2020 is off to a rough start. Just after Australia began to recover from the devastation of the bush fires and then floods, now the entire world is in fear of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Times like these when unforeseeable circumstances are forced upon us are rare. And most of the time, we can cope with the ups and downs of everyday life.
But when it comes to dealing with a crisis in business, let alone three in a row, it can be tough to know what to do.
In this month’s article, I wanted to reflect on some ideas that have helped me, and some of our clients to manage during these testing times.
Fear Spreads Fast
It’s always crazy to see how much fear can change people’s behavior. In our constantly connected world, it can be magnified due to volume, hype, and misinformation reaching social media.
Most of us are not medical experts, but it’s clear to see that a lot of news we see about COVID-19 is either exaggerated or just not true. The media loves to share bad news. That is what always grabs the most attention and sells quickest.
When it comes to social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of constantly checking and looking for updates. In reality, all you are doing is reading other people’s uninformed opinions.
It’s important to monitor how much social media and news media you let influence your mood and your beliefs.
It’s good to be informed. It’s not wise to be fooled by fear-mongering.
Revisit What Matters
Especially for business owners, times like these feel like it’s impossible to make things work. Not only are you tight on cash, but most people are also afraid to leave their house and spend all their money hoarding toilet paper and doomsday supplies!
One way we have stayed focused during this crisis is to remember why we started our business. As a team, we review our values and make sure that we are still living by them.
Taking this approach means that even though the circumstances we face are not ideal, we can still behave in a way that helps others, and supports the community.
Focus on Fundamentals
It’s easy during crisis times to go into panic behaviours or to worry that all your clients will leave. The truth is that your customers and clients are human. They didn’t expect any of this to happen and are coping the best they can. Nobody is intentionally avoiding doing business with you.
If your business is one that can somehow support the community, this is a great time to be a leader. Find ways to help and support those in need however you can.
If your business cannot directly support people during this time, you can still make sure you are giving excellent service. By focusing on the fundamentals, you can get back to the reasons you are in business, and how you can do better in the future.
Seek Help if You Need it
You may think you must struggle alone in your business. But one thing that shows in every crisis time is that other people are willing to support each other.
The Australian Government is putting administrative measures in place to assist Australian businesses and individuals experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. These include increasing asset write-offs and boosting cashflow for employers. There are also stimulus payments available for those in need.
If you or your business have been impacted by the Coronavirus, you can phone the Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 to discuss relief options based on your circumstances. Additionally, you can talk to your Tax agent so they can work with us to support you to manage your tax affairs in relation to the small business assistance being offered.
Remember You Are Resilient
Everyone alive today is much more resilient than they realise. So are you.
In our lifetimes, we have all lived through many tragedies and health crises. The generations before us lived through wars and famines and much worse. Their resilient nature is part of us.
We can give in to the panic and or we can choose to be resilient. We can see this time as a threat and complain about everything being outside our control, or we can find ways to rise above.
Just like every other part of your business, it’s up to you what you do.
The freedom of running a business also means you have total responsibility.
Now is the time to choose to be strong. To be clear on what matters. To support those around us in need.
If you need support for your business during these challenging times, don’t hesitate to ask. Centegrity is here to help with planning and strategy to make sure your business survives and rises again after this time of crisis has passed.
We’re all in this together.
Centegrity has over 13 years of experience helping businesses with bookkeeping and business mentoring. If you need assistance don’t hesitate to contact us or fill in the form below.