What You Can Do Today If Your Business Is Struggling

By Anthony De Filippis

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“What?! You mean I can actually do stuffs and things to keep my business ticking along?”

For us Sydney-siders, we thought we were in the clear for a good 12 months but this new Bondi cluster has had us thinking again. Oh yeah, we get it. The COVID-19 crisis has been a right kick in the balls and is crippling businesses and households globally and it seems that it will keep coming and going for the next little while.

What I see as troublesome though is the attitude that business owners are taking towards the uncertainty. Immediately accepting defeat and burying your head in the sand will sink your business a lot faster than the impact of coronavirus on the economy.

“What?! You mean I can actually do stuffs and things to keep my business ticking along?”

Yes legend, yes you can. In fact, let me remind you that is exactly why you got into business to begin with. To do all the stuffs and things that was to be traded for a neat little sack of golden doubloons in your back pocket.

The times are changing and putting stress on your desires to push forward. I get that, I am sometimes feeling it myself during these times. But I drew up a little mathematical formula for myself that I got me back on track and I hope will get you back on track!

Simply put, if you seriously do not give a fuck about how you can use your time to battle-proof your business right now then as much as I hate to say it, your business will fall. In this case, n = 0.

Zero output, zero dollars and zero business.

How do you beat this downward spiral? Simple.

Take the time, give a fuck (or two!) and I promise you the work you do will not be in vain. That is, n = >1.

That time that you have spent to strategise will be greater than the time you HAVEN’T spent; and it is this difference that could see you through to the other side of this pandemic.

So, hop off the lounge and switch off Netflix – check your friends Facebook feeds for updates on Tiger King if you must. To ensure the continuity of your business here are some quick wins that you can deploy immediately that will boost your bottom line and put some cash back into your pocket.

Review Your Expenses!

Sit down with your business bank statement and review all expenses to see what can be lowered without affecting your business operation. Pull pack on those that you may not be using while Australia is in lockdown. For those necessary expenses, contact your suppliers and attempt to renegotiate subscription services or otherwise assess whether an extended payment plan can be arranged.

Collect any Money Owed to You!

Review your list of debtors and check to make sure that all outstanding invoices have been paid. I would be so inclined as to perform this exercise back as far as possible – you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that you have completed a service or sold a product back in 1984 that still has not been paid for. Chase that shit up man!

And while you’re at it, why not take this opportunity to set up a process to collect money owed to you faster? Consider changing your policy towards new debtors by tightening payment terms or adding a discount for on-time payers. Lastly, make sure you have internet payments as an option as this is a subtle incentive for customers and clients to pay as soon as they receive an invoice.

Actually we love setting up payment integrations with your invoicing software of choice so definitely give us a shout if you are in need of a hand or a recommendation.

Pivot!

Remember that episode of Friends when Ross tried to carry a lounge up a flight of stairs? He strategised and made a plan in order to attempt to achieve something that would otherwise be instantly dismissed as “impossible”.

 

The only way up, was to “PIVOT!” 🤣

So what does it mean to pivot your business? It involves adapting your operations to cater for new products/services, new markets and new customers.

A straight forward pivot strategy would look something like this:

  1. Develop new products or service offerings
  2. Enter new markets
  3. Increase your customer base
  4. Improve profit

Now this last one is a longer-haul but remember, the point here is to invest time into making sure your business can see through to the other side of an economic downturn.

Speak to an Accountant!

A good business accountant will be able to dive deep into your financial history and develop a forecast and strategy that will allow you to move forward and prosper. Pandemic or none, if a business is struggling a good accountant will be able to provide clarity on the following:

  • Your daily, weekly, monthly and annual break-even sales point
  • Your ability the be able to grow your way out of trouble by close analysis of your working capital burn rate
  • The financial drivers of your business and how they can be optimised to boost underperforming assets

You have put so much heart and soul into your business so you cannot be sitting around waiting for the Government hand-outs and just ride that wave until … well, until what?

It is more important than ever to keep doing what you do and to really put the time into analysing the future of the business. If you need some help and guidance why not contact us for a 30 minute meeting to brainstorm the above ideas and create a tailored Action Plan to help you navigate your period of struggle.

 

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