month or use the “flexible” option to pay month to month
  • HIPAA Compliant:  Yes
  • Keyboard & Mouse Sharing:  No
  • Pass Presenter:  Yes
  • Transcription:  There are some plugins that enable this capability

2. GoToMeeting  More Info

From GoToMeeting:  GoToMeeting is a professional online meeting software and makes it easy to connect with people any way you want. Some features include Business Messaging collaboration, Instant and scheduled meetings and an Office 365 plugin.

PRICING:  (full pricing list here)

  • $12/mo for 150 participants
  • $16/mo for 250 participants

All plans have the option to add GoToWebinar Lite for $20/mo (typically $49/mo)  

In response to the Coronavirus, GoToMeeting is providing free 3 months of Emergency Remote Work Kits for certain organizations.

GoToMeeting Rundown —

  • Download or app required:  Plugin download required // App available
  • Max # of Participants:  250 max at top tier
  • Cloud storage:  Recordings are saved on top tier packages
  • Record meeting:  Available with top tier packages
  • Free Trial:  14 days
  • Commitment:  None
  • HIPAA CompliantYes  
  • Keyboard & Mouse Sharing:  Yes
  • Pass Presenter:  Yes
  • Transcription:  Yes

3. Join.Me  More Info

From Join.Me:  We’re a collaboration tool designed to cut through pointless processes, politics and protocols with a single click. We help you, your team and your company by making collaboration simple, instant and continuous.

Join.Me is the most expensive of the four platforms, but it does offer a ton of features and customization options, like an 800 number (with Pro & Business levels), creating a permanent join.me meeting room or adding an image participants see while waiting.  

PRICING:  (full pricing list here)

  • Lite version $10/mo per user | 5 participants
  • Pro version $20/mo per user | 250 participants
  • Business version $30/mo per user | 250 participants

Compare the different tiers here.

Join.Me Rundown —

  • Download or app required:  Plugin download required // App available
  • Max # of Participants:  250
  • Cloud storage:  Available with Pro & Business tiers
  • Record meeting:  Available with Pro & Business tiers
  • Free Trial:  14 Days
  • Commitment:  Annual
  • HIPAA CompliantWith certain configurations
  • Keyboard & Mouse Sharing:  Yes
  • Pass Presenter:  Yes
  • Transcription:  No

4. Microsoft Teams (formerly Skype for Business)  More Info 

From Microsoft:  Microsoft Teams is the hub for team collaboration in Office 365 that integrates the people, content, and tools your team needs to be more engaged and effective.

BIG FEATURE:  Web versions of word, excel & powerpoint are included with this tool.

PRICING: (full pricing list here)

  • There is a free version that allows chat & collaboration with limited extra features and upgrades. 
  • The top tier is $20/mo for each user.  It includes meetings & calling plus lots of other features.  Other plans are available below the $20 per user a month cost.

 Microsoft Teams Rundown —

  • Download or app required:  Plugin download required // App available
  • Max # of Participants:  300 to unlimited
  • Cloud storage:  Available with all paid tiers
  • Record meeting:  Available with all paid tiers
  • Free Trial:  Free option instead of a trial
  • Commitment:  Annual
  • HIPAA Compliant:  Yes
  • Keyboard & Mouse Sharing:  No
  • Pass Presenter:  Sort of — you must assign folks as presenters or attendees before the meeting starts.  
  • Transcription:  Available with recording feature included on all paid tiers

THE RESULTS:

  • Both Microsoft Teams & Google Meet include a ton of features, making them a great value. 
  • Best overall value:  Free version of Microsoft Teams
  • Cheapest paid version:  Microsoft Teams $5 per user a month or G Suite $6 per user a month
  • Maximum number of meeting participants:  Microsoft Teams offers 2 options with unlimited participants.  The other platforms share 2nd place, all offering a tier with a 250 participant maximum.
  • Easiest to use:  Google Meet

WINNER:  Our favorite is Google Meet because of its value and seamless connection to G Suite. With members of our team located throughout the country, we have used it for several years now and especially like the fact that it can be accessed through our browser, Google Chrome, instead of a downloaded plugin.

Try out one or more of these tools to keep your business running and your team connected no matter what the Coronavirus brings.  Hopefully we will find our businesses more flexible, agile and therefore more productive as a result of relying on tools like these during this trying time.  As always, we’re here to help support you and your business, in or out the office, at (225) 341-4147.

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Coronavirus Business Focus: Accounts Receivable https://crossroadcoach.com/coronavirus-accounts-receivable/ Mon, 16 Mar 2020 11:58:58 +0000 https://crossroadcoach.com/?p=11996 accounts receivable

During such a volatile market place and with people staying home and not utilizing your business services or products as normal, we need to do what we can to keep our own business healthy. One area to focus is your accounts receivable.

Accounts receivable health translates to cash flow and liquidity.

As our customers become concerned about their personal income or business income, they may slow down on payments. Unfortunately, they are going to pay the people that are reminding them first. The squeaky wheel syndrome. I am not suggesting you over-react, but I am strongly recommending that you put effort and focus on your receivables and credit. Here are some tips I have been advising our clients on:

  1. Review a detailed aging of accounts receivable list.
  2. Send a reminder to any and all accounts that are past due.
  3. Any account that is a large $ amount or large % of your receivables, you should call and see why their payment is late. It may be that they need something from you. If they do, this gives you the opportunity to get it to them right away. If they have everything, ask them if you can pick up a check or ask when can you expect it. They have to prioritize your payment, and if they hear from you it is more likely.
  4. Any account over 90 days may require more drastic action:
    • You may need to physically visit the client to find out the plan or see if you can get a check.
    • You may need to put them on cash only (COD).
    • You may need to work on a payment plan.
  5. Any account that is in an industry that you perceive is at significant risk, I would make an appointment to go visit the client. They may have financial resources that will easily carry them through the restrictions resulting from the coronavirus. But if you can talk directly with an owner or high level financial person, that can give you a more reliable comfort level. If they are concerned too, then develop a plan proactively.

If you are still offering credit to new customers in this market, don’t do so without a credit check. Typically, small business owners are very trusting and sell readily on credit, especially to bigger companies. If they don’t pay you quickly or at all, this can have a much more significant impact on your business.

I think it is fair, responsible, and necessary to review your credit policy and process and make sure that you set up a process to check credit references if you are extending credit to new customers.

There are many areas of business that small business owners need to attend to with the current Coronavirus situation. Sign-up for our email list to get more suggestions/recommendations in managing your business: https://vv151.infusionsoft.com/app/form/newsletter-updates

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