Businesses big and small have been pushed to their limits as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. In April ASIC reported hundreds of businesses had applied to be deregistered with many going bankrupt. In an attempt to keep business and the economy alive the Government issued stimulus packages, tax relief, increased JobSeeker payments, enabled early access to superannuation, and created JobKeeper. Banks and creditors put in place mortgage and bank loan holds whilst landlords and tenants negotiated either rent decreases or a pause. Not since the Great Depression has unemployment been so high with over 700,000 Australians currently out of work. Needless to say, there has never been a more important time to take control of your business. Whilst you can’t control the chaos, you can find stability within it. Six simple steps can lead towards a road of not only keeping the doors open but building an empire for the future.
Stage One: Respond
Businesses can take a leaf from the sporting world and switch from defense to offense. Now is the time to protect your business, yourself, and employees. Review, negotiated, delay, cut back, and remove possible above and below the line cost. Access stimulus and grants from Federal, State, and Local Government. Apply for JobKeeper, early release of Superannuation, and if required a government-backed loan. Create a business response plan and communicate with your customers, team, suppliers, creditors, and landlord. Finally, implement a routine that will serve you and your team’s needs. Leading with resilience and optimism is equally as important as a strong strategic plan.
Stage Two: Survive
Do whatever it takes to keep your business alive; investigate expanding your income or product channels, look for the small wins, innovate, pivot, and go online. Tweak your current offering, create another business, and repurpose your staff or create a similar or brand-new product. Many retail brands reacted to the sudden shutdown of their physical stores by offering immediate free delivery with no minimum purchase. Whilst this innovation won’t completely transform these businesses it will make up for instore losses. Pivoting means changing direction to transform your product or service. Several small distilleries switched from making alcohol to hand sanitizer by utilizing existing products and infrastructure. With most of the country indoors and at home, taking your business online is a sensible strategy. Those in the health and fitness industry who weren’t already online quickly adapted and enjoyed an expanded customer base. Try, test, measure then adopt what works for your business.
Stage Three: Stabilise
In essence now is the time to balance and steady the ship. By now you should be aware of what you are entitled to in terms of financial and government support. Assess your income and work out basic projections. Reflect on stage two and how you can pivot your business for new income. In short, find your breakeven and create monthly goals for the next 6-12 months. Finally, review your business response plan and adjust accordingly.
Stage Four: Recover
There are three stages Australia will move through as the country comes out of economic hibernation. As a business you should plan accordingly for each stage and strive for the ‘bank’ zone. Identify what your customers want, where your competition does not excel and your business does. The ‘bank’ zone should spearhead your marketing, branding and sales efforts and is the point where you are cash positive in the business
Stage Five: Growth
Reflect on how far you have come and identify what is working. Once you have pinpointed your success – double down. Invest in the business, then look to self. Exercise, eat clean, meditate, and create the kind of energy needed to forge ahead better than before. Push your business to positive monthly growth and invest in taking market share. In the words of Warren Buffet, “invest when there’s blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own”.
Stage Six: Empire
Now is the time to not only survive but thrive. The most successful businesses have multiple streams of income and businesses. In short, they have built an empire. Every business has the ability to create several streams of income, which diversifies the impact of challenges such as Coronavirus or a recession. By creating an empire you’re future-proofing your business against another crisis. One of the most important priorities for successful people is understanding the principle of leverage. As business owners working in a distributed economy, we live in one of the most exciting times in history.
Technological advances and globalization have impacted how business is conducted. This is an economic system that bypasses almost everything and everyone. Kayla and Toby Itsines were early adopters and have built a fortune amassing over $696 million. They have an empire in the health and fitness industry with the added bonus of working from home. Kayla is a social media influencer, the duo created the running app Sweat and an online work out program. Putting this into perspective, Fitness First Australia is worth an estimated $800 million and is currently unable to operate.
There has never been a better time to create an empire. While some businesses are closing their doors, others are looking to future proof with multiple income streams. With competitors dropping like flies, it would seem now is the time to take the plunge and ascend to your empire.
Written by Aaron Sansoni. Have you read?
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