2020 has brought a new meaning to highs and lows, especially for those who are business operators and trying to keep things stable in a time where there is no certainty. Fortunately, many businesses have proved to be an example of what is possible if you pivot your offering and think creatively within these global constraints. Of course, not every business can completely flip the switch and become a revenue-generating business during these times, so let’s look at the things we can control to keep our business stable in times of economic certainty.
If you’re finding that you can’t keep a handle on the new pressure that might be presenting in your business, then accounting software might remove some complexity and automate processes that previously weighed you down. If you have had to let go of staff members during these times, then this software is going to be a saving grace as the responsibility won’t be passed on to the remaining employees. If you haven’t used these programs before, they are completely frictionless and make paying invoices or payroll an easy event that is compatible with your legal responsibilities.
Explore Grants and Government Support
Every few years, a state and federal budget is drafted to support the individuals and commercial businesses that reside in the country, as well as comprehensive financial packages to support those navigating tough times. Take the time to explore what government grants and incentives you might be entitled to, and start applying for them. As taxpayers, we should feel encouraged to seek help, as your success as a business owner contributes to the success of a city and country. Obviously these grants vary in size and eligibility but don’t forget to apply for the smaller incentives, as even small financial support can go a long way.
Suspend Any Outgoings That You Cannot Sustain
Many businesses will look at their outgoings and make a snap decision that they cannot keep going in this direction and need to close up shop. This isn’t always necessary, and a more strategic way to assess the health of your business is to understand what your current financial commitments are and decide what can be suspended for the time being. Subscriptions and memberships are a good place to start. Perhaps every member of your workforce has a LinkedIn Premium account and that’s sucking $70/employee a month from your bottom line, or you might have three different newspapers delivered to your office every day. Get serious about what is vital and what is unnecessary and then analyse your financial standing once these expenses have been removed.
Call on Your Employees and Customers
Any stigma that might have been attached to asking for help is no longer a factor when you learn that most people are doing it tough in economic uncertainty. To gain some stability in your business, don’t be afraid to have frank discussions with your employees about the market and your plan forward. You might also ask that they take some of their paid or unpaid leave within the financial year to cushion your outgoings, or if they have any other way they can help support the business. This will only be a reasonable request if you have built a rapport with your team and respect their commitment, so approach this request with empathy.
You should also feel empowered to communicate with your customers and tell them how they can support you through these uncertain times. This could be buying merchandise, gift vouchers, signing up to your newsletter – it all helps and there is no harm in asking for support.
The one benefit to an economic downturn is that we are all in this together, and achieve great results when we support our neighbours and the businesses that are important to our lives. Review these four tips we have discussed here today and consider how you can make these changes in your own operation.