Who would have thought, just a few short months ago, that entire companies would soon be run by an army of staff working from discrete home offices, that online meetings would take over from face-to-face interaction as the preferred mode of business consultation, and that hand sanitiser would suddenly become the de rigueur offering of hip boutique gin distilleries across the country?
The COVID-19 crisis has caused some serious disruption to business across nearly all industry sectors and it is really quite amazing to see how quickly and coolly most employers and employees have adapted to the new business normal.
However, there is no room for complacency in what is a continually evolving environment of complex business challenges. The business plan that may have helped you get through the first few weeks of the crisis may not be the one you need to keep your business viable through a longer period of restrictions on movement, social gathering and workplace operations.
The Government and health experts have warned that there will be no sudden snap back to the old ways of the world from this pandemic; rather we will come out of this period slowly, with a gradual easing of restrictions, and some things may never be the same as they once were.
Economies in different countries, and even different states, will ‘restart’ at different paces, and there will likely be new regulations and protocols in place to limit the chance of a second COVID-19 outbreak.
Our region is lucky to have a diverse economy that will hopefully help us to withstand this crisis better than some other areas and be in a good position to scale back up quickly when the time is right.
However, businesses will have to think ahead about what their new business environment might look like and what longer-term adjustments they might need to make to working conditions, operations, marketing and even product or service offerings.
In recognition of this climate of constant change, our affiliate organisation, Business Australia, is continually producing and posting useful articles designed to help businesses navigate through the crisis and beyond.
These articles, published on Business Australia’s comprehensive online Business Guide to Coronavirus portal, offer advice on subjects such as boosting cash flow, how to ‘hibernate’ a business, taking back control in a time of crisis, refinancing, managing supply chain disruptions and growing new opportunities.