Is it time to celebrate?
I’ve been off the air for a couple of weeks celebrating. After 2 and a half years of that damn virus and COVID border closures keeping my
family apart, we have finally been reunited. So, we’ve made the most of it and spent most of our waking hours together getting reacquainted
and back to normal. Hopefully, the recent announcement of the widespread opening of our international borders will give a much-needed boost
to the economy and, not just help families, but also help to get small business back to normal. Because it’s been tough!
I was discussing this with some of our hospitality clients just this week. Anecdotally speaking, it appears that in the past few months, the
“pretend lockdown” has been much harder on business than the original 6-week Australia wide lockdown of 2020. Firstly, because there is no
Queensland government support this time. Secondly, finding staff that are well and not in isolation has been challenging. And thirdly, after
2 years of hanging in there, both the actual bank and the emotional bank are pretty empty. Thriving businesses from 2020, despite pivoting
many times during the pandemic, are on their knees. But is there hope for turning things around soon?
Maybe. I have started noticing small signs of life. Last night we had a family trip to the gorgeous Howard Smith Wharves. We haven’t
actually been there since the start of the pandemic so it was interesting to see how it was recovering. It was pumping. All the restaurants
seemed to be making the most of the great Queensland weather by using all their outdoor spaces and they were all filled to the brim. It was
mentioned that a lot of the restaurants in the area were short-staffed so they had cajoled managers into working as floor staff. But, if
last night at HSW was any indication, people are starting to come out of hibernation and spend again. I have noticed the same scenario on my
weekly client visits to the city. With school going back, people are starting to return to their offices and are coming back to the city.
I’m vibing on optimism and hoping it will continue.
So how can you make your cash go a little bit further while you are waiting for the pandemic disruption to leave the building? It’s back to
basics! Collect your debts faster, delay paying your creditors for a bit longer, reduce your product purchases and instead sell the stock
you already have. In other words, focus on making every cent work for you. Get creative about how you get clients through the doors. Maybe
you could collaborate with other complimentary local businesses to market your businesses together and share the cost. You could spend some
this downtime to plan what’s next. What will you do to jump on that success rollercoaster as soon as it pulls into the station? Be prepared
for when things get better. You already know you can be careful with your cash so plan how you use that knowledge in the next stage of your
business. And finally, share the load with your trusted business advisor or accountant. They understand your business and your pain and are
well placed to help you. They want you to succeed so reach out and give them the chance to support you.
Fingers crossed, we are past the worst of the business disruption and 2022 will become the year where we can celebrate making it to the
other side. Cue those huge celebrations and events! Every one of them will support a bunch of small businesses and families and make our
last two years of pain a distant memory.