It's challenging times, but we believe there's hope. Here are 3 areas we can focus on.
The World Health Organisation has characterised the coronavirus as a pandemic, and since its onset just a few months ago, it has had massive health, economic and lifestyle impact on the world.
What can small businesses be doing in these challenging times?
Practise good hygiene
COVID-19 is found to be a highly contagious respiratory illness, and while some of us would only experience mild flu-like symptoms, we don’t want to endanger those most at risk in our community. For the elderly and immune-compromised, COVID-19 can become very serious, very quickly. Good hygiene can prevent infection - follow the advice already out there and encourage your family and colleagues to do the same.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Use hand sanitiser when hand washing isn’t possible.
- Avoid touching your face to spread infection, as the coronavirus has been found to survive on hard surfaces.
- Using a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoiding close contact with others.
- Avoid crowded spaces and maintain social distancing of up to 1m if possible.
- If you are feeling unwell, seek medical advice and stay home in isolation.
- Avoid unnecessary travel if possible, or follow official government travel guidelines.
Read more about the coronavirus symptoms, treatment and prevention here.
Check how the Australian Government Economic Package affects your business
In response to the economic impact the Coronavirus has had, the Australian Government has released a stimulus package which includes investment incentives and tax measures. One of the clear winners for this stimulus package is small business, with government assistance to include:
- Increasing the instant asset write-off
- Backing business investment by accelerating depreciation deductions
- Boosting cash flow for employers that employ staff
- Supporting 50% of wages paid for apprentices and trainees
Find out more about how your small business could benefit from the package here.
Invest in your internal systems & processes
A possible lockdown looms in the near future, and some businesses and schools have already chosen to operate from home - a display of social distancing and possible lead into self isolation in the near future. This is no doubt going to further impact on the economy, and small business. In this situation, how can we maintain productivity? How do we best prepare for our business to recover loss of revenue when our customers are not willing to spend or are unable to purchase or engage with us face to face?
With this slow down in the economy, small businesses should take the opportunity to shift the focus on reviewing and improving their internal processes and systems. This will place them in a stronger position to recover from this setback. Here are some of the things we can do as a small business during this time:
- Review workforce management levels vs demand for products and services.
- Encourage leave of absence, or if needed forced unpaid leave to increase chances for future job security.
- Training/retraining - look for personal development opportunities.
- Empower staff to take online training courses.
- Review customer journey - seek opportunities for improvement.
- Review marketing efforts - are you connecting with your customer effectively?
- Brand review - does your brand resonate with your customers, products and services?
- Review your communications plan to ensure it's effective and you're reaching and connecting with your customers.
- Stay positive and focus your time, effort and energy back into the company.