Covid 19 Business Reopening Checklist
“COVID 19 BUSINESS REOPEN CHECK-UP TEST!*”
(OR RETIREMENT HERE I COME!)
By Allan Gold, lawyer, lecturer and author. (Part 2)
Vol. 12, #18.3.2 – July 8, 2020– ALLAN GOLD’S BLOG
(Editor’s note: This blog contains the next two items of the Covid 19 Business Reopening Checklist)
For Independent business; Small And Medium Enterprises / SME; Petites et Moyennes Entreprises / PME; Family business – From Governments (Canada, Quebec, Montreal,), Financial institutions, etc.
Yes, it’s a Covid 19 Business Reopening Checklist, titled,
“Gold’s Covid-19 Small Biz Reopen Check-Up Test!*”
(OR RETIREMENT HERE I COME!)
As you will recall, given the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, I started Gold’s 10-Step Small/Family Business Covid-19 Reopening Plan for Founder/Owner-Operators*. Given the passage of time, I’ve renamed it “Gold’s Covid-19 Small Biz Reopen Check-Up Test!*” It’s not just a ‘to-do’ list of task bundles for Canadian founder/owner-operators. More, it’s a ‘to-check’ list and ‘to-consider’ list of problem areas, the whole in the form of a checklist test. The intent is that it will serve as an aid organizing and ‘structurizing’ your examination of your business situation in light of the coronavirus crisis. It won’t take time – instead it will save time!
If you’re a Canadian family business founder/owner-operator, who has reopened your doors, this is for you. Last time, we did #1 and #2. Today, I will run down numbers three and four. (N.B. Number three is “GO LEGAL.” I have here enumerated in outline form, a number of legal topics, which are relevant to someone running a business during the Covid 19 economic crisis. I’m planning in the week of August 10th 2020, a Webinar-Podcast covering this subject. (N.B. I will give you the exact date and time in the next blog. Please join us at http://canadianelderlawlawyer.com/ See you then. )
B. “Gold’s Covid-19 Small Biz Reopen Check-Up Test!*” Cont’d
- GO legal. I believe that along with your lawyer, you will soon grapple with one or more of the following fields of law and/or general sub-issue areas, such notably to wit:-
3.1 Obligations under Contract/Grounds of Defense: “Force Majeure” & “Cas Fortuit”
3.2 Employment Law: Covid 19 Alert
3.3 Responsibility (delict (tort)/ Liability during Corona Virus pandemic
3.4 Funding/finance in context of Covid-19 Economic relief measures
3.5 Landlord-Tenant Relations/Lease through Coronavirus Reopening Stages
3.6 Insurance – Small Business 2020 Issues
3.7 Corporate-Commercial – Family Business in Time of Covid 19
4. DETERMINE your general capability as a businessperson during the Corona virus crisis by taking “GOLD’S COVID-19 BUSINESS PERSON’S APTITUDE TEST” In other words, TAKE stock of yourself. Yeah, self-appraisal isn’t easy and being honest with yourself is next to impossible. But you must try to do it anyway. It’s that important. To this end,
- BEGIN with your age, noting that many of those in your age group are already thinking about getting out. Thereupon, ASK yourself two questions: 1. “When it comes to career, is there another mountain for me to climb?” or 2. “Would I be just as happy taking a back seat and living quietly enjoying family and friends and plenty of free time?” REMEMBER (if the answer to #1 is “No” and to #2 is “Yes,”) then please do say, “Retirement here I come!” And KNOW that this is not about going out to pasture with time on your hands and nothing to do. Indeed, your chapter two could be as lively and interesting as you make it.
- RATE your physical fitness. Besides your overall well-being and health issues, ASK yourself, (a) “Do I have the legs for this?” It’s obvious that business nowadays will require strong legs to repeatedly spring to action, putting out one fire or another. (b) “Am I likely to run out of gas before the job get’s done?” You see, it may now be too much to ask this of yourself. In view of these answers, you may have serious doubts about being up to the task at hand and staying in for the long haul. As a result, it may be best to now throw in the towel and say, “Retirement here I come!”
