Wholesalers: How to Strengthen your Business During the Crisis

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The COVID-19 crisis has taught us to take nothing for granted. Overnight, everything changed. Overnight, our businesses and our lives were turned upside down.

The question is – what will we learn from this crisis? And how can we use this time and this experience to grow stronger for the future?

One approach is to use this time to re-focus on the fundamentals of our business.  To tackle those important projects that we never seem to have time for. Now, we have the time.

In this post, I’ll share 3 ideas and tools you can use to help strengthen your business. This time, doesn’t feel like a very good time. But if we use it wisely and productively, we can emerge from this crisis stronger than before.

3 Ideas to Strengthen your Business:

  1. Clean up and organize your corporate documents: Distribution agreements, licenses and organizational docs.
  2. Take a full physical inventory. When’s the last time you really counted your inventory? How about all those pallets and kegs? We both know it’s been far too long.
  3. Review the balance sheet. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men…evil lurks on your balance sheet. Conduct this review to purge the financial evil.

Start with a Financial Clean-Up

It feels good to clean up. Dis-order causes distraction and confusion. Keeping your financial information clean and organized helps you stay focused and fiscally fit.

As with any cleanup, you’ll need to throw things away. Old documents pile up, create clutter, and need to be disposed of.

Confused about what to keep and what to throw away? Use the document retention guide

Out with the old and in with the new. Hire a shredding company and clean out all those old invoices, reports and bank statements.

Organize Corporate Docs

If you’re like most wholesalers, you have corporate records stashed everywhere. Some are tacked to the wall, others are in a desk drawer or saved on someone’s laptop.

Corporate records are important because they show the world you are a grown-up company. They demonstrate that you have the proper licenses, filings and legal standing to operate your wholesaler business.

Corporate records are critical to maintain your ‘corporate’ status and the liability protections this provides.

Examples of corporate records include:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • Stock certificates
  • Stock ledger recording each stock issuance or transfer
  • Minutes of meetings of the directors
  • Corporate seal

Corporate docs are super important to preserve the ‘corporate veil’ and protect you from liability. If you plan on borrowing money, banks need to see this information. If you plan on bringing on an investor, or eventually selling, investors / buyers will insist on complete and accurate corporate docs.

If you want to do it yourself, use this Corporate Docs Checklist  as a guide to get started. This crisis is a great time to locate, organize and clean up those corporate documents.

Take a Physical Inventory

Counting inventory can be difficult, time-consuming and un-productive. But these things only happen when you do it the wrong way.

Use this Basics of a Successful Inventory Count Process to count inventory the right way. You’ll find it takes less time and will get you the results you want: accurate inventory on the books. Everyone wins.

Now, is a good time to clean up your inventory. Use the process, and make it count.

Review the Balance Sheet

I know you love the income statement. It has all that information about sales growth and profits. But now is the time for the balance sheet.

Your balance sheet reports on your assets, liabilities and equity. It shows what you own, what you owe, and the net worth of your business.

Unfortunately, the balance sheet is often riddled with financial mistakes.

Assets may be listed on the balance sheet that no longer exist. Lost kegs anyone? How about that old inventory you haven’t written off yet?

Prepaid expense is another hiding spot for balance sheet errors. Items get booked here and never removed. Prepaid taxes or prepaid insurance are common items that get stuck in here.

Wrap Up + Action Items

Now is a good time for a financial clean-up. Start with a purge of your old financial records. Throwing things away feels good.

Use the document retention guide to identify what can be tossed out.

Next, do a full physical count of your inventory. You wouldn’t dream of making incorrect deliveries to customers, so don’t operate your business with incorrect inventory records.

Finish the clean-up with a review of your balance sheet. Lots of financial mistakes get stuck here and need to be scrubbed clean.

We will get through this crisis. Use this time to focus on fundamentals and create a stronger wholesaler business.

All the best,