Shark Tank investor Robert Herjavec has been answering questions on Twitter and here is a compilation of some of my favorite questions for entrepreneurs:
1) Will business move more permanently to remote workers or do you think it goes back to normal?
“It will never go back to “ normal “ – this disruption created the new normal”
2) How should a small business owner navigate the challenge of taking care of employees and not putting themselves in a massive financial hole? What’s the right thing to do?
“Very tough – my priority always tends to be to the survival of the business – as CEO you have to endure survival during these times”
3) Hey Robert, so my dad owns a small successful business that he is content with. But say he wanted to grow, would it be more fruitful to expand his business to include other revenue streams, or expand with his established business?
“Go with what you know in general”
4) Best way to ensure investment funding for a startup even during this recession?
“Tough to get investment now – if you can get it – you probably don’t need it”
5) We’re a service based branding studio. How should we advise our clients to keep marketing
“Tough – offer great value and let them pay you later ( if that’s an option for you ) – stick with me in the bad times and we’ll get rich in the good times ( love that saying )”
6) how can online business leverage themselves during and how can they optimize as demand presents itself later
“One fire at a time – I would not be thinking demand later – shrink your timeframes to “what do I need today , tomorrow next week “. You need to survive in the “ now “ to grow in the “ then “
7) What’s your advice for small business owners who have to close down, and don’t know when they’ll be able to open again?
“Learn the lesson – come back stronger – we all fall down sometimes and this may he that time – but your future is no dictated by your past losses”
8) Are recurring-revenue software stocks going to prove resilient during virus-driven economic shock? How bad does it have to get before those expenses get cut? Do they?
“This is exactly why business with recurring revenue are so valuable! They will survive and grow but be careful if cash – some clients may not survive , so while you have sales , you may not have the cash”
9) For someone that has a small business, how would you go about operating under all these closures and trying hard to stay afloat?
“Know what triggers your cuts – any cut you need to make, make sooner than you think – if you wait until it’s “ right “ it’s too late – cuts take time to hit cash flow – every day counts”
10) Our business is specialized engineering services that provides Building Condition Assessments, design & Project Mgmt to existing facilities. Work requires visits to clients sites which will come to a halt due to COVID 19. Business economical survival strategies?
“Cut costs to bare minimum – you’re in a good business that will come back – compliance and regulation business will have less of a hit but the longer this goes the more it affects all business”
11) Do you feel events that change our “normal” lives (re: coronavirus outbreak) can result in short-term/long-term business “opportunities” (with a bit of creativity)? BTW… I’m NOT referring to hording/gouging.
“Yes – there is always opportunity – you need to make cuts but depending on your business there is a fine line between cutting fat and muscle – you need muscle for the opportunity – cut the fat – NOW”
12) Not a question, but for myself and many patients who own small businesses, lack of access to capital in this crisis situation is the biggest concern, especially since we are required to pay sick leave even if we get shut down for some period of time. Scary stuff.
“Very scary – hoard cash where you can – ask employees to take vacation days – you have to accrue them anyway “
13) Is there a proper amount of exec team to productivity team percentage of a company overall workforce? Prob industry dependent?
“During this time there are no exec , no managers – it’s all hands on deck – right now if you are not bringing in business or delivering you are non core”
14) How many months of OpEx do you think I should keep in reserve? I was thinking 3-6 months to help the fluctuating cash flow.
“Yes – perfect – 3 months is great – 6 is fantastic”
15) How do you keep your business going if you have to go back to full-time work for security?
“Super tough – it comes down to your personal situation – if you’re on solid footing for 4 to 6 months – take the risk ( I started every business in a recession ) if not you may need the full time job – but only if that’s solid right now”
16) In business should we look after clients or employees more ?
“In the perfect world, both. But there is no business without clients”
17) I have a business idea that requires a lot software/coding to make it a reality. Better to teach myself or hire someone? I currently work full time and have a family too.
“In every business you need to know enough to be an “ expert “ you may not need to know how to code but you need to know it very well”
18) How long should you wait in between clients to raise your pricing? Do you go based on your demand?
“Yes – demand based – pricing is fluid”
19) What’s your best advice to any new business owner?
“Get sales – sales cures all ills”
And finally one of the most important ideas to remember as an entrepreneur:
20) What’s the best investment to make right now given these times?