Like many individuals and families, COVID-19 has begun to make its presence known. COVID-19 otherwise known as Coronavirus has entered Australia and initially it didn’t seem like much of a concern but has now caused the Australian Government to implement shut down procedures that have forced business as we know it in Australia to change, possibly forever. Growth of businesses has suffered so far. Business owners who were looking for a business loan are now wondering how to go about it and what is going on with the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme (see below)
As a business owner there may be many thoughts going through your head. How long will this last? Will my business survive? Can I afford to keep paying staff? Can I afford to keep the lights on?
With all of this, we have come up with some ways to try and combat COVID-19 as a business owner. With the landscape of the issue changing everyday, it’s very hard to know what the next best move should be. So the key word for all of this is to adapt.
1. Work on the weaker areas of your business
During a time like this, it’s a rare time where the demand for products and services (most anyway) has dropped dramatically. Due to this, one of the best things to do can be to focus on weaker areas of your business. Whether that be taking your business online, improving online presence, new forms of marketing or maybe just resetting targets and goals. Once this virus goes away in one way or another and businesses begin to run like before, your business will have adapted and you can really get a competitive advantage.
2. Financially plan and strategise
In times like this, finances both personally and in business can be dire. This is a good time to stop, and take a look around and assess what you need and what you don’t need. Got a subscription that you barely use? Cut it. Trim the ‘fat’ off your business and then also prepare and see how long your business can run with a loss in revenue.
If you were planning of getting some sort of business loan, readjust your planning so that you can ensure you can maximize the benefits of having a business loan and minimize any unnecessary hassles.
In doing this, also evaluate what government assistance can help you and your business. You can take advantage of the JobKeeper allowance for your staff, therefore covering wages. Financially adapting during a time like this is very important and will really help your business fly out of the gates when it can resume operating as normal.
3.Uncover opportunities that you didn’t see before
With normal day to day life, it’s easy to miss things. You may leave your keys somewhere and forget them, forget to get milk from the shops or leave your wallet on the kitchen bench. It happens. Similarly, you can overlook certain things in business. A key thing that is overlooked in business is opportunity. There may be things that you’ve been meaning to do and you just never get around to doing them. Now is the time to take action and do those things. If there is a potential partnership to be had, make it happen. Time to upgrade some backend software, do it. Looking at a new phone system, get it.
Now is the time to make things happen so that you can ensure that your business comes out the other side. It is going to be a tough time, long hours and dedication but in the end it will be all worth it. If you and your business can survive this, you’re ready to take on any competitor.
As well as your own preparation work that you have done to try and shift your business to adapt to this tough time, the government is stepping up to the plate to provide assistance to businesses in the form of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. If you were looking at getting a business loan for your business, this will definitely help.
What is it?
The Australian Government will provide assistance of up to $40 billion of unsecured lending to small businesses, with an initial six month repayment holiday.
How does it all work?
Eligible banks and non-bank lenders will get a loan guarantee for the loans that meet the criteria below. SMEs, including sole traders can apply with through a participating lender.
How much I borrow?
You will be able to borrow up to $250,000 under this scheme.
Will I be eligible?
Participating and eligible lenders will receive the loan guarantee for loans with the following terms:
- Businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million
- Maximum loan amount of $250,000
- Maximum loan term of 3 years (including a 6 month repayment holiday)
- For working capital purposes
When does this all start?
Early April 2020 until 30 September 2020.
I want to read more about it. Is there a factsheet I can have a look through?
Yes! Have a read of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme here.