Make an extra effort to be aware of any special government programs that might help your employees. Sometimes when things are bad, the government develops meaningful support for small businesses. Your bank, accountant, and attorney should be of some assistance in navigating this option. Do not use any such programs until you understand all their contingencies and their related regulatory applications. Communicate with your major vendors.
Contact all of your critical vendors. Ask for new dating on all outstanding invoices. Negotiate some partial payments as needed to get this courtesy. Be firm and convincing that you just need some time to respond to the newly presented problems. Once you accomplish this, ask for dating on any new purchases in the next sixty days. Most vendors will squawk! But, if you have been faithfully paying them for years, they should allow some new deliveries to occur. They know how important it is to support you so you can resume more normal operations. Make a tentative plan, to the extent that is possible, to pay all the smaller local vendors’ invoices in a timely manner.
These companies may be in exactly the same place you are. They all have families and employees who may be your current or future customers. Act on this portion of your payables as soon as you have your cash flow plan completed. Be sure that these allocated funds are not required for payroll or to keep a reluctant major vendor in the supplier mix. Prioritize utilities, insurance, and similar critical invoices. When developing a cash allocation plan for your total package of payables, be sure to recognize utilities and insurances as high priorities. You must keep the lights on and your risks covered to survive.