- APPRAISE your character trait suitability for the here and now, this in and by asking yourself the following questions. (N.B. If you answer “yes” to each one, you probably have what it takes to be in business at present with a better than even chance of making it to the other side. If not, I suggest that you might not be able to stand the heat and perhaps, it would be better for you to get out the kitchen without delay and say, “Retirement here I come!”)
- “Are you a realist?” Or do you live in a fantasy world, living a dream? Of course, it’s alright to dream, but not when you’re trying to make a living. For me, if you’re not a realist, operating a business, then failure could be around the corner. And I’m afraid for you – the financial pain and heartache could be very hard indeed. To reinforce the point, let me relate a short story. I remember a guy who believed that his restaurant would find a loyal clientele. The décor was passable and the food was standard fare. But he didn’t have a lot of operating funds with which to work. Of course, family members supported him. And neighbors dropped by after he had opened. But since he didn’t spend much on marketing and most people never heard about him, he couldn’t get his sales up there. And with less money coming in, he reduced the quality and the business just deteriorated. But he continued living the fairy tale. In the end, he walked away from the bankrupt hulk, beaten and disillusioned. He had so much regret. He told me that if he had known before launching the enterprise, what he then knew, he would have never opened in the first place and thereby saved himself so much anguish. So if just hopeful, acting out of wishful thinking, but without the ability to do everything that it will take and then some to make it, you’re probably setting yourself up for a severe letdown! This said, I call upon each and every dreamer out there to BECOME a realist and RECOGNIZE that in most instances, the dream is just that- a wish and an illusion and real life is far less and in between. And once reality smacks you in the face, don’t cling to the dream, hoping against hope and go down in a fiery mess! Instead, GET out beforehand when the writing is on the wall and say, “Retirement here I come!”
- “Can you box with the big boys, yea I mean the heavy weights? You see, I believe that to be in business at the start of summer 2020, you need to be something of a boxer. First, you must be strong, having the resources to see it through the bad times. Second, you should be nimble, able to duck and make changes on the fly, thereby staying out of trouble. Indeed, you need to be just like Muhammad Ali. (N.B. He was seen as an ‘outside fighter’. That meant that he stayed just out of range of his opponent, except for brief moments where he’d duck in range, hit them, and then duck back out of range before he could get hit.) Third, you need to be resilient suffering one setback and disappointment after another- indeed, having the ability to ploddingly take a punch just like George Chuvalo. (N.B. He is remembered internationally for his remarkable ability to stay with the world’s highest-ranked boxers, none of whom ever knocked him off his feet. He was also known for his famed knockout punch.) If you think that you’re something of a boxer like above, having the ability to stay out of trouble, with the sturdy constitution, able to take it on the chin and still keep walking in a straight line, then I say, “Let’s go.” But if not, I suggest that you sit out this round and say “Retirement here I come!”
- “Do you have an alternative plan, especially if it gets worse?” Of course, you must proceed with your eyes wide open. If deep down, you don’t think that you can handle the worst of the worst, I say that you’re nearly out of the game even before you start. But more, I mean to say that you mustn’t just have a plan for the next phase. More, you must have a contingency plan. And even more than that, you require a Plan “B” and a Plan “C,” which could very well become your new Plan “A.” Of course, this is due to “Murphy’s law,” which is “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” In other words, SEE the worst case scenario and PLAN for it. However, if you don’t see another way from there, then watch out. If such is the case, I encourage you to say, “Retirement here I come!”
