Albury NSW

Get your business match fit as lockdowns lift

Each business is unique and faces its own set of challenges

Throughout the pandemic, here at Salisburys we have focussed on supporting our clients as they have navigated their way through the challenges and issues we have all had to face to varying degrees over the past 18 months.

Throughout these conversations, there were some common themes appearing as we talked with businesses about key considerations they should be thinking about.

As lockdowns lift and living with COVID-19 becomes a reality for us all, we thought it was appropriate to provide some insight into these conversations and key actions we all need to be considering.

We have grouped these into three areas: doing a regular review of your expense base, being aware of and accessing the support options available to you (including government measures) and considering your business outlook.

1. Review your expense base

With employees being your biggest business asset, it’s important to have open discussions about the needs of your business.

Experience from previous lockdowns demonstrated how rapidly business activity can resume following the conclusion of the lockdown. Maintaining connections with, and support for, staff during these times is a key element of a business being able to bounce back so outline your plans with your staff.

If you’re finding it difficult to meet your rent obligations due to reduced revenue, speak to your landlord.

If you have business or personal loans, speak to your bank or other lenders about available options. Many are supporting their customers with a range of options such as repayment deferrals, waiving fees and charges (including for merchant devices), customised payment arrangements and tailored support packages.

2. Access support available

Tax deadlines don’t let up and Salisburys are always here to help you meet your responsibilities. As well as finding ways to be flexible and accessible for our clients, we help you plan and put in place your own processes to make seamless transitions to a ‘new world order’ — to continue trading and make a living.

The challenging factors we all faced in the last 12 months were:

  1. Managing staff and navigating a pandemic: transitioning to flexible work arrangements and working from home
  2. Managing stress: finding ways to engage by organising regular touchpoints throughout the year to provide support and be a sounding board to help navigate the pandemic.

Despite the challenges, there was scope to explore some new opportunities and untapped niches. Working from home and web meetings came to prominence fast and we all adapted to stay one step ahead. Accordingly, the silver lining was being able to try out new ideas or breathe new life into old business models.

Reviewing your business processes can help you improve productivity, streamline communication and standardise repeatable tasks to optimise your outputs with limited resources. This highlights the importance of working with your accountant in more ways than just crunching the numbers.

Combined Financial and Strategy Services

For Salisburys, being business advisors is about providing strategic operational advice, not just financial reporting. Where we add value is by:

  • Working with business owners to help clarify your definition of success
  • Developing action plans in response to your concerns, many of which are not financially driven but are strategic operational issues

We enhance our ‘P&L discussions’ with our financial expertise to provide a virtual advisory role and assist you to buy or sell a business, develop an exit strategy or just grow in a controlled way.

We also use real-time cloud data to support those discussions with core financials to generate meaningful advice that you can use.

3. Consider your business outlook

Having considered some options to reduce your expense base and additional support available, many businesses have identified opportunities for new revenue sources.

Incorporating technology in your business is more important than ever. Consider your online presence: is there value in adopting cloud services in your business, and are there apps that could help you run your business more effectively?

Customer engagement through digital channels has become increasingly important. Businesses have started or increased their focus on websites, eCommerce and social media as a means to stay connected with customers and generate ongoing sales. Salisburys are Xero Certified Advisers that can help businesses build and grow using a cloud accounting platform and an ecosystem of apps and plugins.

Some businesses have chosen to ‘pivot’ and launch new offerings. For businesses selling products, this often involves an emphasis on ‘Do-It-Yourself’, takeaway and contactless delivery. For service businesses, this pivot often involves recordings, or delivery via phone or video.

Working capital and cash flow need to be carefully managed — look at payment terms, supplier relationships, international currencies, and opportunities to unlock value in outstanding income you are owed.

As accounting professionals, we seek to be the go-to advisers for small businesses in our region. Innovating and utilising a range of strategies, business advice is our way to effectively drive future business growth and, ultimately, your definition of success. Contact us on 02 6041 3014.