Plan now for your business continuity

Having a plan to deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be critical to business survival.

You could consider this your Emergency Plan – a high level view of what you need to be aware of and plan for, not just for your business but yourself, your family, your team, and how you can support and retain your customers.

Your plan doesn’t need to be perfect, but it needs to be done. Now.

Plan for the next 30 days. Then as time allows, look longer term.

  1. What are the goals you need to achieve?

  2. Who is responsible for each action?

  3. When should the action be done by?

  4. What will each action achieve?

In developing your plan, these are the key elements to consider:

Work out your weekly outgoings, what do you need to keep operating? Then consider what you can do to increase your cash on hand:

  • Wages – apply for Government support if you’re entitled.

  • Debtors – call in outstanding debts, actively chase late payers. Invoice as soon as you can, not wait until month’s end. Make it easy for people to pay you online.

  • Rent / lease – talk to your landlord, start negotiating now. Keeping you as a tenant will be better for them in the long run.

  • Taxes – what tax relief is on offer – tax pooling, paying in instalments, estimating provisional tax?

  • Insurances – is there room to drop, change, claim.

  • Bank – talk to them, they’re offering help and it’s in their interest to keep the economy running. Check out the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme, interest-only periods, mortgage holidays, working capital requirements.

Stock management

  • Consider your lines stocked? Can you reduce those.

  • Are there future orders already placed that you can suspend or reduce?

  • Can you negotiate payment holidays with suppliers?

  • Is there a local supplier that would be cheaper than paying shipping and freight – they may be keen for the business and willing to negotiate on price.

  • Are your suppliers stable – will they continue to supply what you need to meet your customers’ demands?

Business expenses

  • Review what you’re spending and reduce or cut items out – even if just for the short term.

  • Pare your operation back to the essentials but remember that when we exit Level 4 you will need to be operational to customers quickly.

Staffing levels

  • Do you have the right capacity for the work you’ve got? What are the implications to your business if you stand particular people down? What would be the impact of any redundancy payments?

  • Be very careful to ensure that any changes to your team’s employment are done legally and we’d suggest sensitively, to ensure good relationships down the track.

What business are you in?

  • Do you need to reassess product line/s, your distribution methods, your marketing channels, your pricing structure, your customer base.

Your business under COVID-19

  • Consider what your business operation looks like at each COVID-19 alert level. Are you allowed to trade normally at each level?  What safeguards or changes will you need to implement?  Do you need to continue working at home?

Use Moore Markhams as your financial and business advisor. As a coach, as a sounding board, to review and critique your plan, or to work alongside you to create the plan.

During this challenging time, we’d encourage you to stay focused. 

Concentrate on the aspects of your business that you can control. Adapt and respond. And look after yourself. Put your own oxygen mask on first, so that you can lead your team and business successfully through.