Australia and New Zealand are heading for their first recessions in almost three decades as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic which has shutdown economies across the globe. Experts are predicting shrinking economies and increasing job losses.

However, compared to other countries such as Britain, France, China and Italy, both Australia’s and New Zealand’s economies have shown reassuring resilience. The lifting of restrictions earlier than anticipated has breathed some life into the economy and spending is starting to pick up. The signs are there that economic recovery will begin in the third quarter.

There’s no doubt that small businesses have been the hardest hit. SMEs tend to have more volatile revenues than larger firms and are less resilient to downturns in the economy. But, not all small businesses will be equally or as negatively affected. Depending on the industry in which you operate, you may have found that business has been largely unaffected. If not, there are a few things you can do to navigate the economic slump and make it to the other side.

Need more help? Check out our advice to small business here - Advice to Small Business weathering the COVID-19 Storm

Get ON it

Now is the time to start working ON your business instead of IN it. This is the mantra of every ActionCOACH. It is what we want to see every client achieve. Too many business owners spend too much time working in their businesses instead of on them.

Take a step back and look objectively at your business. What are your goals and objectives? Have these changed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic? Should you be shifting focus? If so, do you know what your focus should be?

Think about why you started your business in the first place. What is it that you want to offer? Who are your customers? What do you want to achieve? Are your business goals aligned with your personal goals?

Think carefully about your goals and expectations, and write them down. Formalising them by writing them down is the first step towards meeting them. Once you have listed your goals, create an action plan for meeting each of them. Don’t be afraid to dream big. When you aim high, you are more likely to shoot high than if you aimed low.

Remember that no man is an island. When you are in the driver’s seat and working on your business instead of in it, you will need to surround yourself with capable people who can keep the cogs turning. Focus on nurturing and empowering your team. Host regular planning meetings with your team. Planning is critical for nurturing a growing business. Everyone should be on the same page, understand the business goals and know what needs to be done to achieve them.

Change for the better

Change that which is not working for you. It could be bad customers. It could be a disgruntled or unmotivated staff member. It could be a product or service that just doesn’t sell. It could be your supply chain. It could be technology or equipment that no longer fits your needs or future goals.

Find out where you are making or losing money. Weed out the products and services that are costing you rather than earning you money, and shake the customers that don’t pay. They are not money in the bank!

Look at your costs and find ways of reducing them. You could save on monthly costs by reducing electricity usage, moving to smaller premises or by getting rid of service providers and vendors that aren’t necessary to your business. You could also consider refinancing debt at a lower cost. The decrease in cash flow that comes from slow payments (higher accounts receivable) might mean a greater use of borrowed capital.

Revitalise your customers’ experience by improving communication with them, making it easy for people to source and pay for your products and services, getting to know your customers better and personalising their interactions with you and your business. Adding value is one of the best and easiest ways of ensuring that customers do not stray. Retention of good customers should be high on your agenda right now.

Rejuvenate your marketing. Now more than ever, you need to be visible. Yes, your budget might be strapped but you can leverage social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to profile your products and services, and point potential customers to your website. Post on your platforms regularly. Promote your products, share your thoughts and start conversations. Regularly engaging online with well planned and relevant messaging will help to maintain visibility.

ActionCOACH is your life raft

Tap into ActionCOACH’s tools, knowledge and experience to keep your business buoyant. ActionCOACH founder, Brad Sugars recently released a free 10-day, 5-hour training programme for SMEs which offers some tips and survival tools during these critical times. The programme is called Survive and Thrive – 10 Steps to Get You and Your Business through the Coronavirus Economic Crisis.

Access the programme from this link:

The next steps

If you are ready to do thing differently, adopt ActionCOACH’s 5 Ways Model. According to this model, business is driven by five key profit generating areas, namely: Lead Generation; Conversion Rate; Average Sale; Average Number of Transactions and Profit Margin.

Increasing any of these variables can increase your sales and profits while keeping expenses constant. Understanding the five key inputs, and knowing how to test and measure them, can help you to optimise your profits, revenues and customers effectively. Read more here and speak to an ActionCOACH about adopting the 5 Ways Model!

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Written by ActionCOACH April 17, 2024
ActionCOACH is recognised as the creator and most successful practitioner of business and executive coaching methodology that offers owners and managers a new perspective on their businesses and companies.