- “Can you live by ‘The law of the jungle?’” You probably have a sense of the meaning of this phrase, but to drive home my point, I looked it up. The formal meaning is an amalgam of the following: “every man for himself”, “anything goes”, “survival of the strongest”, “survival of the fittest”, “kill or be killed”, “dog eat dog” or “eat or be eaten.” … (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_the_jungle) Please take a moment to digest this. For me, it says that if still in the game, you comprehend that winning is just about everything! I also interpret this to mean that you must do it to the other guy before he does it to you. Indeed, it’s “No more Mr. Nice Guy!” And finally it states that until you’ve won, it’s everyman for himself! Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that you do something illegal. In contrast, I’m saying that it’s a jungle out there. And I’m encouraging you to do everything smarter, faster and better in order to beat the other guy fair and square! If not very confrontational, maybe it would be preferable for you to depart, leaving the fight to someone else and say, “Retirement here I come!”
- “Do you tend to be proactive?” If you generally deal with unpleasantness by deliberately looking the other way or deferring it indefinitely, then you’re probably a person who procrastinates. Of course, if you don’t quickly act upon a negative, it will get worse. And that could lead to something else going wrong; and one problem loaded onto another could spell failure. And should you do this when it comes to your livelihood, that’s very bad. And in the current business environment, it will likely be downright catastrophic! Here’s why. Sales might be retreating, and then they may plateau and there then could be a rally, which would be short lived. In all probability, there will be a shift in the competition, such due to bankruptcies, realignment/ consolidation and the emergence of new enterprises. And buyer-consumer behavior patterns shall evolve. Accordingly, I assert that in order to succeed nowadays, it will be necessary for a business person to be proactive in and by being very perceptive and reading the market earlier than later; and then facing these changes directly, right on, acting upon such without delay, showing great deftness and agility. So if something of a procrastinator, this is probably not the best environment for you and it might be best for you to today say, “Retirement here I come!”
- “Have you shown in the past, a lot of dogged persistence?” If you’re someone who stays the course firmly or obstinately in spite of difficulty or opposition, you’re good to go in the current business environment. But on the other hand, should you be one of those people who quickly gets bored, doesn’t stay with anything too long, gives up easily, etc., then you’re in trouble! Bottom line, if today, you don’t have a solid iron will to succeed, chances are that you won’t. For your information, Calvin Coolidge was quoted as saying, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent….” So if not really persistent it might be best for you to now say, “Retirement here I come!”
- GUAGE your resistance to change. In other words, ACSERTAIN if you’re something of a dinosaur, mired in the past, unchanging, insistent on doing what you had done since the outset. If so, you’re in for a rude awakening and it won’t be pretty! You see, it’s likely that you’ll be obliged to change, doing just about anything and everything just in order to survive. If that doesn’t describe you, then consider saying, “Retirement here I come!”
- ENUMERATE your current skill sets, and DETERMINE whether you have what is needed in this era of high tech, mobile app, video meetings, etc. Indeed, you may not be well-suited to the present times. Of course, if ready to learn and get additional training, that’s a great step forward. If not, please repeat after me and say, “Retirement here I come!”
- DETERMINE if you have enough money to operate and stay in the game for the duration? To this end, BREAK it down into a matter of dollars and cents and (a) INQUIRE if you have enough working capital. REMEMBER that in the early days, it will be necessary to put your hand in your pocket. As for example, it’s likely right off the mark that you’ll be obliged to: (i). Provide a deposit on your business electricity account; (ii). Pay suppliers COD whilst you’re re-establishing good credit; (iii). Make out-of-pocket disbursements, this for petty cash sundry supplies and day labor adding up to 100s of dollars; (iv). Advance funds to your business account due to money-losing operations in the early days/months when sales will be slow and far between; (v). Spend for advertising and publicity. Etc. (b) CONSIDER your chances of profitability. If it’s likely to be a bridge too far, indeed a hopeless cause, then don’t go there! (Of course, business is not a place to hang one’s hat. Instead, it’s where you must eventually be in the black to survive; (c) FAST forward and SEE how you’ll be feeding the bank account as it could very well become an endless hole, indeed, a money pit. And then THINK about your fatigue and fear of running out of resources and you exasperation should you soon say, “I can’t stop now.” NOTE that this could go on and on until there’s nothing left and you walk out broke and broken, regretting that you broke the rule of never “throwing good money after bad!” So if weak in the wallet, it would be best to say, “Retirement here I come!”
