COVID-19: 5 Steps Plan to surviving the next 6 months as a business

coronavirus-5-steps-plan-to-surviving-the-next-6 months-as-a-business

The economic impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are hitting businesses across Australia and globally. Some businesses are struggling to secure cashflow, while others are taking advantage of sudden opportunities.  As restrictions ease and businesses return to operate as close to normal as possible, how do you work through the next wave of unknown factors that may challenge your business? 

Below we outline a simple 5 step plan to surviving the next 6 months:

1. Address the immediate challenges facing your workplace with your team returning to the office

Align key persons in your business.
Whilst your employees worked from home, it’s likely the key players in your business rose to the challenge of keeping their teams operational. It’s important as you return to work that you continue this trend and empower your senior leadership team to continue to lead their teams.

What you did well when you were at home should be implemented when you return to the office. Having your leadership team take charge will allow you to remain flexible in how you manage your own time to deal with other challenges your business may face.

Empowering your team.
Maintaining morale and promoting self-care may be one of the most critical new responsibilities for business leaders. Make the health and well-being of your team a priority, so then they can take care of their job more effectively.

Communicate with your clients and employees clearly and often.
Ensure that you have a clear communication plan to address any business changes or disruption with your team members, ensure that all of your team are clear on who needs to be told what and when. Then relay this message to your clients as required.

People are open to hearing new ideas and solutions as they want to keep the wheels of their business turning as much as possible. Be a useful source of information for your clients during these challenging times, without expecting an immediate return.

2. Plan for continued revenue disruption

Plan for multiple quarters of lower revenue.
As restrictions ease be mindful that it may not result in improved revenue for your business.  Listen out regularly for the impacts of COVID-19 and continue to project for any future impacts as well.  Attempt to quantify how these may affect your own business and implement strategies to mitigate.

Conduct 3-6-month scenario planning (model revenue-decline and stress-test Profit and Loss scenarios).
We recommend that the best way to project your future Cashflow is using the three-way forecasting and modelling system. This looks to consolidate three key reports in your accounting and use the combination of these to project future forecasts. This is the profit and loss, balance sheet and Cashflow forecast.

Expense management.

Continue to look at what you need to do to manage your expenses.  It’s likely with the return to office that some of your office expenses will increase, make sure you continue to monitor all non-essential spending and if you haven't already speak to your Accountant, they are your lifeblood right now and can help you take advantage of the Government Stimulus Packages that have been released to help with cashflow over this period. 

3. Accelerate or increase the cash you are receiving

Collection of debtors.
Contact your clients and customers to encourage them to pay early. You can incentivise them by offering discounts. Where clients themselves are experiencing Cashflow difficulties, you might consider negotiating periodic payments.

Government Grants.
Receiving a Government Grant or Incentive can be a great cash boost for your business. Here are a few tips for your Grant Application: 
- Make sure you are eligible.
- We recommend speaking to experts that understand the rules and can guide you with your application (or even do it for you).
- You have to make sure you keep records.
- Make sure you answer all the questions that they request as part of the Grant application succinctly and to the point. 
- Make sure that you can substantiate your claim. 

Related: Government Grants and Incentives: Which one is right for my business?
New Bank loans and funding for businesses affected by COVID-19.
If your business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a payment of between $20,000 and $100,000 or a government-guaranteed loan of up to $250,000. The Government is partnering with the banks and other lenders by guaranteeing 50% of loans of up to $250,000 for 3 years to businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million.

These are unsecured loans and won’t require any repayments in the first 6 months. The purpose is to help small to medium businesses rebuild and recover on the other side of the CoVID-19 crisis. To find out more about Grants, Loans and Financial assistance for Small Business visit Service NSW >

4. Be careful with the cash you are spending

Look at all current and future business expenses. What are essential and what money can be saved? In this environment cash is king, so ensuring that you can maintain Cashflow is imperative. Look for any opportunities to cut costs to help your business through this period. Get rid of all non-essential spending. Business owners should review their Profit & Loss statement and look for savings that can be generated by cutting discretionary overheads.

Related: Cashflow is a lifeblood or your business, especially during a pandemic such as Coronavirus

5. As you return to business as usual, design a plan that adopts your business to the “new normal”

Be resilient. Be prepared.
Business should review or develop their COVID-19 business continuity plan. Businesses that address the issues head on through contingency planning, will be far more likely to create resilience and be able to revive quickly.

Having a fully comprehensive business continuity plan (BCP) in place and ready to be rolled out is crucial in such a scenario.  A BCP can identify the potential threats to an organisation – from pandemic to supply chain disruption – and analyses what impact they may have on operations and business objectives. 

Protecting employees as they return to the workplace.
- Practice social distancing within your workplace.
- Promote good hand hygiene. 
- Hold only essential meetings. 
- Modifying roster or staffing to reduce staff interactions (i.e. smaller groups, staggered rosters)
- If you still haven't, develop a policy that requires staff to stay home if unwell (allow remote work in those cases).
- Support employees with high-risk and allow them to work remotely. 
- Make sure the policies you implemented when COVID-19 hit are still in place to handle any re-occurrence if wave two hits. 

Have you noticed our #FridayExpertTips... here's one that relates to #CoVID-19: Business Planning

"In times of crisis we often focus on ourselves and our own issues. However, in order to fully understand the long and short term impacts on your business, you have to understand the impact on those around you – your team, business partners, customers, industry, niche... and adjust accordingly."

Related articles:
Do Tech Startups need to re-evaluate and adapt due to a shift in Customer Behaviour, published August 11, 2020
Extension of JobKeeper and Loan Scheme,
published July 23, 2020
You can still Raise Capital in 2020,
published July 08, 2020
Did you apply for the NSW $3,000 Small Business Recovery Grant,
published July 07, 2020
Things to consider when withdrawing Super before and after June 30,
published June 26, 2020
Consider your timing when paying Bonuses to Employees,
published June 25, 2020
How will COVID-19 affect your End of Financial Year Tax return?,
published June 15, 2020
Is your business Tax ready for EOFY?,
published June 11, 2020
COVID-19: How to motivate your team while working remotely?, published May 18, 2020
Expanding globally during COVID-19: Risky business or perfect timing?, published May 07, 2020
Finding opportunities in a crisis and how to recover on the other side of COVID-19?,
 published April 20, 2020
COVID-19: What does 'Standing Down my team' mean to my Business?, published April 16, 2020
JobKeeper Payment: Eligibility Rules have been released! Who is Eligible?,published April 15, 2020
COVID-19: EMDG extra funding of $49.8 million to help Exporters, published April 7, 2020
Startups and Scaleups: R&D Tax Incentive FY2019 deadline extended due to Coronavirus, published April 6, 2020
What is the difference between JobSeeker and JobKeeper? Do you know what you're eligible for?, published April 2, 2020
JobKeeper Allowance: New Government financial measure as a response to COVID-19, published Mar 31, 2020
A second CoVID-19 Stimulus for Businesses, published Mar 24, 2020
Financial relief for business experiencing difficulty due to CoVID-19 and State Government Supportpublished Mar 21, 2020
What are the benefits of Coronavirus Stimulus Package for businesses?published Mar 13, 2020

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About Author

Azure Group
Azure Group

Azure Group is the leading Chartered Accounting, Business Advisory and Strategic Advisory firm supporting the growth & success of fast growing entrepreneurial businesses.

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