Your compelling argument needs to rule here, not eloquence. You will be asking your landlord, lender and/or vendors for some leeway on payment obligations to which you have previously agreed. It’s important to communicate that point, unless of course, your ask is going to be for the obligation forgiven not delayed. In either case, you need a compelling argument, at least if I were in their shoes, I would want you to present an effective, efficient and compelling case for your request. Enough blah, blah, blah here’s what your plan should include.
1. Cover letter stating.
a. Your issue.
i. Here's the situation.
ii. Here's what I am doing in addition to asking you (your audience) for consideration.
- Taken this pay-cut myself.
- Reduced staff.
- Reduced other operating expenses.
- Changing operating procedures
- a. New target markets.
- b. New marketing plans.
- c. Hire part-timers in place of full-timers.
- d. Convert X positions to part-time,
- e. Etc.
Note: This is an opinion only, but I think you should make staff reductions your last priority. You need to show your valued employees that you deeply care and are concerned about them.
2. Supporting documentation This will vary depending on whether your audience is a landlord, lender or vendor.
a. Common, no matter the audience.
i. Comparative operating statement, showing first quarter of last year contrasted with first quarter of this year.
- Needs to demonstrate that you have a problem
- Supports your ask in the cover letter.
ii. Pro forma operating statement (l have an Excel template you can use if requested.) showing the anticipated financial performance of your business on a monthly basis until you get to normalcy again, then for two (2) quarters after normalcy returns.
- This will demonstrate that you have a plan in place to make them again, whatever whole means. Perhaps you will be asking for a longer-term reduction in payment obligations. Whatever use this forecast to illustrate financially how that will be accomplished.
- Clearly state your assumptions on how this forecast will become reality.
iii. Additional information that may be required. For lenders you have may have an obligation to provide. Only provide what is required to support your ask.
- Financial statements for last fiscal year (or tax year).
- a. Balance sheet
- b. Operating statement
- Tax returns for last fiscal year (or tax year).
- Personal financial statements.
- Credit reports