As a kid I vividly remember my dad saying… “always put a bit away for a rainy day”. Well that rainy day has come, and in truth, it feels like a flood. A flood of infections, anxiety, negativity, insecurity and information overload…yet not enough of the information we want to hear.
The onset of the global coronavirus pandemic is putting unprecedented pressure on everyone across all sectors. Weathering this storm will take a combination of good planning, proactive and informed decision making as well as self-control whilst we are working together in isolation. The common factor in them all? Discipline
That’s not to say the challenges in this situation aren’t complex and extreme. Whilst our daily routines and sense of normal have been and will continue to be tested, being disciplined will be important as we all navigate through the challenges.
BDO Business Services National Lead, Matt Laming says there are four keys to surviving the downturn; revisit your business plan to adjust priorities and forecasts; maximise your use of the outside help on offer; cleverly adopt technology; and, do your very best to look after staff.
“It’s not an easy thing to navigate through and it’s something we’ve never seen before in terms of shutdowns and isolation – it’s just unprecedented times,” he says.
But none of these can be achieved unless we maintain the self-discipline to focus on the facts instead of speculation, whispers and conjecture. In the same way, a parent teaches a child to save for a rainy day, we should be still be planning for our futures, even in the midst of the storm.
Be proactive about revisiting your short term and long-term plans
Businesses need to immediately alter their business plans to ensure their fixed and variable costs can be reduced to meet dwindling revenues.
Simply recalculating the level of sales or revenue needed to cover the fixed and variable costs of the business can give you an indication of your current break-even point. Then scaling back the variable costs as much as possible can give you a new baseline to work through the short and long-term needs of the business.
Ask for and accept help
Asking for help requires bravery. Accepting help when it’s offered is just as courageous. In Australia, we are lucky to have a government making so many resources available to support us. There’s no shame in accepting them.
Maximise opportunities with technology
Once the firefighting is over, consider urgent innovations of the core business model, accelerate digital transformations and agile ways of working. The opportunity to remain connected at this time is immense. From a business perspective, technology will play a crucial role in facilitating remote working. But IT can also provide economic opportunity by streamlining business, improving system maintenance and taking the time to learn how to work smarter.
Care for your staff
Compassion is an action and the actions taken as a business in this time are sure to impact relationships for many years to come. Even though many are under great strain, supporting your staff, colleagues, friends and family through difficult times, to the best of your abilities, will be remembered. We are immensely fortunate and can share kindness and pay it forward.
Storms pass. Rain stops. Even as we seek shelter in isolation, we must remain calm and though apart together we will overcome adversity.