What can Businesses do to keep going during COVID- 19 Sole Traders.
What can your business do to keep going during the COVID-19? No one saw this coming right? I don’t know a single person within my circle that hasn’t noted changed in their business as a direct result of COVID-19. Some have seen an increase, whilst the majority have not.
It feels like crisis after crisis. The drought, then fires, panic buying and I still haven’t been able to purchase hand sanitizer or wipes or toilet paper. I’m been asked if we are at the end of the world!!! We aren’t, but the world won’t be the same again, the way we think, eat, operate, communicate, do business is changed forever.
On my walk yesterday along the beach path, I had to pass a lady with her arms out and a water bottle on either side of her hands???
What can businesses do to keep going during COVID-19? How do we recover? How are you now? If you are not coping, need financial assistance please reach out .
To help you manage business disruption associated with coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve put together a range of support information focused on the needs of small business ownersto assist with keeping going during COVID-19.
The State and Federal Governments have announced small support packages for small business.
- Federal Government stimulus package (as at 30 March 2020)
- government and financial support packages – updated 2 April
- restrictions on business activities and social gatherings – updated 1 April
- how to prepare your business – updated 31 March
- employer obligations – updated 20 March
- support and advisory services – updated 20 March
- free online webinars – updated 30 March
- free online learning portal – updated 27 March
- Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
- On 20 March 2020, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) also announced that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.
- Eligible businesses can apply to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for tax relief on certain tax obligations, such as deferring tax payments. Read the ATO’s information on Covid-19, call them on 1800 806 218 or speak to your tax professional so that they can work with you to find a solution.
- The Financial Counsellors’ Association provides free and confidential support. They can provide you with information, strategies and guidance to help you with any financial difficulties you are experiencing.
- The Australian Banking Association provides a list of the hardship team contact details for most banks in Australia. These teams can help you in times of financial hardship.
- beyondblue and Ahead for Business have free online resources to help with emotional support. You can also seek help by phone
Stay Safe from CORID – 19 and keep informed.
Nothing is more important than you! I’m sure you have now heard about the importance of washing your hands, social distancing. Safeguard your staff from getting sick along with your cutomers. Have crosses marked for customers to know where to stand, hand santizer at the entrance or on counters, no handshakes or hugs 🙂 Where possible allow staff to work remotely.
Stay in touch with your customers
Proactively share important information with your customers using:
- your website
- Facebook Page
- Instagram Business Profile
- or however you typically connect
Facebook has created a hub for business during this time and you can find out more HERE. They suggest:
- update your Page hours to show your customers how and when you’re available for business
- Notify customers of any changes or modifications to your availability or services by updating your Page Info and selecting Open With Service Changes or Temporarily Closed, depending on your situation.
Look for other ways to communicate with your customers. Not just as mentioned above but Whats App, Web Chat.
Australians will now be able to access up-to-date official information through a new federal government app, this will allow for people to get the latest information on the number of cases in Australia, along with news on restrictions and travel bans.
Work from home
If you haven’t already made the shift to work from home this is a great option, however it isn’t possible for all roles and all businesess.
Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins is one of the countless big businesses leading the way with work from home measures. She has told media that she asked all of her 870 staff to work from home last week.
Understand your current financial position
This is critical, you need to know where you stand currently.
- What have you got coming in and what is going out?
- Ask your suppliers for better pricing or payment terms
- Consider a payment holiday for 30-60-90 days
- Negotiate with lenders how you can increase credit or decrease repayments.
- Negotiate your rent and access the offers in place to assist you with this. How to do this read here.
We encourage you to call your landlord to discuss what arrangements can be put in place regarding your lease, particularly if your business can no longer operate.
On 29 March, the Australian Government announced a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus. Commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions are encouraged to sit down together to find a way through this period to ensure that businesses can survive and be there on the other side.
Seek Advice on Deferring Tax Payments
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can grant you a deferral of certain tax obligations if your business is impacted by COVID-19. Call the ATO on 1800 806 218 or speak to your tax professional to discuss your options. Deferring payments may impact on your eligibility for other stimulus package options, so seek professional advice.
Remember as the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. So how can we keep selling and doing business during COVID-19? Diversify. If you don’t have a digital presence now is the time to look at what this could look like. Give me a call on 0438 222 060 to go through options to suit your business and your suitation.
Consider whether you can draw on your superannuation
If you are a sole trader whose hours of work or income has fallen by 20 per cent or more as a result of the pandemic, the Federal Government is allowing you to access your superannuation. This is capped at $10,000 this financial year and a further $10,000 next financial year. The withdrawals will be tax free.
Build your networks
This is an important time to reach out to your networks for support and advice. Being able to keep some control over your situation is good for your positive mental health. Keep communicating with your support networks and speak with other small businesses to share ideas and innovative practices.
A write up from Smart Company suggests:
Don’t panic, instead, look for opportunities. Clever investors, business leaders and salespeople look at downturns in markets as opportunities find new ways, new solutions, new markets. They look at the evidence at hand, the trends that are emerging and see opportunity, when many others see disaster. These people aren’t idealistic or oblivious to the challenges facing communities, markets and economies.
Thisi is thetime to ramp up market research, market presence and sales efforts by getting in front of the right people , prospecting and investigating where people and markets are at and how they can help them. They understand that selling is the vehicle that allows opportunity to flourish and people, businesses, economies and societies to prosper.
New markets and new ways of operating can emerge during a crisis.
Try to stay level-headed and to assess pragmatically what can be done to hold your ground, or even progress into new opportunities without putting your business at risk.
So keep the doors open and find ways to keep on selling and doing business.
There are more opportunities than you think.
If you would like to chat about where you are at and how we can help you please contact us as we are here to help.
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