We understand many businesses and people are suffering during these uncertain times.
Dealing with limited to no income for even a short amount of time can be tough, and potentially dismantle your business, let alone dealing with the impacts of a longer shutdown cycle. We are witnessing the impact on a broad range of businesses.
As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, we hope you are taking the necessary precautions to stay safe. With many countries enforcing a strict lockdown to battle the pandemic, plenty of businesses have taken a big hit.
If your business is one of these, you might be wondering how to stay afloat during this crisis. We will briefly cover a few available support options in this blog, including what grants and financial support is available from the government, negotiation of commercial rent assistance between landlords and tenants, and various other steps you can take to improve the health of your business and fight through this pandemic.
Instead of backing down, we recommend you focus on strengthening your business from the inside out. Let’s look at a few ways to do this and how the Chapman & Frazer team can help support you.
Understanding if you are an “impacted business”?
How do you know if your business is considered to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic? Depending on what sort of business you run, you may or may not feel the pressure of Covid-19. Some businesses are thriving while others are quickly breaking down. If you are an ‘impacted business’ then you will have various support options available from the government.
For many of the available options for financial assistance, the government will have a base criteria for our business to have suffered a 30% reduction in revenue. There are other eligibility criteria, so make sure you review services.nsw.gov.au to understand what packages are available and if your business qualifies for some or multiple support measures. This information will help you in determining whether you are an ‘impacted business’.
A good approach to determining the ongoing impact on your business and what assistance options are available is to consistently check the Government’s accessible websites such as service NSW (noted above) to see what restrictions you will have to follow in order to keep your business up and running or what restrictions might prevent the flow of customers.
This way you will be able to adapt your business during the pandemic in a way that doesn’t compromise health, and you will also be able to access the assistance measures put in place by the government to help you get through this tough period.
Brief guide to government support options
The Government offers several different support options for you during Covid-19. This is great for all types of business people as there are many different resources that are beneficial to all business owners.
There are one-off grants (such as the business grant, or the micro-business grant) to help cover some of your base business costs, and other support measures such as JobSaver payments (subsidising the cost of your wages), small business fees and charges rebates, payroll tax support and more. More information is available on the Services NSW website.
Looking at business support packages – this is definitely a topic to discuss with your accountant, as this article is no substitute for professional, personalised business advice.
Ensure you’re well-informed on what support and help is available to you:
Australian Government COVID-19 assistance for business | business.gov.au
Support for businesses and employers | Australian Taxation Office (ato.gov.au)
What other support is available?
For ‘impacted businesses’ there is a framework in place for commercial landlords and tenants to negotiate financial assistance (rental assistance) where needed.
If you are an impacted business and want to know what support may be available in this regard, please contact us to review your specific circumstances and what assistance may be available.
There are lots of other options that can help your business, whether in a small or significant way, and it all helps to keep your business viable.
Work on your online presence! You might not think it’s super important but if you want to not only keep your business alive but make it grow, you need to put yourself out there with your branding in order to gain support from fellow consumers/clients.
Liaise with your professional network regularly to see what they are doing in their own businesses, or what advice they are offering their clients.
If you need to speak or meet with us, we have the ability to hold meetings and consultations with clients via electronic means, including telephone, email, Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Microsoft Teams. We are also continuing to build our online marketing for our clients i.e. electronic direct mail and sponsored social media advertising.
Here are a few other things to consider:
- Put health and safety first
- Assess the impact on operations
- Reach out to your network
- Be ready to adapt
- Evaluate your finances
- Stay on top of the fast-changing compliance landscape
- Be prepared for the light at the end of the tunnel
Diversifying your Business
During a time like this it is important to remain on the positive side. Use this unfortunate situation and turn it into an opportunity for business development. Remember the adage: The obstacle is the way!
What options are worthwhile when it comes to diversifying your business during the pandemic?
- In what ways can we develop our business
- Can we use the internet to our advantage when it comes to broadening our customer base? i.e. online marketing / advertising
- Adapt and adjust your current goods/services to be more easily accessible
- Review what the leaders in your industry are doing – can you emulate or be inspired by their actions
- Focus on your primary goals! What are you trying to achieve? Remember, it may be better to not overdo it; aggressively targeting too. Many goals could spread you and your resources too thin. Start off with the highest value activities and continue to review your progress and keep on track.
Making Tough Business Decisions
What kind of decisions do you need to make to save your business? These are the decisions that are impactful and need to be carefully thought out before making these big changes. Avoiding necessary tough decisions could be costly for your business, so get tough and don’t postpone these.
While making a tough decision for your business is not easy, remember that you have a responsibility to your organisation to keep it viable, so making that tough call is the best thing overall.
These decisions might be around employees (work hours, role continuity, organisational restructure, etc) or suppliers (discontinuing services, renegotiating rates, implementing payment plans, etc) or what services you offer, or any number of other things that impact the operation and viability of your business. Just don’t put off the tough decision. If you do, the decision might be taken out of your hands and then it’s too late to save your business.
As a broad framework for helping you review what is important to your business, consider the following key values and control measures for different economic cycles:
Traditional business values: To protect the financial health and viability of the enterprise
Key Measures: Revenue, Cost , Risk
Crisis and disruption: To protect the health and safety of employees, customers and community
Key Measures: Safety, Continuity, Resilience
Social and emotional: To protect the emotional health of the community, and deliver on the enterprise value system in a manner that reflects current societal priorities
Key Measures: Community, Emotional, Ethical
We strongly advocate for clearer, more concise communication with your staff and customers during this period. Business transparency will help to ease their uncertainty and allow them to focus on the job at hand, which will serve you both well.
The team at Chapman & Frazer Commercial Real Estate are always here for you. Once again, as a small business we also appreciate your continued support through this period, as well as your understanding of the adjustments we are all having to make.
Please stay safe, look after yourselves and your families, and feel free to reach out to us if you have any queries about the continuing delivery of our services.
P: 4325 0208
E: [email protected]