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Business Recovery Success

Diane Muno and Rich Chiappe on survival tips for business

Diane Muno, owner of three retail shops in Estes Park, has survived crisis in the past and lived to tell about it.

"How do I pay expenses? How do I work with vendors?" These are questions we are asking in the business community right now. Diane made it clear what comes first.

"Take care of my people."

Your human capital is your best investment. Diane has been spending this lock down virtually training a new employee who was hired the day before the town closed. That training will pay off because her point of sales software is the reason she knows who her frequent customers are and which ones spend the most money.

"I conducted a virtual shopping experience with a customer this week and sent her $2,000 of products to try. She's keeping half of them. That's a pretty good sale considering the store is closed," Diane told.

In addition to this new shopping experience, which she plans to continue even after the town opens, she plans to use this time to recruit the quality of staff that she needs. That's exactly where Rich Chiappe chimed in talking about how to assess where you are right now.

"Whether you have a business plan in writing or not," Rich urged us, "make a note of what you wish you had right now."

That could be access to capital, a line of credit, or maybe more than one banking relationship. Maybe you have learned that if you had done the work to move to an S-corp you would have more easily qualified for the PPP. Maybe you just wish you had created an emergency budget so you could run for three months at a reduced burn rate.

He followed that suggestion with an important reminder to appraise what you did right. Create your own black book in whatever way serves you. Write down how much cash you need to run on fumes, how many employees can you afford to keep when sales are low. How can you sell online or in a new way?

The conversation inspired a few ideas:

Cory Workman uses a bullet journal. He's also shifting their marketing focus from sales to brand awareness. (Check out free apps like Taskade for planning templates on your phone!) It's a good time to remind your customers that you're here and still in business and ready when they come back.

Bestway Painting, a founding member of the Chamber, sent the good news that they have not turned away a single customer during the COVID lockdown. They are busy!! We posted this good news on the public Estes Chamber Facebook Page and we urge you to share your good news too!

And join the business recovery series each Monday at 2. Register here to hear about the business success of Ed Grueff, owner of the Estes Park Sugar Shack, and Jamie Palmesano with Brownfield's.

We hope you are already taking advantage of the Estes Park EDC advisory services, but if you are stuck and not sure where to go, contact us using the Contact Us link at the top of this page. We're here to help.