Returning to normal is missing the point

Article by
Philip Martin
PMCA
September 2020

Practical advice on keeping your business strong

6 minutes

While everyone else is working out how to get back to normal, there's a huge opportunity to return even better.

“Snap back” is a missed opportunity. Many small business operators are now reshaping for a post-COVID future based on a forced business pivot.
Now, they don’t even want to return to ‘normal’.

In July Kate Carnell, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman said, “A tailored financial plan is critical for small businesses to survive, grow and employ.

Carnell then observed that the time when businesses can least afford professional help to plan for the future is exactly the time they need that help the most.

When industry experts like Kate Carnell and others talk about survival and growth plans, they are not talking about looking in the rear-view mirror.

Among many things we’ve learnt during the COVID crisis (alongside how tricky sourdough starter is, and how to stop your glasses fogging up when wearing a mask) is that things can be done differently, and behaviour can change surprisingly quickly.

The power of the pivot

From restaurants and bottle shops to yoga classes and doctors’ appointments, ‘pivot’ has been the key to success.

While the economy has been smashed and many businesses (and entire industries) are on their knees, there are countless stories of organisations that have thrived since March.

How to make a new normal

In planning for the post-COVID future, small and medium-sized businesses need to resist the easy temptation of simply ‘snapping back’ to the way things were. We’re going to emerge into a different economic landscape: buying behaviour has changed and the importance of technology has increased.

More than 2.5 million parcels were delivered by Australia Post every day at the height of the pandemic. Any reticence about buying online has well and truly passed.

This might be bleak for shopping centre operators, but changing up, going online, running classes via Zoom, and delivering gourmet meals to be ‘finished’ at home has been a revelation for many businesses.

Customers will still pay $80 for a fancy meal, but they do the cooking and they do the washing up. It’s quite an impressive business model.

Can you adapt?

Not everyone can survive. But if your business is able to adapt, it might also be able to thrive. At the end of the current crisis, the economy will be flat, but you might find yourself operating with fewer competitors.

Businesses that emerge strongest will be the most thoughtful, agile and aggressive. How will your business respond?

Now is exactly the right time to challenge your assumptions and think creatively about the best way to serve your customers.

Imagine what ‘better’ might look like for your business. Redesigning a business to survive tough times and prosper will pay handsomely in the long run.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. We’re happy to help

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only.  It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone.  If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained. We are here to help, contact us today:

Philip Martin Chartered Accountant
Phone 1300 744 547 | Web pmca.com.au | Email philip@pmca.com.au
Level 9, 440 Collins Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000

Planning a different business future

Every business is different, and not all can weather this viral storm. Those that can will each face their own challenges. There’s no ‘silver bullet’ to survival.

At PMCA, we are available to help guide your business through challenges and create options and opportunities. Here are just a few ideas to get you on the road … not just to recovery, but to genuine growth.

 

1: Change it up

Home delivery, video calls, improved e-commerce, a higher-level social media engagement strategy … these are some of the behaviours that can pay off both in the short and long term.

Can you adjust your product offer? Gin distillers increased profit, brand recognition and goodwill by producing fancy hand sanitisers.

Stagekings moved fast too. Unable to make stage and event scenery, they started making easy-to-assemble desks. With millions of people working from home, a Stagekings desk was a great feelgood alternative to Ikea. Wine racks, vinyl record storage, jigsaw puzzle boards and scooter racks all tapped into the iso mindset in a fun, innovative way.

We can’t all be Stagekings, but it’s worth thinking about how you might be able to change what you do to tap into your market.

 

2: Get smarter

Along with changing what you do, you might think about changing how you do things.

If you’re working from home, how are you using the time you’ve won back from the daily commute? Sleeping in isn’t a bad option, but learning more about your industry or developing new professional skills is probably a more savvy way to spend your time.

Online study doesn’t have to be onerous (or even that expensive). If you have employees, get them involved too. It might be a short course on online marketing or data analysis or project management or supply chain logistics.

Identify knowledge areas that will strengthen your business and use any COVID-induced downtime to skill up.

3: Take stock

No, I don’t mean do a stocktake!

As we mentioned in our article about Understanding your business, now is the perfect time to get out of the weeds and gain a higher-level view of exactly how your business is operating.

Are systems integrated? Is your digital presence successful and well optimised? What are the pain points? Fix them!

Integrate teams, update equipment, empower staff, hold fewer meetings (!), invest in business analytics. When the lights turn green, make sure your business is ready to roll.

 

4: Get expert help

PMCA has a proven track record improving business outcomes across many industries. With a special focus on SMEs, we can assess your business operations, competitive environment and future trends to help you make the right decisions. Don’t just survive COVID-19.

Don’t be content to ‘snap back’.

 

Look ahead and plan a stronger and more sustainable business.

Ready to get on top of your tax and accounting?

Philip Martin can change the culture of your business to ensure independent financial strength.
Philip - Portrait Photo

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If you haven’t already, your very next step is to talk to us at PMCA to make sure you’re getting the assistance you’re entitled to.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

link me

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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link me.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

link me.