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How to ‘do’ business differently in a pandemic
August 18, 2020

How to ‘do’ business differently in a pandemic

Written by: Nick Ogden

For the best part of 2020, businesses have been navigating a rocky, ever-changing road brought on by COVID-19. We’ve heard the success stories and the pivots that have resulted in new business transformations but there is one thing for certain, many businesses are struggling to survive, even with extended JobKeeper support and loan deferments.

Our initial outlook and response was based on the perception that this was a temporary situation, but, as Victoria experiences a second wave of infections and restrictions, businesses are starting to realise that this really is the new normal. 

We acknowledge that while we might all be in this together, the outlook is very different for each and every business. In these difficult times, you’re probably changing focus on a daily basis and wondering what you should be doing, even when you’re not sure if you can be doing it.

So let us help you take a step back from the crazy and focus on a few key things that might get your thoughts, and your business on a new path.

Pivot your business to maximise your strengths

At the start of all this, you might not have been ready to completely change what and how you do business and that’s understandable, but if you’ve reached a point where survival is shaky, the time to take action is now. Shift your focus from your traditional business model to what your business does best. Can your skills or assets be applied in a different way? We’ve heard the stories of large scale manufacturers answering the government’s call for PPE production and even small local clothing companies switching to mask making. Then there’s the airlines, remodelling their fleets to transport cargo instead of passengers. So what is at the core of your business and where is there still a market for either those services, products, skills or assets?

Reassess every aspect of your operation

Businesses rarely get such an opportunity to really reassess every aspect of their day-to-day operations and it’s not only a great time to do it, but it might just be critical to your future. Sit down with your financial controller or accountant and go deep on your numbers. What are your costs and where can you make some savings? Can you downsize your office now that your staff are successfully working from home? Is there room to negotiate on some of your contracted services? Are you paying insurance on vehicles that are going nowhere for the foreseeable future? You should also review any systems and processes that may be redundant since COVID-19 hit and talk to your staff about anything that’s causing inefficiencies or roadblocks in their ability to do their job.

Resource your business accordingly

Here comes the tough part: looking at the human resources in your business and the work they’re performing. Thankfully, JobKeeper has ensured that wherever possible, jobs have been looked after and people have remained employed. Small business will be vital to the economy getting back on track so make no mistake, your business’ survival needs to be a number one priority. While you have the support of JobKeeper, why not focus your team’s efforts on sales and new business development. Maximise their skills and knowledge and take away any tasks that are basic and transactional in nature by outsourcing these to a lower cost option. This can be a great temporary option but if all goes well, it’s also a great way to get your business ready for when the economy opens up again. And it will, once we’ve successfully navigated these difficult times.

Beepo is here to help businesses of all sizes with low cost solutions across a range of business roles including accounts, administration, marketing, customer service and IT. If you’d like to learn more about sustaining or growing your business in a high cost economy, download our ebook about How to Scale and Grow Your Professional Services Business Through Outsourcing: A Case Study.

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