Financial problems? Change your business model

Your business used to be profitable. You had big plans for the future. But then the corona crisis came, and your turnover dropped. Now, you see opportunities in a new business model. Can you make it work financially? Follow the steps in this article to find out.

The corona crisis has hit you hard. You do not have enough customers to cover the costs. Your business cannot survive much longer. In the long term, you expect a recovery of your turnover, but you have to adjust your business revenue model. Use this step-by-step plan to determine your expected turnover and to determine the extent of your liquidity problem. You calculate how much money you need for your new approach and which form of financing suits you.

Example

Take the fictional example of Arwin de Jong’s tent manufacturing and rental company. The family business in which he has worked from an early age has the major music festivals in the Netherlands as customers. He has 5 employees and also works with freelancers. He rents a commercial building, including storage space.

Most of the events he was to deliver tents to have been cancelled. His sales decline is almost 100%. The wage costs and rent continue.

1. Start discussing solutions

The weak financial situation of his company causes De Jong a lot of stress. He discusses his (financial) concerns with his family, friends, other entrepreneurs, and his accountant. His accountant advises him to contact an organisation that can advise him in his situation, offer debt restructuring, and other solutions.

2. Renew your business model

It will take some time before large-scale events can take place again. De Jong has to modify his business model. He maps his situation with the help of the Business Model Canvas. A business model is the description of all aspects of a company. Both internally and externally: organisation, value proposition, customers, suppliers, costs and revenues. With the canvas model, De Jong looks at the strengths and weaknesses of his organisation. And also at his product and the wishes of his customers.

The value proposition is the base of his company. It is the unique selling point, the distinctive force with which De Jong earns money. How does he make his customers happy? How is his company different from its competitors?

While thinking about how he can modify his business, De Jong comes up with a plan: he wants to supply luxury rental tents for campsites. In addition, he wants to hire out his employees and freelancers, who normally set up tents and stages at events, to construction projects. That means new customers with new wishes, new products and new costs and revenues. The revenue model is part of the business model. De Jong looks at current and future business models for inspiration.

He puts his current business model on hold and develops his plans into a corona-proof business model (in Dutch). He has to make investments to set up a line of tents for campsites. He includes this in his liquidity budget. He lists the turnover of the new business model in the operating budget. In the long term, he expects his business to be viable with these adjustments.

Self-employed? Do something else temporarily

De Jong does not have work for all his freelancers. Fortunately, freelancers are not tied to the industry in which they now work. They can temporarily do something else. A freelancer in the event industry can, for example, work for an IT company to enter data. Or they can turn things around even further and work temporarily in paid employment (in Dutch) in another industry.

3. Prepare an operating budget

De Jong draws up an adjusted operating budget (in Dutch) for a period of one year, in which he maps the influence of the decline in turnover on his total profit forecast, as well as the expected yield from his new business model. He calculates the turnover per month and extends that calculation to a year. After a start-up period, he expects to realise an average monthly turnover of almost €60,000 from the rental of camping tents and the renting out of his employees to the construction industry. In substantiating his turnover expectation (in Dutch), he takes this payback period into account. It takes time to build a new customer base.

Original operating forecast (prepared before the corona crisis)

Turnover
 
900,000
Minus: Costs of purchase 
 405,000
Gross turnover

 
495,000

Deductions
   40,000 

Rent
   60,000

Insurances
   10,000
 
Administration
   10,000
 
Personnel
 200,000
   
Energy
   30.000
   
Communication
   20.000
   
Total costs

 
 370,000 
NET PROFIT

125,000

Adjusted operating forecast (prepared during the corona crisis)

Turnover
 
700,000
minus: Costs of purchase 
 315,000
Gross turnover

 
385,000

Deductions
   40,000 

Rent
   60,000

Insurances
   10,000
 
Administration
   10,000
 
Personnel
 200,000
   
Energy
   30,000
   
Communication
   20,000
   
Total costs

 
 370,000 
NET PROFIT

15,000

4. Make a liquidity budget

De Jong makes a liquidity budget (in Dutch) in which he maps out how much money he has left or lacks per quarter. He is also looking for opportunities to improve his cashflow (in Dutch). You can also prepare a liquidity budget per month. In the first quarter, De Jong made use of the Reimbursement Fixed Costs scheme (TVL). For his staff, he received 85% of his staff costs through the Temporary emergency bridging measure (NOW). To start his new business model, he has to invest in a new set of tents. He lists this amount as investment in his liquidity budget.

Liquidity Budget


Quarter 1
Quarter 2
Bank balance start of quarter
    
2
5,000
 
   
-
27,900

Paid invoices from clients

     15,000 
       75,000
Received corona support: NOW and TVL
     90,100 
              0
Investments
     50,000 
              0
Payments to suppliers
     20,000
       20,000
Rent
     36,000
       36,000 
Wages (incl. holiday allowance in Q2)
     50,000
       66,000 
Private withdrawal entrepreneur
            0
        4,500   
VAT owed
      2,000
       15,000   
Receipts -/- Expenses
  - 52,900
    - 66,500   
Bank balance end of quarter

 
- 27,900
 
  
- 94,400
 

5. Organise your debts

De Jong focuses on solutions for his debts, such as the amicable settlement. Since 1 January 2021, there is a new possibility to reach an agreement on a debt settlement without the consent of all creditors: the Homologation private agreement in bankruptcy Act (WHOA) with which he can prevent bankruptcy.

6. Determine your financing needs

The liquidity budget shows that De Jong is using his buffer in the first quarter and closes with a negative balance of €27,900. He ends the second quarter with a negative balance of €94,400. He investigates where to apply for financing and what the most favourable form of financing is for his company. He is looking for €50,000 for investments and additional working capital of at least €45,000.

7. Find financing

De Jong has checked out the government's financial support measures for entrepreneurs during the corona crisis. He has also compared other forms of financing. Before submitting a financing application, he checks to see how he can receive extra money or spend less.

Ask a wage offer

De Jong considers asking his employees for a voluntary, temporary salary reduction (in Dutch).

Subsidy

De Jong investigates whether there are subsidies or tax schemes for his company.

Regular financiers

De Jong can make use of various regular financiers. Another option is through non-bank financing such as leasing, crowdfunding or online fintech financiers. He is also looking at bridge financing.

The better his business is doing, and the better his future prospects, the greater the chance that he will be able to submit a successful application to regular financiers.

Choice of financing

Based on his financial administration and budgets, De Jong concludes that his financial buffer is too low. He has mapped out all available types of financing. He chooses to apply for external financing to start his new tent range. For the investments, he prefers the Small Credits Corona scheme (KCC) through his bank. He is also trying to increase his overdraft. If that fails, he contacts a non-bank fintech financier for temporary working capital. He also explores the option of getting help (in Dutch) applying for funding.

Do you want to talk about your future plans or the termination of your company? Call the KVK Advice Team: 0800 2117.

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