What Businesses Can Do Post COVID-19 To Succeed | SLiM DIGITAL

What Businesses Can Do Post-COVID-19


March 17, 2020

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and
Business Around Australia

(updated 13th of May 2020)

I wrote the below piece in response to the COVID-19 health and economic restrictions being placed on businesses all over Australia and around the globe.  Australia is currently rolling back restrictions, with some success.  And we’re one of the first countries on the planet to do it, and certainly the first among our major trading partners.  And whilst this is not good news generally, the competitive advantage that it gives Australia is enormous.  As Robert Gottliebsen of The Australian said this week, this is a once in a generation opportunity that we need to take.

 

There were some that scoffed and sniggered at my suggestion that business could thrive in a COVID-19 world, but now those that have managed to not just survive the iso period, but have pivoted and thrived, can take the next step and look to take advantage of international gaps.  I expect more manufacturing will be local, tourism will be domestic, and essential services that were once privatised may be brought back under the umbrella of the state.  But not only these industries, but a possible trade war with our major trading partner, China, looms as crucial in how businesses change tact and fill the spaces that have developed and look to opportunities that begin to reveal themselves overseas.

 

Australia is now the safest, most advanced economy to invest in.  We stand on the threshold of servicing international markets we haven’t supported in decades.  But this won’t last long.  Other countries will repair and catch up quickly.  What this means for businesses in Australia is that it’s time to start analysing the gaps and international opportunities.  Now is the time to develop business and marketing strategies for these new markets, and investments.  Take the time, especially if you’re in the Eastern States, with limited rollback, to plan what your business and it’s marketing looks like in a post-COVID-19 world.

 

For those just starting out with their planning, have a look at the basic questionnaire and templates we offer.  Make a start on your new business plan.  And if you need a hand, give me a call.  The NT still has a number of generous grants available to cover business and strategic plans.  All the best in taking advantage of this generational opportunity.

 

Aaron McMahon

0467 733 796
aaron@slimdigital.com.au

 

Business Advice During COVID-19 Restrictions (Below)

(updated 23rd of March 2020)

I’m not normally given over to panic; a good deal of glass half full realism, but not panic.  However, it doesn’t take an MBA and Bachelor of Economics to see the future isn’t so rosy.  The impact of the precautions of COVID-19 is not just a figment of my imagination, but it’s very real now.  Borders have closed, flights have just about stopped, and a list of businesses have been forced to shut down.  The end result is that we’ll stay home, won’t spend and hoard not just toilet paper but also our money (disposable income).  But If no one is spending then no one is getting paid either.

The impact of shutting down much of the economy has seen queues snake around the block for Centrelink.  But I’m not here selling more doom and gloom, but a small glimmer of opportunity.  In every crisis there is opportunity. This is the chance for some businesses to show that they’re safe, secure and still a good place to do commerce.  People want to continue to do business; to work, buy, and sell; they just want to do it safely and in accordance to the advice and directions being given.

This is the chance to set up your business as COVID-19 Safe (or at least every precautions has been made).  Here’s a list of things I believe will make your business survive and even maybe even thrive in this environment:

  • Crisis Plan.  Don’t be mistaken, for most businesses this is a crisis.  So make a plan.  Don’t let this just happen.  Have key decision points to assist in how you change, adapt or downsize.  Survival is crucial, but so is knowing when to let go. Sometimes the hardest decisions in life are whether to press on or turn around. Give me a call and we can do an online crisis planning session (using ASBAS or maybe the Business Solutions Growth Grant).
  • Try not to stop doing what you do. Don’t stop your core business unless you’re legally obliged to do so.  If you own a restaurant, do take-away; if you have real estate business, do video open homes; if you run courses, do them online; if you have a gym, start doing live stream workouts.
  • Look After Your People. Your staff and how you treat them are a reflection of the type of company you are. I understand that for many small businesses keeping staff on with greatly reduced revenue just isn’t possible.  There are a few grants available to help with that, but I do encourage business to make the right choice for them and make it quickly; there is no benefit in running your business into the ground just to keep  your one or two staff members, and then everyone loses their job.  But if you can, a statement like:

“Our staff will be well looked after over this period, and the ability to work from home, or recover, should they fall ill, will be accommodated.  We will also be offering leave to our staff should they be required to care for a sick family member.  This will include caring for parents who are in high-risk categories. This will also include staff who have children at any school that is closed down over this period, due to the virus.”

  • Remote/Virtual Working. We live in 2020 and working remotely should be part of our weekly or monthly routine.  It’s not for many businesses, which is why I urge organisations to start today.  Call up your IT firm or Cyber Security company and get set up.  I really good read on how to do this can be found here.
  • Virtual Offices. Many businesses are very nearly paperless.  This may be the chance to get to that 100% mark of being completely paperless. Chat to your IT company about making that happen.  There are some great opportunities for small business through the ASBAS program.  Also, you can offer virtual/VOIP/Skype/FaceTime meetings.  This is time to think outside the square; If you have a bricks and mortar shop, can you offer customers a virtual walkthrough of your inventory or get your stock online quickly?
  • Digital Advertising. As people stay home more often and for longer the opportunity to be front of mind, with their increasing disposable cash is unique.  Now’s the chance to make the most of this couch time and get in front of people as they scroll Facebook for the latest news.  People will be shopping online, doing their finances and paperwork for that pre-approved loan, researching their next holiday at the end of the year.  Whilst others spend less on marketing, now’s the time to spend more.  But not in a tone deaf way.  Ads that worked a week ago will sound poor in today’s climate. But don’t stop.  Find the right balance of empathy and hope and allow people to continue to shop despite the restrictions.
  • Time for Planning. There may be no better time for a small business owner and their team, than one that is enforced.  There is likely to be space to conduct a business planning or a marketing planning session, or some consolidated HR reviews.   Take this time to work on the business not just in the business.  Here’s some templates you can use in your planning sessions.
  • Not all jobs are work from home jobs. Since I first wrote this post, things have changed a great deal.  The problem is that a number of business cannot operate virtually and may be shut down by the changes in the increased precautions.  What do businesses do here?  Skip to the bottom and have a look at what grants and assistance may apply.  But I’d encourage everyone to:
  • Grants.  There are a stack of grants and stimulus packages being announced.  This list is by no means complete, but might be of some help:

Federal Government Stimulus Packages and Here.  These are substantial packages and may can help your business survive the next 2-6 months (that’s right, this doesn’t look like ending any time soon).

 

NT Government Stimulus Package

NT Tourism Reliance Plan

NT Growth Grants

  • Examples.  Here’s some examples of what other organisations are saying at this time:
Tourism NT
VaultRE
Pitcher Partners
Agent Box

 

I wish all business the best in this difficult time and if you want any more advice about what you could be doing, please give me a call.  I’ll be working from home like I have been for the past 6 years, and able to assist wherever you are in Australia.

And most importantly, stay positive.  Be positive to your staff and customers.  Show people that you care, and you’re still open for business in a safe, secure and legal way.  This is your chance to set yourself apart, or reinvent what you do.

Kind regards,

Aaron McMahon
Creative Director
SLiM DIGITAL

0467 733 796

aaron@slimdigital.com.au

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