Are you finding it hard to know how you can proactively manage your business during COVID-19?
We’ve put together our eight top tips checklist to help guide you.
1. Understand your current financial position
It’s essential to make informed decisions about your business based on your current financial position. Impacted by the continuing government restrictions, your ability to trade through this period, pay outstanding debts, keep employees or meet existing leasing or loan repayments will be determined by your financial position. Contact your accountant to discuss the various options which may be available and make a plan as to what you need to do to minimise the impact on your business. Cash flow is critical, especially if your existing income and trade has been significantly disrupted by COVID-19.
2. Check your eligibility for government assistance
The Australian Government has announced several stimulus packages to help business owners manage the disruptions to their business. The Government has also announced a number of relief packages which may assist businesses that employ staff. Review the criteria and apply for the most suitable packages. For more information on Government assistance, click here.
3. Utilise a sustainable cash flow option
For small and medium sized businesses arm wrestling with cash flow, consideration should be given to options accommodating both immediate and long-term support. UnLock Payment Gateway is a business-to-business (B2B) ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ method that enables SMEs and suppliers to improve their working capital to have financial flexibility. UnLock extends payment terms on invoices and suppliers are paid upfront, or vice versa. Suppliers can give themselves extended terms with their providers. The payment gateway extends supplier terms from 30, 60 to 90 days for a small premium. This solution will free up a business’ cash flow to be redirected towards staff wages, equipment or stock. Businesses can use UnLock funds, starting from $50,000 facility, immediately rather than dipping into their accounts before sales are acquired.
4. Communicate with your stakeholders
It’s important to communicate to all your stakeholders about what is happening with your business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have staff, they need to understand what your plans and the likely impact on them. Be clear in what you are telling them.
Follow up all your debtors to try and get any overdue payments in. You may need to consider negotiating, based on what they are able to pay in the current circumstances. Also communicate with your creditors to see what payments you may be able to defer. Review your trading terms to ensure that you obtain upfront payments (where possible) or a deposit for any new orders.
Consider using a payment gateway such as UnLock to release capital in your business. Unlock can help businesses initiate financial agreements with their suppliers in a way that extends their invoice payment terms. This can help businesses and their suppliers improve cash flow and purchasing power in exchange for low monthly merchant fees.
Keep your customers updated about your services and ensure you communicate as early as possible what this means for them.
5. Seek advice on deferring tax payments
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can grant you a deferral of certain tax obligations if your business is impacted by COVID-19. Call the ATO or speak to your tax professional to discuss your options. Deferring payments may impact on your eligibility for other stimulus package options, so seek professional advice.
6. Commercial leasing – talk to your landlord
Call your landlord to discuss what arrangements can be put in place regarding your lease, particularly if your business can no longer operate at its usual capacity, or in the case of Victoria, is prevented from operating all together.
Commercial tenants and landlords are encouraged to sit down together to find a way through this period to ensure that businesses can survive and be there on the other side.
7. Build your networks
This is an important time to reach out to your networks for support and advice. Being able to keep some control over your situation is good for your positive mental health. Keep communicating with your support networks and speak with other small businesses to share ideas and innovative practices.
8. Keep informed of changes
Being proactive in seeking out trusted sources of information is an important way that you can keep up with the latest developments on coronavirus information for small business owners. The Small Business Development Corporation can also assist with information and advice.