Playing to your strengths
The current situation does provide businesses and industries with an opportunity to make changes they otherwise might not have had the chance to make. A few weeks ago when I spoke with Shane Delia, a prominent Melbourne chef and restaurateur, he had some interesting insights for where the hospitality industry was and where it needed to get to, and he’s helping to make changes not only for his business, but others too.
Just like Shane has thought about his business, every business owner has the chance to reflect on where their business is positioned right now and where they could be. Some businesses are currently in a good position and their products are facing increased demand. Others are going to have to make changes to better service customer needs, which might be in different ways to what they've done in the past.
In the podcast, Isaac spoke about businesses who’ve successfully adapted. “We've seen businesses who have pivoted their business by saying ‘We manufacture garments, we now can do some PPE [Personal Protective Equipment],’” he says. “That looks initially like a very short term play, but more local content might be required on an ongoing basis.”
“We're seeing some of that with particular markets or supply lines which had just stalled and now they're thinking about how they would change that to make the business more robust. But it's actually opened up some new ideas about products which are adjacent to what they do now that can provide more diversity.”
Planning for the future
Now is the best time for business leaders to have conversations and see what opportunities or potential setbacks may be headed their way.
“Get advice, from your accountants or from your financial advisor - whoever you take financial advice from - sit down with them and get really on top of the numbers,” Isaac says. “Certainly speak to the bank about your liquidity requirements, what the bank can do. Get things sorted before the urgency to extend the deferrals in place.”
Talking to advisors and your bank isn’t the only important conversation. In the last month I’ve spoken to many business leaders and experts and they all agree it’s imperative we communicate with our teams and ensure they feel supported.
Isaac agrees: “It's really important that people are looking after their teams and looking after themselves and their families. It's not only physical health, but mental health and mental wellbeing is so important. We've had a very stressful time, but I think business conditions are going to be pretty tough for the next year or two.
“It's important that people take time to think about how they personally navigate through so they're in the best position they can to make sound and balanced decisions as how the economy opens up.”
Listen to the podcast above to hear the full conversation.
For more stories from ANZ small businesses and how they’re managing COVID-19 visit ANZ News.
For the latest information on COVID-19 and how we can support your business, visit anz.com/covid-19.