Respecting Checklist #3, I have enumerated in outline form, a number of legal topics, which are relevant to someone running a business during the Covid 19 economic crisis. If you desire more information in regard to this subject matter, I invite you to please attend the Webinar-Podcast, tentatively scheduled in the week of August 10th 2020 (N.B. I will give you the exact date and time in the next blog. Please join us at http://canadianelderlawlawyer.com/ See you then. )
Respecting Checklist #4 and “GOLD’S COVID-19 BUSINESS PERSON’S APTITUDE TEST,” please be informed that I compiled this document based upon my experiences, having met numerous small business owners through the years. My intent in presenting this self -qualification process is not to emphasize your shortcomings. Instead, my objective is to get you to consider your current status and condition in light of the present health calamity and thusly determine your capacity to deal with the present business crisis. I’m not pushing you to inquire just like that. It’s in your interest and for your benefit. You really need to know because if this time is just too problematic and you’re not up to the task at hand, then I encourage you to say, “Retirement here I come!”
Quotes of the week (business-wise).
Dolly Parton: “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
It’s not such a bad thing if after taking “GOLD’S COVID-19 BUSINESS PERSON’S APTITUDE TEST” and you find your glass more empty than full. This is because you can then say, “Retirement here I come!”
― Best wishes to each of you and to your entire family.*
Allan J. Gold
Avocat/Barrister & Solicitor
NO 1 Wood Avenue Condominium
4055 ouest rue Ste. Catherine, suite 128(-A),
Westmount, Québec, Canada H3Z 3J8
Adresse électronique: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: (514) 849-1621; Fax: (514) 849-4664; Mobile: (514) 918-1450
www.allanjgold.com ; Blog: https://allanjgold.com/blog-glm/
D. PREVIEW OF NEXT IN THE BUSINESS LAW BLOG SERIES.
I believe that with this blog series, I may have started you along the way to being more aware of the law for business. I will continue on with the subject of COVID-19: Economic relief measures announced to date / Allan Gold – For Independent business; Small And Medium Enterprises; SME; Petites et Moyennes Entreprises; PME; Family business – this on the topic of the CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC and the corresponding COVID-19 relief and funding programs, but more precisely as regards the need for a business reset resulting therefrom. Today, I covered numbers three and four of the Covid 19 Business Reopening Checklist, titled, “GOLD’S COVID 19 BUSINESS REOPEN CHECK-UP TEST!*” (OR RETIREMENT HERE I COME!) Next time, continuing on, I shall cover the next two items of the said Reopening Checklist. Interested? Want to get more information about the current topic, or other areas of law written by an “avocat,” one of the family business law lawyers, family business lawyers Montreal, practicing also in the elder law field? See you next time. It won’t take too much time. Remember my byline – it’s “Gold’s Legal Minute*GLM*!” And please don’t forget to join my professional community by entering your e-mail at the prompt.*
E. NOTICE – CAUTION –DISCLAIMER.
The material provided herein is of a general nature, strictly for informational purposes. The interpretation and analysis is not to be misapplied to a personal situation with a particular set of facts. Under no circumstances, are the herein suggestions and tips, intended to bring a reader to the point of acting or not acting, but instead, the hope is that they are to be a cause for pause and reflection. It is specifically declared that this content is not to be a replacement of, or a substitution for, legal or any other appropriate advice. To the contrary, for more information on these presents, related subjects or any other questions, it is the express recommendation of the author that everyone seek out and consult a qualified professional or competent adviser.
*©/TM 2020, 2019, 2015-2018, Allan Gold, Practitioners’ Press Inc. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
** ©/TM 2006, 2008, 2018 Allan Gold, Practitioners’ Practitioners’ Press Inc. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED