PET Food Processing - June 2020 - 13

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RECIPE FOR
RESILIENCE
Seven tips for building a resilient business
capable of navigating the challenges ahead.
By Jennifer Semple | jsemple@sosland.com

M

Most who have managed a business of any size would
say that it is not a straight path. Manufacturing businesses are particularly challenging, and companies are presented with many twists and turns along their journey.
Being resilient as a company doesn't necessarily mean
staying the course. A resilient company is able to identify the path through whatever stands in its way.
Pet Food Processing talked with pet food and treat processors, both big and small, and industry leaders about
what is required for a company to be resilient in good
and bad times, as well as some of the key strategies helping companies be resilient in today's market upheaval.

1. Capital, of course

Enough capital or a plan to obtain more capital is
ideal, if not always possible, said John Kuenzi, president
and chief executive officer of consulting company NQV8,
Manhattan, Kan. Companies need to plan ahead to have
adequate cash reserves or the ability to source funding
when needed. Kuenzi said good relationships with vendors, bankers and investors help make that possible.
"It's always better to be well-capitalized to the point
that you can withstand a sustained period of poor income generation, but that's not always the reality of a
startup or someone already struggling," Kuenzi said.
"This requires adequate funding by design and additional resources as necessary to withstand retractions and
having enough runway for the dry spell. Most startups
by definition are undercapitalized."
At a minimum, Alexis Berglund, president, The
Pound Bakery, Harvard, Ill., recommends that small

companies have emergency funds set aside to cover
three to six months of expenses or an available line of
credit to tap to get through a rough patch.
A common mistake Richard Thompson, founder of
Factory LLC, an accelerator program in Bethlehem, Pa.,
has seen from working with startups is how far in advance they plan what capital the business will require.
Thompson said many young companies plan what capital they will need over the coming 12 to 18 months. He
suggests looking farther ahead.
"A better approach is a three- or five-year plan and
raise all the capital at once based on performance milestones," Thompson said. "A lot of people [who] just get
capital on an annual basis run out, and then it becomes
an emergency."
Adding that hope isn't the best business strategy especially in the current economy, Thompson said, "You just
can't be a startup and hope that it's all going to work. You
really need a lot of capital as well as really good management. It was difficult to get both of those before this
health crisis and now, it's even harder to find the capital."

2. Priority to the people

A clear understanding of the company's hierarchy of priorities, as a standard rule, and clearly defined
priorities during a crisis are key. For many companies,
but not all, the people working for the company - the
people making it possible for the company to provide
a product or service - are the top priority because, as
Thompson pointed out, you don't have a company without the people.

www.petfoodprocessing.net | June 2020 | PET FOOD PROCESSING

PFP_Jun20.indb 13

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5/15/2020 3:05:11 PM


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PET Food Processing - June 2020

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