Now and beyond COVID
While there is no denying that COVID-19 has resulted in extreme ups and downs for businesses, it’s important to know that proactive and informed business management is, and will always be, the driving force behind surviving and thriving. As we move into the so-called ‘new normal’ we explore the business practices that are not only necessary for recovery, but will also build business resilience for adapting and being successful now, and beyond COVID.
You may recall back in March this year, we issued our COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan which focused on eight key areas of immediate consideration and two important steps:
Step 1 – Communication
Step 2 – Business Owner Decisions.
Five months on and those recommendations remain on point.
Now with plenty of ‘unprecedented times’ experience under our belts, our focus needs to be squarely on the future and what can be done to recover from setbacks and build resilience into our businesses.
Update your technology
If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to make working online easier, faster and more convenient.
There’s no turning back now, doing business and transacting in this way is not only accepted, it’s expected.
With social distancing becoming entrenched in our new reality, technology ticks this compliance box and remedies social isolation from customers, suppliers and team members. Remember your team may be feeling uncertain too. They need continued guidance and mentoring, especially younger team members who will likely need more supervision rather than being unfairly expected to self-direct.
Step up your marketing
You must be visible for your clients and customers. Staying in touch and remaining relevant, doesn’t need to involve big budget expenditure. Regular marketing communication should involve calls from you and your sales team, Zoom meetings, helpful email updates and positive social media. The cumulative effect is reassurance and customer confidence that you are available and open for business. While bringing in new business is important, it should never be at the expense of your existing clients. The last thing you want at this time is to lose loyal and valuable clients due to neglect.
Promote your core skills and services
It is all too easy to assume that your clients know what you do. Remind them of the depth of your expertise, experience and specialisations. Clients crave certainty and they will engage with businesses that demonstrate they can deliver high-quality core skills and must-have services.
From an operational perspective, it’s all about cash flow. In this environment, your tried and trusted ‘rules of thumb’ are unlikely to still be relevant.
Weekly to medium-term (three months) cash flow forecasting will provide the clarity needed for immediate business management and decision making. Then, armed with this clear understanding, extend your forecasting a further nine months and review monthly, to gain a longer view across what may be regularly changing circumstances.
Knowing your cash position will enable you to take decisive action.
If cash shortfalls are exposed, you’ll need to take steps that may include organising finance, applying for Government support, negotiating terms with your landlord and suppliers, adjusting staffing levels, reviewing expenses and rescheduling non-urgent major purchases and shoring up your asset protection, among other things.
For those businesses that are doing well, cash flow forecasting will create confidence for business owners to make the most of opportunities and strengthen the business. Strategies may include investing in new technology, upgrading equipment, bringing forward major capital expenditures and extracting cash from the business to directly benefit the business owners’ personal wealth and retirement planning.
We understand there’s a lot to consider. However, if we may offer some reassurance of our own, it’s important to know that the key to business resilience is often getting back to business basics and doing them well.
This includes taking a working ON rather than just IN your business approach.
We understand your reality of being time poor and taking the time to implement improvements. These matters are our forte. Providing advice, guidance and helping you to understand the Numbers, implement Strategies and provide specialist Advice that suits you and your circumstances is what we do best. Please email [email protected] or [email protected] or call 3217 5700 to talk to a member of our P+Y team.
P+Y Accountants and Business Advisors are known for expanding the possibilities for professionals and enterprising business owners.
The information contained here is general and not intended to serve as advice. Any information supplied is not a substitute for independent professional advice. We do not warrant the accuracy, reliability, completeness or adequacy of the information or material. All information is subject to change without notice. P+Y and each party providing material displayed here disclaim liability to all persons or organisations in relation to any action(s) taken on the basis of currency or accuracy of the information or material, or any loss or damage suffered in connection with that information or material. Users are encouraged to contact P+Y for advice concerning specific matters before making any decision.