(Austin Shopify Meetup) Coronavirus: Navigating the Storm Calmly
Mar 27, 2020
- Contact Information:
Amplify 13 Week Cash Flow and Strategy Call
This is a free 13-week cash flow template with step by step instructions on how to use it and a strategy call with a Fractional CFO/COO
Insperity HR’s Response to COVID19
Helpful HR tips and updates to managing remote teams and more.
5 Stages of Awareness - Based on a comment from Beau Haralson
Discussion Comments & Panel Members
-- Mark Lupton --
Bio: Partner & Fractional CFO/COO with Amplify. Amplify is an ecommerce CFO/COO firm based in Austin, TX who has helped 60+ business owners navigate growth and difficult seasons through cash flow and operational growth planning & guidance.
- We need a framework for understanding the full picture right now. Each panel member is an expert in one of the “conveyor belts and funnels”.
- Ultimately, it all comes down to cash flow management right now. We must have a clear picture of cash flow today and the best guess forecast of cash flow for the next 3 months.
-- Brad Day --
Brad is the President & CEO of Helm Boots and sits on the advisory board of Bridge & Burn. Both of these brands are e-commerce, retail, and wholesale brands. Brad has nearly two decades of experience in retail and e-commerce. Having worked with major branding like Adidas, TaylorMade golf. He can very easily stand in shoes of many of our viewers as he is currently leading Helm through this season.
- Surround Yourself - Not knowing is ok & ask for help - no one knows what next week, next month or the next 6 months are going to look like, so don’t beat yourself up for being uncertain about the best way to go forward. Everyone is taking what they know today and making the best decisions possible - surround yourself with people you can trust & expand the data points that help you make those decisions. Make sure you have at least one person that’s going to challenge and ask the hard questions (do you really think you can sell that, do you really think that things are going to turn around in Q3, is that really all that you can cut?).
- Re-Invent Yourself - the way you operated before no longer exists (hopefully it will come back) but you have to think about every avenue of your business - who your customers are and how are you going to speak to them, where you are going to connect with them, and how you want to go about selling to them. (Example - people that are hurting might not be your customer right now, but they are taking note of how you’re behaving - people that are still ok financially, feel the pain of those around them and take that into consideration when making purchases. How does know that change your email, advertising, product buy, social media, etc. strategy?)
- Define Yourself - Set the New Tone for the brand - Financial Responsibility & Humanitarian Mindset - how can you take care of your business, your employees, and help others around you that are suffering.
- Humanitarian - acknowledge and show awareness of what’s going on in everything that you do, including in how you work with your teams. Leadership is key for you internally and externally. It should go without saying, but business is not usual and you should not treat it as such.
- Financial - run the scenarios (good, bad & ugly) based on where you think things are going to go because, without a good set of books, you’re going to be flying blind and not be able to make the decisions that you need to right now. No one wants to lay people off, cancel orders, not pay bills, but you have to know the difference between needing to and having to for the survival of the business. You want there to be something for them to come back to.
-- Beau Haralson --
Beau is the Founder of Scalethat. He is an award-winning Fortune 500 marketer that has founded and sold his digital marketing agency then served as CMO.
He has over a decade of experience launching products and building brands both big and small including Google, Traffic & Conversion, DigitalMarketer, OfficeMax and many others. Over the years he’s worked with celebrities such as Lebron James and Arnold Schwarzenneger, and entrepreneurs that deserve to be celebrities, doubling over 15 different businesses along the way.
- Attention is higher than ever right now, the conversion is lower although in parallel
- Right now is a time to really be intentional and thoughtful with copy and message
- Can you reposition yourself? What are other ways that your brand is affecting people?
- Will hope reappear as fast as fear descended
- This is the first pandemic but not the first financial crisis we’ve dealt with
- Uber, Netflix, Airbnb, etc all emerged during the 2008 crisis
- There is an expedited the Direct to Consumer (and business) Revolution
5 Stages of Awareness:
- Unaware. These are prospects who don't realize they have a problem. They simply don't know a better way exists. If you have a new product that addresses a major drawback of previous solutions, most of your prospects may be at this level.
- Problem Aware. Problem aware prospects know they have a problem and have some idea of what that problem is, but they may not completely understand it. They haven't dealt with this problem before. They're totally unfamiliar with possible solutions.
- Solution Aware. Solution aware prospects know about solutions like yours, but don't know your specific product or service. If your company isn't well known in their industry, they may not have heard of you.
- Product Aware. These prospects know your product but haven't bought it. They're familiar with your competitors' offerings. They're just not sure if your solution is best for them.
