Here are 6 tips to help you manage the risks to your business and safeguard your business health.
Safeguarding Your Small Business Health During the Coronavirus Epidemic
These truly are extraordinary times in which we live. The outbreak of the coronavirus has brought many industries to a grinding halt, with small business owners across Australia scrambling to put in place measures to protect their business health.
The Government announced a multi-billion dollar coronavirus economic rescue package to help workers and businesses through these trying financial times but businesses can’t rely on Government compensation alone to get through the crisis. They need to keep their employees and clients informed, make the right operational changes and plan for the worst.
This doesn’t mean giving up, far from it, but it does mean we all need to realise the extent of the situation and plan accordingly. It isn’t time to panic, and if you put a flexible plan in place and manage the risks to your business as best you can, you’ll survive the crisis. Here are 6 tips to help you manage the risks to your business and safeguard your business health.
Stay On Top of Insurance and Financial Reporting
Major crises tend to make businesses realise just how important insurance is. If you haven’t checked your insurance policies to see how you’re covered (and to make sure you’re protected), do so now. Also, ensure that your financial reporting is up to date and that you have a comprehensive understanding of business’s financial health.
Knowing where your business is at financially is more important than ever and will help you make the most informed decisions about how you’ll operate during the coronavirus crisis.
Keep Your Employees Informed
You rely on your employees and they rely on you — now more than ever. Australian workers are doing it tough in many industries and those in the most at-risk industries are worried that they’re going to lose their jobs. While this may not be about to happen in your business, you still have a duty to keep your employees informed and up to date with what’s going on.
If your team is now working from home, send out a daily email or set aside 15 minutes for a quick catch up. It doesn’t take much to keep your employees posted and minimise the panic many organisations are currently experiencing. And if you think you’ll need to reduce hours or shut down temporarily to survive the crisis, give your team as much notice as possible.
Communicate with Your Clients
As with your employees, it doesn’t take much to keep your clients in the loop. For many business owners, the crisis has really brought to light just how important supply chains are and how our businesses are interconnected and reliant upon one another.
If you feel there’s a chance that your business may need to operate at reduced capacity or close temporarily, advise your clients as soon as you can. This crisis will shake things up for many businesses, and client relationships are more important than ever.
Develop a Flexible Contingency Plan
The coronavirus crisis is unprecedented and no one knows what to expect over the coming days, weeks and months. This means you need to make a contingency plan and ensure the plan you create is as flexible as possible.
Naturally, contingency plans will vary from business to business depending on the products and services provided, but as all Australian businesses can expect a downturn in trade and revenue, creating a plan that addresses the downturn is vital.
Cut Non-Essential Overheads
Haven’t started cutting non-essential overheads? Start now. For many businesses, outgoing expenditure can be minimised to help safeguard their financial health but also consider your employees and any suppliers reliant on your business.
Know What You’re Entitled To
Many small businesses are eligible for the economic support the Government has planned with its economic rescue packages. If you’re a sole trader or self-employed, you’re eligible to access the Government’s jobseeker payment and coronavirus supplement. The latest rescue package also provides financial support for small businesses, including a tax-free payment of up to $100,000 that’s designed to keep workers employed. Approximately 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million workers are eligible for these payments.
The Fifth Avenue Lifestyle team hopes these tips are insightful and help you safeguard your business health during and following the coronavirus crisis. Take care and stay safe!