17 April 2024
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Sit & sulk or be pro-active: the choice is yours

Ben Johnston
27 July 2021

It is incredibly common to hear small business owners say that they would love some time to work "on their business" and not "in their business". As much as this lockdown is frustrating and financially challenging, small business owners should be using this time to develop a plan on how they can grow their business and make it better or more efficient (or all three if you're really ambitious).

Sure it's unavoidable to be totally free from the worry of paying for your fixed costs and juggling staff while you're being forced to close. Added with the fact that the lockdown is open ended so no certainty exists as to when we will be "free" to trade again. However we all know that life will return to normal at some point and when it does, why not be prepared to hit the ground running and come out the other end being more successful than before.

The lockdown of 2020 and the economic boom that followed has every chance of happening again, despite not being propped up by the same level of stimulus as last time, there will be pent up demand for goods and services. In addition to the expected lockdown end being in the lead up to summer and the Christmas trading period. And as property prices are rising faster in Australia than any other country, consumers will be happy to spend. So be confident that when life returns to normal, you can claw back the lost trade from lockdown, and if you plan right you can actually thrive at the other end.

We have seen how past lockdowns were littered with examples of how adaptable modern day business is. A great and obvious example is the work-from-home shift, this wasn’t just a logistical shift in how people work, it was a mind shift for employers who may not have agreed with the principal of entrusting employees to work without the watchful eye of their boss. More impressive than this shift was the innovation, and spirit that many small business owners showed when they faced adversity, it showed resilience and grit. Let’s hope that the same examples shine through in this lockdown.

Some tips for small business owners during lockdown are:

  1. Prepare business plan or revise/update your original one.
  2. Prepare a marketing plan.
  3. Get your bookkeeping and tax returns up to date.
  4. Research your market and explore new opportunities for growth.
  5. Experiment and research new technology for your business that may bring efficiencies to your operations.
  6. Have your wills and succession plans prepared.
  7. Check your personal and business insurances are you to date and that you are adequately covered.
  8. Do a health check on your loans, call the bank and enquire if they can better your interest rate.
  9. Banks prey on complacency so it's always worthwhile asking the question and make it clear you plan to shop around.
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