The COVID-19 pandemic has been wreaking havoc among the greatest nations in the world, and there is no running away from this lethal virus. It has adversely affected the most advanced economies in the world, and small businesses have been at the receiving end of this calamity. With restrictions posed by the Federal and state government, many of the small entities have been forced to close their shops.
A few of them have moved their business online, but are struggling to survive due to plummeting sales. The most populated city in Australia, Sydney, has been wearing a deserted look amidst the lockdown. The crisis has been especially damaging for businesses, such as restaurants, bars and beauty salons, which are finding it hard to break-even during the hibernation period.
If you were among those who had recently bought a profit- making business for sale in Sydney, then you must be feeling anxious and restless due to the current situation. It is natural to get disturbed by the reduced flow of capital. However, it is not the end of the road. Every cloud has a silver lining, and this is the time to adapt and evolve your business according to the changing scenario. So here are a few tips on surviving the pandemic like a true professional.
1. Take Stock of The Finances
You should not unnecessarily get impatient or depressed thinking about global deaths and the downturn. It is time to pull up your socks and think about getting out of the situation. The first thing to consider is that you will still have to pay your bills, salaries and rent even when no sales happening. So you should know how much money is available to pay for these expenses during the shutdown or with minimal sales.
You must get in touch with your bookkeeper to understand how you can manage the expenditure and how you can stay afloat for the next few months under the restrictions. Speak to other entrepreneurs and friends in the industry for advice. Prepare a financial plan that will help you to forecast the incomings and outgoings for the next three months.
2. Take Advantage of Government’s Relief Packages
The NSW government has introduced a business financial stimulus package which aims to support entities profoundly affected by COVID-19. The initiatives include increasing the tax-free threshold to $1 million starting from July 1, 2020. The payroll tax has been deferred for six months for companies with payroll above $10 million.
Also, the rent for commercial tenants in government-owned properties having less than 20 workers has been deferred for six months. The license, registration and permit fee has been waived for one year on new applications and renewals for eligible businesses and individuals.
3. Involve Your Employees
Make sure that you retain your staff, and the government is helping in this regard by offering a wage subsidy of $1500 every fortnight for up to six months for eligible businesses. Thus you do not have to relinquish your talented team and utilise them to come up with ideas of business development.
You can ask them to work from home so that they do not feel uncertain about their jobs and salaries. You must provide them with the required software and tools to best utilise their time in lockdown. You can organise online training classes to boost their morale and develop their skills.
If your employees can operate from home, then having a remote workforce is better for your business. It will help you to keep things moving at a lower cost, and you will achieve higher productivity. Working online will help you to reduce the operational expenses and meet the demands of your consumers.
4. Leverage New Opportunities
Necessity is the mother of invention. It stands true in the current times as businesses are reshaping themselves and innovating in such testing times to come up with new services to help customers. The consumers are still in need of all the products and services, but they are not moving out of their homes. So take your products and services to them through contact-less deliveries and digital payments.
Create plans on making changes to your operations that can help you sustain the company during the pandemic. For instance, many restaurant businesses are delivering groceries and wine to maintain their cash-flow and fitness studios are offering online classes for yoga, meditation and Zumba. Thus you must identify how you can make the most of this unprecedented situation.
5. Communicate With Your Customers
Your customers are your biggest asset, and you cannot let them hang in doubt about your services. You must stay in touch with them and inform them about the changes that your business is making during the pandemic. Put out your message on the homepage of your website, send customised emails and call them personally. Reassure them that you are going to deliver your orders and be honest about any delays in shipment.
Offer them incentives, such as a 10% discount on the next purchase. You can also ask for supporting your local business and showing solidarity with the business community by continuing transactions. Pay attention to the guidelines of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to follow consumer obligations during delays, suspensions and cancellations of orders.
6. Contact Banks and Insurers
The Australian Banking Association announced in March that loan repayments for small businesses will be deferred for six months. The approval process has been expedited by banks to provide relief to struggling small businesses and boost the economy. The deferral threshold has also been increased and now covers 98% of the businesses which have taken a loan from an Australian bank.
It will help companies to save some money and utilise it for their functioning. The step is also aimed at supporting commercial landlords financially so that they do not terminate leases or ask the tenants to vacate the premises due to non-payment of rent during COVID-19. Thus you can speak to your landlord and discuss a financial arrangement to reduce the impact on your business.
7. Sole Traders Can Use Superannuation
Various sole traders, such as a fashion boutique owner or a hairstylist, have had to suspend their businesses due to self-isolation and social distancing rules being followed in Sydney. Such businesses and others which have endured a decline of 20% or more in their turnover due to the current situation can withdraw money from their superannuation account.
As per an announcement made by the Federal Government, it will be a tax-free withdrawal with a cap of $10,000 for this financial year and the same cap will be applicable in the next financial year. These funds can help you to survive the pandemic and invest in opportunities that can be leveraged at this hour.
The past few months have been turbulent for small businesses, and have put the entrepreneurs in a tight spot. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. Thus if you have purchased a business for sale in Sydney, then make use of the tips mentioned above and help your company to come out of this disaster with minimum damage.