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April 06, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Van Tucker shares ideas for surviving COVID-19 crisis during IFundWomen virtual event

Launch Tennessee’s Van Tucker was the featured resource yesterday during a Zoom meeting organized by IFundWomen, the national organization focused on equipping women with the confidence, knowledge, and funding they need to bring their visions to life.

The event’s title said it all – “Finding Business Opportunities in a Crisis.”

By our assessment, I was the only male signed-up for the event that drew about 65 participants, but the advice that Launch Tennessee’s Chief Operating Officer shared was applicable to any business. Here are the key points from her presentation.

  • “You cannot overcommunicate at this point,” Tucker said. That includes employees, customers and suppliers. She advised business owners to be “authenticate and truthful.”
  • Tucker said the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of stabilizing and diversifying any business’ supplier base.
  • “Know your runway; it should be six to 12 months,” she said of the all-important financial self-sufficiency during times like these. Later, Tucker touched on the importance of monitoring cashflow and possibly drawing on lines of credit if needed.
  • She suggested that now could be a good time to consider crowdfunding, if necessary, because customers and suppliers want a company to survive. It was noted in response to a subsequent question that crowdfunding messaging needs to be done in a way that does not make the business owner appear to be “tone deaf” to the challenges facing the country.
  • Finally, Tucker offered this upbeat advice: “Be ready to run when this is over. Be ready to come out like a blast from a cannon.” That means using this time to make tweaks and other adjustments to ensure a business is ready for the return to more normalcy.

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