It’s safe to say that extraordinary times really do call for extraordinary measures… It has been encouraging to talk to some of our clients who have seen these times as an opportunity for growth. However, most businesses are finding these times difficult and that’s expected.
SME’s are the backbone to the Australian economy and the impact of Coronavirus has forced business leaders to think on their feet to become more innovative and proactive in the way they deliver their services.
Here are 10 practical tips that will help you lead your business through change:
1. Be opportunistic
This is a great time to look at your business model and how you’re engaging with your customers. Are there any opportunities within your current product offering to explore new means of delivering your service?
2. Balance is key
Use your financials to help plan and manage your business cash flow. Analyse your price, sales volume and cost and see where you may be able to cut expenses to ensure you remain within budget.
3. Have access to capital
‘Cash is king’ – we’ve all heard it before and it’s currently more relevant than ever. Cash allows businesses to continue to operate and pay wages, suppliers, contractors, maintain equipment, etc.
As the various types of business loan products continue to change, it’s important to know what you are eligible for before approaching any one Financial Institution. Save your time and hassle and speak to your Finance Executive for more information.
4. Prepare for the unexpected
If Coronavirus has taught us one thing, it’s to prepare for the unexpected and be able to act quickly. Things such as, ensuring you have an emergency fund, knowing your clients’ changing needs, exploring different contingency plans and having a crisis communication plan in place both internally and externally.
5. Be able and willing to adapt
Adapting to change is so important, especially when needing to respond to extraordinary circumstances. Take a proactive approach to solve any weaknesses you may be incurring. Being able and confident to make strategic changes and make them promptly will ensure your business remains afloat.
6. Know what relief packages are available to you
There are a number of incentives that have been put in place by Financial Institutions and the Government to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Whilst you try to manage your business operations, staff, etc. it may be hard or simply overwhelming to know what incentives are available for your business. To better understand what you and your business are eligible for, speak to your Finance Executive directly or contact our offices here.
7. Communicate and be transparent
Communication is more important than ever. Ensure you communicate with your customers to let them know how you are abiding by the rules put in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, how you can assist them during these times, and above all else, they need to know someone is there for them. Remove the fear where possible and remember it’s okay to be vulnerable.
8. Be visible
Social distancing and other rules put in place may prevent face-to-face meetings, presentations and coffee catch ups, but there are many other ways you can remain visible. Video conferencing programs such as Skype, Teams and Zoom enable you to meet over video (not quite face-to-face – but almost!) Remain relevant on emails and phone calls and any other digital channels you may have (website, social media, etc.). Let your customers know you are there and you remain open to support their business regardless of the circumstances they may be experiencing.
9. Consolidate and look forward
Analyse how your business is going and create a strategy to provide direction on where to next. Ensure this strategy is flexible and don’t rigidly stick to the outcome you predicted. To assist with developing your business plan, look at your business’s vision, mission and values, make sure these are clear, and your overall purpose becomes clear.
10. Above all else take care of yourself and others
Mentally and physically. Touch base with people to see how they are going and know that it’s okay to not be okay. These times can impact businesses and it’s the people behind the business who feel the brunt of the impact. Take care, stay safe and be there for one another.
Our doors are open and will remain open to support businesses regardless of the circumstances you may be experiencing. We will continue to follow all the Government directives as they change to protect everyone against the spread of Coronavirus.