COVID-19 has impacted businesses across the globe. 

Rural Business Support Northern Region has brought together three key studies to find out how small businesses have reacted to COVID-19, and what similarities each success story share, to make five key recommendations for small businesses for the future.

How has Covid-19 Affected Small Businesses?

Small Businesses are agile and creative in the way they deal with problems. But they’re also vulnerable. Covid-19 has affected thousands of small businesses in Australia, which will be felt for years to come.

But there is hope, and for many small businesses, the roadmap out of lockdown will be a welcome sight.

If COVID-19 has impacted you to the point of temporary or permanent closure, our Small Business Support team can offer free financial guidance and support.

We’ve collated five key recommendations on how to navigate the Australian Gov’s roadmap for reopening.

  1. Know where you stand

Before you can confidently move forward, it’s so important to know where you stand financially. Get clear on:

  • Cash Flow
  • Expenses
  • Profit and Loss

By comparing your cash flow statements and your profit and loss statements against the same period two years ago (or prior to the pandemic), you’re able to gauge where you are.

  1. Improve Accuracy and Timeliness of Bookkeeping 

If COVID has taught us one thing, it’s that the future of small business is digital. It’s now become critical to sustainability.

According to a study by Forrester Consulting, 74% of small business owners relied on government funding to stay afloat during the pandemic.

Without digital records of cash flow, small businesses would struggle to qualify for grants and govt. support.

Cash flow is vital to the survival of small business, and without easy to access data on all things financial, you’ll bury yourself in bookwork and struggle to keep up.

  1. Set and Monitor Goals

Now that we have an idea of where we are financially, we can set goals to define where we want to be.

But be pragmatic. If your goal is to buy a house, and you’re currently turning over $50,000 per annum, make sure you first set-up some attainable micro goals to start the journey. 

Perhaps the first goal would be to reach $70,000 turnover. Then goal 2, save $10,000 towards a house deposit.

If your goals are unachievable, you won’t reach them and will give up quickly.

  1. Weekly Review

Regular and consistent reviews of goals. Clarity on numbers and monitoring week to week.

  1. Communicate Effectively

72% of customers agree that better communication would dilute most customer disputes.

Especially following the pandemic, customers are now used to delayed parcels, longer wait times and disrupted opening/closing hours.

As long as you communicate clearly and effectively with your customers, in most cases, they will understand, and trust you more for it.

–END–

References

  1. Forrester Consulting – The Next Chapter for Small Business
  2. PNAS – The impact of COVID-19 on small business outcomes and expectations
  3. Davidson Institute: Discover financial resilience tips to help your business navigate COVID-19