current situation of 'unknowns', in our world and business environments, we
must take specific measures where possible, to ensure a sustainable future
beyond unexpected periods of crisis. We have developed some very specific
actions you can take to protect and minimise negative impacts on your business:
Ensure your employees are made aware of and kept up to date on the
latest government advice and enforce the need for stringent personal hygiene
practices in your workplace. Re-iterate
health and safety practices and provide adequate infection control items such
as hand sanitiser for all to access.
Revise staff travel plans and consider alternate methods of
engagement for these events. Also review
seating arrangements in the workplace to ensure that a safe distance can be
maintained between employees.
Contact your insurer to understand your insurances.
Talk to your banker and discuss the possibility for a suspension
of loan re-payments in the short-term.
Free up your working capital – access term deposits, increase
overdrafts and credit card limits just in case.
Good business planning ensures measures are in place for a rainy day –
so now is the time to make sure you can access these funds to continue your
operation and delivery of your services where safe and possible to do so.
Implement systems to allow employees to work from home whenever
possible for continuity. Full
work-from-home scenarios allow your business to continue operating, your
customers to receive a continuity of service, and your employees to feel a
sense of security and a positive place to focus their energies. Of course it's important to assess IT
requirements for offsite access to files and records such as cloud based
access. You should also consider
alternate means of doing business that allow for interactions that avoid the
need for physical transactions, meeting and exchanges.
Talk to your clients. Email them, write a letter, do a post on
social media or better still, give your long-standing clients a call. Let them know you are open for business and
check in on them too. Let them know of
any changes that are happening with your business, and how these changes may
affect them. Give them options on how
they can continue to use your services.
Review internal communication systems to allow for regular contact
with the team. Investigate the use of systems such as Skype, Zoom & Google
Meet to ensure your team stay connected, focus and can operate in an autonomous
environment. Consider internet access
and bandwidth of your employees at home to deliver these services. Access security considerations for this way
of doing business. Consider your back-up
system and that it is adequate for your alternate working circumstances. Do employees have access to suitable devices
that are approved for network access?
Halt purchases of all non-essential stock. Look at what you need to do business, ensure
you have ample stocks of items that are in high demand and consider alternate
arrangement such as home delivery and remote customer payment for purchases. Consider alternate ways of delivering your
services – video conferencing, user pays access to on-line instructional videos
and classes or resource packs.
Consider disruptions to your supply chain and adjust your
procurement arrangements as necessary. Investigate alternative domestic or international suppliers. Have them pre-qualified and outsourced in
case primary suppliers can no longer provide support.
Negotiate delayed invoice payments to large business customers.
Pay bills to small, local businesses - they need money too!
Request early payment terms from your large business customers,
especially government – you might be surprised at the result.
Check the leave balances for each employee and advise them to take
leave where possible, this will not only assist with reducing overheads, it
will also allow you to stagger work force availability as needed.
Avoid bill shock. Cut back on discretionary expenses and minimise
waste and overhead costs – electricity, water etc. Consider revised budgets and multiple budgets
based on the variety of possible scenarios so you can adapt as needed.
Ensure premises, stock, vehicles and tools are protected from
Fill up your essential plant and fleet if you can and secure bulk
fuel storage tanks if applicable.
Identify your essential staff, keep them across what is happening
and give them a voice; help them to help you keep your business running.
Have you conducted a thorough risk assessment and identified areas
of impact across your business? If not,
now is the time to do it! Consider;
should be implemented where possible to minimise your exposure to these risks
and mitigate them.
Investigate and access available funding packages. At times such as these, the government often
makes available funding packages such as the stimulus package. The intent is to ensure a certain level of
continuity for business and our economy overall so make sure you are aware of
these and utilise what you are entitled to.
Talk to your accountant so your business can withstand disruption
and find out if your business qualifies for the recently announced Stimulus