Well, there’s no other way to say it, 2021 was not easy. With scaling back of Covid-19 lifelines, numerous lockdowns, and the late year super spread of Omicron that has led to some of the lowest rates of consumer spending since the pandemic began. It’s fair to say the outlooks of many business owners on the year ahead have been leaning skeptical at best. That’s why we’ve put together this list of our top eight tips to help guide you through the year ahead.
1. Plan for Unpredictability
While old norms of busy and quiet periods have been shaken, one thing remains essential to the health of your business, cash flow management. It’s important that when these unpredictable periods of demand do occur, you are setting aside a portion of the income rainier days.
2. Explore Government Support Availability
While many of the early pandemic lifelines have been cut back, there are still many options available at federal and state levels. NSW has also recently unveiled a new small business payroll support scheme. With the possibility of other states following suit, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for grants to help you stay afloat.
3. Settle Up
If you haven’t already during the holiday period, it’s always a good idea to review your outstanding receivables and payables for late entries. Take care of what accounts you can and don’t be afraid to be firm with clients who are late on payments. Talking to your accountant is a great way to organise this.
4. Make the Best Use of Downtime
If your business is facing a slow period, ensure that you negate costs as much as possible while remaining productive. Reduce working hours or staff numbers, reconnect with old clients, engage your local community to bring in more regular customers.
5. Focus on Organic Marketing
Marketing is traditionally one of the first costs that is cut when a business is facing trouble. Renegotiating or rethinking a contract can help your business save money, but often you are better off looking at starting or supplementing your business with DIY marketing tactics. Many strategies to boost your coverage cost very little in money and experience to implement effectively.
6. Stay in Touch with Your Bank
One of the best lifelines for surviving down periods is a good line of credit. Never underestimate how important staying up to date with your bills when things are quiet is. Talking to your bank can help you explore options available to you.
7. Get Real with Your Finances
One of the most important things you can do for your business right now is get real with where it’s at. Are your creditors piling up? Are your tax liabilities up to date? Are your suppliers holding out on you and demanding immediate payment? There are many indicators of your businesses health and solvency that can sometimes be easy to miss. If any of these sound familiar, you can always take our free solvency health check.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Whether it’s your account, lawyer, banker, us, or another advisor. Reaching out to professionals and your business contacts for help in times of need is always a good idea and can be crucial for the long-term survival of your business.