Let us not beat around the bush, the recession has started. Nothing will be the same for anybody, business people included, once the first stage of the recession is completed. By that I mean, the isolation period caused by the COVID-19 virus is deemed to be over, or manageable. You must be prepared to change and adept to a new order where such things as protecting your cash, reputation and paying your debts in a timely fashion are paramount. These three objectives apply both to your personal and business lives.
In an effort to help business people survive and think more businesslike, and with a positive outlook, a series of mini-blogs, both written and in audio formats have been prepared. These blogs will become available at creditmatters.com.au over the coming weeks.Read More
“A business without cash, is not a business” said an accountant many years ago.
Accountants and insolvency administrators have also said over the years, that cash is the life blood of a business. Like a human body dies when there is little or no blood left in it, so does a business when it runs out of cash.
Today we live in a world which can and will drain our business and personal cash resources. The truth is, that in most situations in the future, many people will want your cash, whilst others may be unwilling or unable to give you cash in return.
Moving forward therefore, your first responsibility is to protect your cash resources, either those in the bank or available by accessing cash via finance options.Read More
Your reputation is a key factor for business and personal success. Over the years, many business people in particular, have often failed to protect their reputation by thinking they were exempt from the loss of reputational damage. It may be these people felt they were immune to reputational loss through money, status, “smart business strategies”, which were often proven to be not so smart, or by bluffing their way through tough times.
The reality is that this time, especially if you and your business do not have a good at the start of the recession, you are already behind the eight ball, Regaining a good reputation will be an uphill battle and even then, you may find some business people will still not trust or forgive you. If you have had a good reputation in the past, it is of paramount importance that you work to keep it intact.
Episode 4 - 3rd Key Factor - Cash Protection
If you wish to survive the next few years, you must protect every dollar leaving the firm and quickly seek the return of every dollar owed to your business.
In other words, you need to ensure every payment made has been properly authorised and you are not paying fraudsters. Likewise, getting paid for all outstanding invoices as quickly as possible if you sell on credit, is also essential.
Protecting the cash in the bank, is relatively straightforward in one sense and for most business, treated properly and with a degree of adherence to risk management norms of behaviour. However, in these tough times, it would pay to review everything you do and complete an audit on due processes and take extra precautions.Read More
Episode 5 - 4th Key Factor – Employees and Contractors
PEOPLE, make or break businesses.
Within your business, from management to the warehouse, maintenance or accounts employees, the best of these people will be working to keep your business going. Those with vested interests, the disenfranchised, the Marvellian types and those with alcohol, drug and gambling problems, will be causing damage.
Other people from outside your business will attempt to undermine your business at every opportunity. These people include the do-gooders of the world, bureaucrats and legislators who have never operated a business, slow paying and manipulating customers, suppliers who never deliver and fraudsters who just want your money.
It is therefore critical in a recession period that you employ good and honest people throughout your business. It is these people who will strive to do the right thing by the trading entity and people who employ them. If your business succumbs to the temptation of employing people who are cheap, or to underpay those that are employed, or people who leave their brains at the front door of your business, then this not a good recipe for survival in a recession.Read More
Episode 6 – 5th Key Factor – The Right Suppliers
In conjunction with your other survival strategies, reviewing your supplier list is essential. Like any other business input, you need a level of comfort that the suppliers will do the right thing by your business.
Accordingly, the two most important factors you need to cover are due diligence and your suppliers’ flexibility with delivery and payment options.Read More
Customers can make or break your business. This opening statement may sound trite, but is the truth.
We are now entering a new business paradigm where the focus must always be this question “What is in it for our business?” Focusing principally on customer needs to the exclusion of your business’s welfare, means the customer gains preferential treatment in the discussion on how you operate your business. Don’t forget, without cash and profits, plus customers, the business does not survive.Read More
Increasingly businesses need to use the best technology available for their type of business and practice first-class cyber protection hygiene.
Most people think when we talk about using technology in business, it will:
be cheaper and more efficient than employing people;
require less people in the business;
make our business more efficient;
be acceptable to all the business’s stakeholders; and
replacing the technology with updated versions will be risk free.
The truth to these thoughts is often far different in practice. The reality in fact, is that you have swapped one form of problems for another set of problems. We are also finding these newer problems are no easier to fix than the older problems, and often some of these problems are unfixable.Read More
The benefits of maintaining good business disciplines can be seen in the positive performance results of your business. For instance, a positive business decision could be; not to deal with suspect or dodgy suppliers whose products may cause problems in the future.
In tough times, cheaper goods and services always look good at first. The cost of defective products, loss of reputation, fixing problems later on, soon make the initial purchasing decision and lack of due diligence awfully expensive.Read More
There is only one objective for creating a business model and that is to help you make enough profit to survive and protect your business assets and investor’s contribution. Any business model which does not achieve this profit requirement needs to be changed. Unfortunately, often modifying your business model is like trying to turn around a battleship. It is almost impossible in the short term.
The problem with most of the business models is they are welded into management’s possessive thinking and ownership. When this occurs, management fights tooth and nail to keep the model going, even when their model is not working. In many other cases, even if the business model does appear viable, many profitable opportunities are still lost due to their lack of flexibility.
It would appear that a recession is now unavoidable and when the immediate COVID-19 crises period is over, nothing will be the same. Already we are seeing the evidence of the unsustainability of previous business models at this early stage of the virus–recession period. When the next business period comes about, many current business models with be found deficient.
There is no honour, or social kudos in putting your competitor out of business illegally. There may even be negative financial and legal implications if you have acted illegally.
Does that mean there are no other means to put your competitor out of business? Of course not. For instance, it is not your fault if your competitors operated improperly over the years and as a result, they go out of business.
It is also perfectly legal and practical, particularly as the recession proceeds, to want to see your competitors go out of business. After all, the number of your respective customers will likely decrease and the fewer competitors you have, the greater chance you have of making a sale. Now, I am not suggesting you deliberately target your competitors. Your primary focus must always be on survival and growth. Focusing on deliberately eliminating one or more competitors means you are not focused on your major objective of staying viable.Read More
If you are a specialist supplier of financial risk management products and services, then you need to be listed in Credit Matters Better Business Club.Read More