What is the 'new normal' for your business?

What is the 'new normal' for your business?

I dare say all of us can’t wait to raise our glasses on New Year’s Eve and send 2020 packing. … It’s been one hell of a highly disruptive year, and much of it entirely unpredictable. 

With more change ahead, how is your business shaping up? 

By Michael Mekhitarian

The ONLY survival strategy is adaptability

At times, this year has seemed like one of those crazy high school maths problems, you know, along the lines of, “If you’re in a semi-trailer travelling at 80kmph hour and you get swooped by a magpie, how many apples do you need to make a pie”? 

Confused? Exactly. 

With so much changing, and changing quickly, it’s no wonder many business owners don’t know if it is Wednesday or September. 

And – you know what? There’s more to come. 

The issues that lie ahead

In March, when the coronavirus pandemic was declared, most of us expected that life would be  returning to some sense of normality by now. But if the second wave of the pandemic in Victoria has taught us anything, it is that progress towards completely re-opening Australia is fragile. It certainly won’t be swift, and it won’t be linear, particularly while the virus remains even the slightest bit active. 

The upshot is, we need to accept the fact that we are – and will be for some time to come – operating in an environment with a reasonable degree of uncertainty. Because the Covid-19 challenges are going to last well beyond 2020. 

Adaptability is key, but so is being prepared … being proactive. It means suring up your business to such a degree that you can stop thinking about ‘first-aid’ responses and start thinking about reshaping and redesigning what you do and how you do it

Moving forward, there are a number of very real issues facing small, medium, micro and family businesses, such as: 

  • Reduced customer demand and spending 
  • Travel bans 
  • Regulatory frameworks 
  • Impacted global supply chains 
  • Increased exposure to the threat to cyber security, particularly with people working remotely and more businesses looking to interact with customers online 
  • Staff expectations and retaining talent
  • Liquidity and cash flow challenges, particularly as the generosity by lenders and landlords, and the federal government starts to taper off. 

But the next big hurdle is the traditional cash flow crunch that usually occurs around Christmas time. There are only 12  or so weeks left to plan for this. 

Technology is driving rapid change

Are you getting good advice?

As the landscape shifts and changes, it’s important to make sure that  you have control over your business, and that you’re also getting sound business planning advice. 

At ATB we offer a range of services (including accounting and tax advice) that will ensure your business is in a position where you are no longer reacting to what’s happening in the environment around you, but actually planning ahead, preparing for the potential risks you’re likely to face.

Business mentoring is a highly valuable service, and it’s worthwhile considering, for two important reasons: 

Firstly, you’ll get independent and objective advice. Business owners tend to be exceptionally passionate, and while this passion and innovation are great qualities, sometimes it’s wise to have a professional sounding board for ideas and issues- someone who is not so emotionally involved and can bring a different perspective. 

Secondly, and more importantly, you’ll lower your stress levels. “A problem shared, is a problem halved.”  as the old saying goes. Problems also present opportunities. 

With more than 60 years combined experience assisting SMEs, we can help you not just survive what’s ahead, but thrive as Australia seeks to come out the other side. 


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