- Most Aware. These are your best customers – your multi-buyers. They're brand loyal. They're enthusiastic about your products. They attend your customer events.
-- Terry Jones --
Terry is the CEO of Nexersys, and Managing Director of JPaulJones, LP. He has conceived, developed, manufactured, and distributed medical and fitness products for over 20 years. In this time he has become highly experienced at managing international supply chains and inventory. He has several full-time employees in China and the US. It’s safe to say he is a product to market experts.
- Tactics over strategy
- What can you do this morning in response to the overnight events?
- What can you do this afternoon in response to this morning's events?
- The tactic window is 2x/day.
- The strategy window is now 14 days.
- Where is your inventory (i.e. Dealer or your warehouse)? Sell it from there. They are all your sales.
- Delivery v. Inbound.
- Let your marketing/selling team know states that are available for business.
- Where is your inventory arriving?
- Is that state open for business?
- If not, can or should you re-route.
- Which states are open and which are closed?
- Long View.
- This will pass.
- Keep your factories engaged.
- Be honest and provide “best” estimates via MPOs for future orders.
On cash management:
- immediately reach out to factories to extend terms, find the biggest firm you pay and ask them for leniency
- adjust media spend to ensure sales rates do not cause a sell-out of SKUs that have an interruption in the supply chain.
-- Zak Hardage --
Zak is the co-founder of Hardage + Hardage boutique Shopify web development firm, and this group. He has over a decade of development experience and alongside his wife, has generously donated his time to building the Austin Shopify Meetup to more than 900 members.
- Remove as many apps as you can, starting with apps that engage with the customer; for example, remove apps for popups, notification bars, SEO, and tracking, and chat (unless you actually chat)
- Replace with clarifying the existing messaging on your site, improving product and page copy (especially FAQ), understanding standard Shopify and Google analytics, and more thoughtful customer responses
- Test your checkout flow as a customer, from homepage -> collection --> product --> cart --> checkout --> notifications
- Pay for professional testing, but also do this yourself. Try with small carts, large carts, discounts, customizations, etc. (using a testing payment gateway)
- Test from mobile
- Test all your customer service points like contact form, social media links, notification messages, email links. Make sure everything works and actually gets through to you. Check your spam folder.
- Shopify makes e-commerce soooo much easier than it used to be, but these are still very complex systems. And they still conflict with one another and fail. Simplify your site, focus on your customers, your products, and your content. Remove gimmicks and distractions. Unbreak your site
-- Mike Reiner --
Mike is the Senior VP of Commercial Lending at Frost Bank here in Austin. He has helped 100’s and 100’s of businesses identify and secure the appropriate type of financing for their business and unique set of circumstances. He also owned an Equipment Leasing and Financing Services business for 13 years before joining Frost Bank. He is an expert in lending options for small businesses.
- As far as external financing options are concerned, Bank financing is usually the cheapest source of funds a business can get. But bank financing requires two good sources of repayment. If they can’t qualify for that, then After that would be friends and family, asset-based lenders, investors or private equity. There are really three sources that I deal with. Conventional bank loans, SBA loans, and asset-based lending. Within each of those are subcategories of credit lines, term notes, factoring, and hard money loans.
- Frost Bank is trying to be very flexible with cash at the moment. Things we want to see:
- What is your short term plan?
- What have you already done?
- How long do you think a downturn will affect your unique business?
- What is the owner's liquidity?
- Trying to defer some payments for 3 months
- The bank is still open issuing loans
- The stimulus plan has not reached the banks yet and we are not aware of when or if that might be
-- Pete Hinojosa --
Pete is a leadership and human behavior expert. He serves Fortune 500 companies and startups as a leadership expert and keynote speaker. He is the Director of Sales Leadership Development at Insperity, a multi-billion dollar HR services company. He also founded a Leadership Camp for Youth in 1997 that has transformed into Quest Leadership Dynamics, a leadership development company.
- Take care of yourself and effectively lead others
- As a leader, you need to be calm in the storm
- What can you do to add value to your clients but also your employees?
- Understanding change & stress
- You are going to do this very well with Clients
- Share that with the people you lead and your family
- Testing empathy
- Know that people are all going through this same thing but have different stressors affecting them
- Empathy has to be at highest level
- Understand your personality and those around you react under pressure
- Driven by fear
- Fear can turn strength into a struggle
- When we don't get what we expect we can go from under control to out of control
- Can go Strengths → Struggles → Strains
- Reinforce our call as leaders to take care of our people
- It’s a time to get fed as a leader
- Drink water
- Get vitamin D
- Know what energizes you and find ways to amp that up (quiet time, social, exercise etc)