With 2020 behind us, many businesses are now in recovery mode. This year will be one of budget repair for most businesses through developing long term strategies. Here are some issues all small to medium businesses should consider to ensure their survival.
1. Build client or customer relationships
A priority as once COVID-19 hit how many businesses have had the time to do this proactively? Cost-cutting, streamlining operations, implementing new health and safety procedures were the focus. It is now time to revisit customer relationships and how to support them for mutual benefit.
If your customer base has changed, focus on building new relationships to deliver repeat business in the future. Ask yourself what the real value of each customer and the cost to you is to get them.
New customers generally cost more to acquire than maintaining existing ones. However, this is sometimes not the case. You may spend more time and money serving low-value clients, and those precious resources would be better spent forming new relationships.
The effects of COVID-19 have been devastating for businesses across the country, but for many, there is a silver lining. Companies have adapted and transitioned employees to work remotely with great success.
COVID‑19 will be with us for some time, so it is essential that your business has a plan - and continues to plan to keep your workplace healthy, safe and virus-free.
Key things to remember as you ramp up your business post COVID-19.
Keeping People Safe
Maintain good hygiene - Think about how your business’s hygiene and cleaning practices by making sure your workplace is regularly cleaned and disinfected. Have enough cleaning and hygiene supplies and communicate the importance of employees not coming to work if they are unwell.
Stay physically distant - Think about how people interact in your business. To ensure your business has appropriate physical distancing move work stations and tables further apart to comply with social distancing. If you are a retailer, provide social distancing markers on the floor where appropriate.
In the event of infection, there should be a plan in place, so your business is confident and can respond swiftly and efficiently.
Follow advice - Think about what makes your business and your industry unique. There may be additional steps you need to take to communicate with your customers, staff and suppliers. To help you prepare regularly review the mandatory public health directions that apply to your business as these will change as time goes on.
Sustainability is important – many of these changes, such as cleaning practices, will be part of your day-to-day business operations already. Still, you may need to do things more often or in different ways.
A helpful resource is safeworkaustralia.gov.au
Adapting my business
The way your business operates, the products you sell and the services you deliver may need to change because of COVID‑19. This transition will be challenging, and you are no doubt thinking about how your business could adapt to change.
It is helpful to spend some time thinking about the following questions. These can act as a starting point to map potential areas for your business to explore.
Accessing Support and Packages
When considering adapting your business activities and your employees you may need financial support to achieve your new plans. The Federal, State, Territory and Local Government are providing many support packages for businesses.
These are the current support packages you can apply for:
Retaining your employees
Small and medium-sized businesses can get loans of up to $250,000 over three years from a range of lenders. These loans have an initial six month repayment holiday. Enquire with your lender.
Over the coming months, many businesses will rely on these packages to kickstart and adapt their business activities.
Our advisory team has been supporting many of our clients in these challenging times. If you need any assistance with financial support packages and solutions, we are here to assist. Our services range from general hardship relief, loans and mortgage moratorium, vehicle and equipment finance, ATO issues and leasing arrangements.
Please phone us on +61 2 8304 9302 to speak to a dedicated team member.
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