The coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis has presented itself as a significant threat to small business owners besides human health. These proprietors of small commercial establishments in Australia have continued to feel the inconveniences that the pandemic caused, experiencing the dire effects of the global healthcare threat to their enterprises. The coronavirus crisis has altered the business landscape tremendously and left commercial establishments grappling to survive the shutdowns. Hence, the small business owners have found it challenging to know how they can proactively manage their ventures and keep it going.
Governments’ Reactions and Their Impacts on Small Businesses
The State and Federal Governments of Australia have taken several steps to curb the risks that the coronavirus poses to public health. These restrictions have forced the closure of thousands of small enterprises across the nation. Shutting down non-essential businesses and limiting the movement of people are among the other measures taken by the governments nationwide. Furthermore, the Australian authorities have issued proclamations confirming the distribution of multi-billion-dollar worth of support and stimulus packages for small business owners.
Some owners of small commercial ventures believed that the regulations issued had made their operating models impossible. The government-ordered shutdowns and stay-at-home protocols have left some small businesses forced to the wall. The entrepreneurs and their commercial establishments struggled to manage because of the modified business environment, even if they could still operate successfully. Furthermore, the measures that the country’s administrators imposed have had plenty of commercial establishment owners grappling with supply disruptions and labour shortages. They have faced a sudden drop in demand for services and products as well. Although other small business owners have been able to adjust fast to the altered circumstances, some found their adaptation choices limited.
6 Tips for Owners of Small Businesses to Survive COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has left plenty of small business owners dealing with the adverse effects of the closures. These proprietors of Australian commercial establishments wonder about until when the “storm” will last. Plus, they may have queries lingering regarding how they would manage post-COVID-19. The six recommended courses of action below are measures that can aid small businesses in managing through the coronavirus crisis. Undertaking them can place the business people’s ventures in the most optimal position for recovery.
1. Re-evaluate the performance of one’s enterprise.
During the coronavirus crisis, small business owners can benefit from taking their time performing a reality check. They can ask themselves regarding the performance of their commercial venture before the outbreak of the global healthcare threat. Moreover, they can check if their enterprise can still operate amid the expanded restrictions that the Australian administrators had imposed on business activity and travel. By performing these measures, the proprietors can formulate contingency plans that may comprise how their business can carry on with their operations amid the lockdowns. Also, entrepreneurs can determine how they want their enterprise to be post-COVID-19.
2. Check the financial health of the business.
Owners of small businesses should be fully aware of the financial wellness of their enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should regularly check this aspect of their business ventures. The financial position of a commercial establishment typically determines the payment of outstanding debts and pending government restrictions. Moreover, it decides the fulfilment of existing loan or leasing repayments, keeping employees, and the capability of the enterprise to trade amid the crisis. Updating the financials of the business allows entrepreneurs to make informed decisions based on the commercial venture’s financial situation.
3. Check if one is qualified for government aid and seek financial advice early.
Small business owners can obtain the help they need by checking their eligibility for government assistance. The Government of Australia has released several COVID-19 stimulus packages to aid entrepreneurs in managing the disruptions to their business ventures. An example of these relief solutions is the JobSeeker Payment that sole traders have access to and consists of coronavirus supplement remuneration. Furthermore, small business operators should seek professional advice immediately if they are in financially difficult situations. Professional accountants have access to the most updated resources. They can assist the proprietors of small businesses in cash flow management, as well as the investigation of expenses and saving money significantly. Plus, these financial specialists can help entrepreneurs manage through the COVID-19 crisis via dispensing business planning advice and assisting with government subsidies application.
4. If possible, settle any due payables and keep lenders updated.
If entrepreneurs can keep their finances organised amid the coronavirus pandemic, it would help them tremendously if they pay any due balances they have with their banks and landlords immediately. In this manner, they can prevent their bills from piling up undesirably. Furthermore, small business operators should open their communication lines with their lenders. They should communicate with each other regarding the status of the business, the payments that the lender can defer, and the relief that the entrepreneurs can get if they are experiencing financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Owners of small businesses can benefit if they express to their financial lenders or banks their need for assistance on any loans or mortgages as well.
5. Reach out to esteemed clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
During the COVID-19 crisis, small business owners must update their stakeholders regarding the conditions of the commercial establishment. Entrepreneurs should keep their customers updated regarding their products and services. Moreover, these owners of enterprises can utilise their online sales platforms to reach their clients who are quarantining in their homes. The proprietors of small businesses need to communicate with their primary suppliers as well. Together, they should discuss the capacity to deliver reliably during the coronavirus pandemic and the consideration of alternative suppliers. Finally, entrepreneurs should detail their plans to their employees. They should explain calmly and clearly how these workers would get impacted by the business decision-makers’ agenda during the coronavirus pandemic. In this manner, the staff of the firm will be aware of the courses of action they need to take.
6. Communicate with one’s support network for advice and aid.
Entrepreneurs’ mental health can get affected by the coronavirus crisis severely. It is because the existence and fate of their commercial ventures could hang in the balance. Therefore, they can maintain their positive mental wellness through communicating and building their networks. Small business owners can receive the assistance and motivation they need from these support networks they organised, which can consist of other small enterprise operators. Together they can trade innovative practices and coping ideas amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus crisis may, indeed, have left small business owners wondering how their commercial ventures can survive. These entrepreneurs may feel the pangs of their enterprises losing customers and getting left with substantial financial woes. Nevertheless, small business operators can help themselves and their enterprises manage through the coronavirus crisis. They have a choice of staying proactive and cooperating with their stakeholders. Moreover, these entrepreneurs can manage amid the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping themselves updated with the latest information. They can ask for assistance from the government and other relevant institutions as well. Taking these measures will aid these proprietors in getting that fighting spirit they require to face the present challenges and eventually survive along with their business ventures.