Our business leaders have changed the dialogue around the economic impact of coronavirus from a cataclysmic train wreck, to what are we going to look like after this ends.
Despair has been parked with tentative consideration of not only survival, but acknowledgement that opportunities will return.
Optimisation of the following 10 tips will deliver you and your business to the best position to not only make up the lost ground, but thrive in the new but completely different business landscape post-pandemic.
1. YOUR TEAM
Collaboration of the current position and the ability to re-set as a team in the oncoming new landscape is probably the greatest opportunity from this devastation. Did you notice some practices on both sides of the employee/employer scales losing touch with reality prior to the sudden cut-off?
Your team members that remain with you are your transformers “A” team and collaboration will produce previously unforeseen innovation.
What are you doing to support and communicate with your team?
Learn more about “Optimisation of Staff Performance”
2. YOUR SUPPLIERS
Due to your loss of income, your suppliers have lost business and are being negatively impacted like you.
What opportunities exist which you have thought of previously, but not been in a position to negotiate?
Work out who your key suppliers are and if there is the opportunity for better buying, better credit terms or settlement discounts.
3. YOUR CONTRACTS AND LEASES
Do you need to negotiate a deferral of monthly lease and financial arrangements?
This is a cash flow saving now but will have to make the repayments later, but in negotiation see if the deferral can be interest free.
The lessor only enters the negotiation to try and save a complete write off whereas the deferral will enable ordinary completion of the contract.
Check out the Leasing Code of Conduct.
4. REVIEW EVERY EXPENSE
Go through your Profit and Loss statement and review every cent the business spends.
If it is not critical or necessary to execute your planned way forward, it should be minimised.
Some expenses should not be compromised (Staff cost – discussed above, Marketing, Accounting) These expenses will ensure delivery of your plans.
However there are ‘soft’ expenses. Eg Rent. You should approach your landlord and discuss the directions in the commercial leases code of conduct recently issued by the government. This should deliver at least 50% rental savings for the near future.
Another soft expense is interest. With Credit card interest rates between 15% and 20%, you should make sure you limit their use from today and eliminate them forever.
5. MAXIMISE SALES
What actions can you take in your business now to maximise sales.
Eg 1: Service businesses may be closed, however, video conferencing enables contact in a previously under-utilised area of communication.
Eg 2. Restaurants picking up take away food options.
Eg 3. Businesses previously reliant upon application of products now moving to online sales of those products without the need for personal application.
6. BANK SUPPORT
The government has made a number of fiscal changes that enable banks to ‘go where they have not gone before’
Prior to COVID-19 and as a result of the Royal Commission, the banks’ credit policies had really tightened up to the point where the only successful applications for finance were those not needing the support.
With the reserve bank “printing money” and the government announcing guarantee support, it is now possible to get funding for most cases in need and with a reasonably prepared story of a survival strategy.
As well as more available credit, you should be approaching your bank for the best interest rates available.
Insurance costs have climbed appreciably over the last 24 months as a result of natural disasters.
However with the reduced trading and in some cases closing business, the need for insurance has reduced significantly.
One such area is workers compensation which is clearly a function of staff costs.
Have you reviewed your insurances? Are there some policies that are no longer relevant?
8. TAX DEFERRAL
Income Tax, GST, PAYG withholding tax, and PAYG Instalment tax. There is a lot of TAX and they are mostly payable in arrears which means as your cash flow ‘hit the wall’, they became due.
The government is offering deferral opportunities and in most cases that will be interest free.
You should discuss your own circumstances and the best way to communicate with the ATO to obtain the best deal.
9. GOVERNMENT HELP
Both State and federal governments have provided strong and decisive leadership and should be congratulated for minimising the potential damage to the economy. Make no bones about it, it will still be massive, and thus the need to work through all of these points.
The offerings, stimulus, concessions, guarantees, codes of conduct, waiver of basic commercial conventions announced on a daily basis have been enormous and take considerable time to interpret.
Then the announcements need to be legislated. To maximise the mire of help you need to discuss your circumstances to define the help that best suits your needs and to ensure you don’t miss out.
10. FOCUS – 3 things
There is a lot going on and the times can only be defined as stressful.
We are all working harder for less reward and those with closed businesses have even more stress to deal with.
- What are the 3 things that CONCERN you most about your business?
- What are the 3 ACTIONS you should take to move from victim to victor?
- What help do you need to ensure success in these endeavours and enable the movement to the next?
It has never been more difficult running a business in Australia but with appropriate application and prioritisation of all of the above considerations as opportunities unfold, you will be best placed to exploit them and thrive.