This week, in episode 16, Karen, Jay, and Laura talk about dealing with questions they’ve never faced before: Is it safe to fly again? What do you do if you run out of inventory and can’t get more? How do you entice employees back into the office who’ve either been happy working from home or happy collecting enhanced unemployment? Do you offer hazard pay? And if so, how and when will you stop? “We're trying to stay in business, for God's sake,” says Jay Goltz. “We will have been shut down for two and a half months. And there's a point where I'm the only one who's gonna be losing money in this deal. At the end of the day, [my employees] are getting extra money from the government for unemployment. They're getting hazard pay. Everybody at the end of the year is going to have a banner year for income. And I'm going to lose hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
This week, in episode 15, Jay, Dana, and Laura talk about the process of reopening—the precautions, the risks, the consumers who might not show up, the dilemma of asking employees to accept less in pay than they were getting in unemployment, and the possibility of a second coronavirus wave that could bring a second shutdown: “I don't have the luxury of just saying, ‘Oh, I'll tell you what. Maybe we'll open in six weeks, eight weeks.’ I mean, there's some point where I'll be out of business.” Plus: Dana got her PPP and an EIDL.
This week, in episode 14, Karen, Dana, and Laura share their experiences building businesses as women entrepreneurs: “It's like, ‘Well, you can tell me I can't do this, but it looks like I did.’” Plus: Has the legalization of recreational cannabis had an impact on your business?
This week, in episode 13, Karen, William, and Dana talk about why some businesses got the Paycheck Protection Program loans and why some didn’t: “The independent grocers. The hair salons. The small restaurants. They didn't get the money,” says Dana. “I have a staff who are single mothers, single black mothers, who are hard-working and who didn't have the foundation to go to college and are doing what they can. I'm up every night trying to help them, and I need help helping them. And I'm not getting it.”
This week, in episode 12, Jay, William, and Laura talk about the status of their CARES Act loans, and to everyone’s surprise (including his own), William reveals not only that his Paycheck Protection Program loan has been approved, but he’s already got the cash. Was it divine intervention? Plus: Jay offers up a stress test for businesses in crisis—five ways to assess whether your company is positioned to survive.
This week, in episode 11, Jay, William, and Dana talk about their prospects for landing a Paycheck Protection Program loan, what they think business will be like when shelter-at-home ends, and why they decided to lay off people even though they expect to get forgivable loans: “The bottom line: we cut 40 percent of our payroll yesterday. My decision was, I would rather cut deeper, fewer times. So I'm going to do this once.” Plus: the daily routines of business owners stuck at home.
This week, in episode 10, William, Dana, and Laura and their businesses are having very different coronavirus experiences. While Dana and William are expecting little in the way of revenue, Laura’s online yarn business is thriving. But they’re all facing challenges in managing their employees: “It's been amazing to see just how hard folks are working. Are they concerned about a layoff? I'm sure they are. I would be too.” Plus: finding ways to stay connected to customers even while the business is closed.
This week, in episode 9, Karen, Jay, and Laura talk about painful layoffs, maintaining morale, and hunkering down during Covid-19: “We've been having a meeting for the last two or three days about, ‘Okay, we have X number of dollars in inventory. Can we pull a couple hundred thousand dollars out of inventory in case we end up being cash flow negative for the next two months?’” Plus: finding ways to help other struggling businesses and looking for opportunities to emerge from this stronger.
This week, in episode 8, Karen, Jay, and Dana talk about the contingency plans they’re making as we head into the health and economic crises presented by COVID-19. Can they keep paying hourly workers? Can they keep their locations open? Can they find the resolve to hang on no matter where this goes? “You're gonna get through this. You're gonna do what you need to do. If you need to close the one salon, so be it. And you're going to come out of this whole thing because you're smart, and you're ambitious, and you're responsible, and people like you. You're gonna get through this.” Plus: is now the time to join a business peer group?
Nobody goes into business because they think they're going to be really good at firing people. When you read books or magazine profiles of business leaders, you rarely hear anyone say, “You know, the one thing I've really mastered is knowing when and how to fire people.” And yet it’s something that every entrepreneur has to deal with. Even at the most successful businesses, some employees are not going to make it. In episode 7, regulars Karen, Jay, and Dana answer the question: how many people have you had to fire or lay off? Plus: What do you do when you find you have venture-backed competition?