Updated: May 28, 2020
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released a survey this month regarding how Australian businesses expect COVID-19 to adversely impact them over the next 2 months through to June 2020.
The survey was conducted with a sample size of 2,014 businesses, between 22 April and 28 April 2020 and covered topics such as:
businesses response to the JobKeeper payment program
intended business capital expenditure; and
anticipated adverse business impacts due to COVID-19.
The results indicate that 72% of Australian businesses expect reduced cash flow and 42% advised that they anticipate a reduced ability to pay operating expenses over the next two months. 69% reported that they anticipated reduced demand for their goods and services from customers; and 53% were concerned about the negative impacts of government restrictions.
What can businesses do to minimise these expected negative impacts?
Firstly, take a deep breath and remember that we are all in this together. As these statistics show, many businesses are doing it particularly tough at the moment. So be kind and more patient than you would ordinarily be.
Secondly, if you haven't already done so, review your financials, (particularly your liquidity; cash reserves and consider alternative sources for access to cash if needed). Consider what expenses are necessary and those that aren't. Determine if you can negotiate new terms with suppliers and financiers. Get expert advice in this regard if you are not sure how to do this. It's critical.
OK, now let's get proactive. It's time to ensure that you understand the current landscape and the projections for the next few months so that you can be agile, adjust to the new environment and put a proactive plan of action into place.
The statistics from the ABS mentioned above demonstrate that business cash flow and consumer demand is expected to be reduced for the short term future, so what do you need to do differently in your business in response? What opportunities does this create?
Ask yourself, given the statistics, how should you adjust and pivot your business in terms of:
your product / service (not just 'what' it is, but also 'how' it is delivered);
your messaging (tap into the current challenges faced by your customers and provide them with a solution);
how you source new customer leads (ie: if it was physical event networking, then, this really needs an overhaul).
With every cloud, there is a silver lining. With every disruption, there is opportunity. It just takes some solid thinking and sometimes a shift of mindset to see where the opportunities for your business may lie.
Business Agility Pty Ltd can provide tailored advice and support to you and your business to help you successfully pivot, adjust and thrive in the 'new normal' business environment. Please contact John or Deb. We are your partners in business and leadership success.