22nd April, 2020

New Zealand’s COVID-19 restrictions to ease

With New Zealand businesses set to enjoy relaxed COVID-19 restrictions from next week, owners are now busy coming up with plans for how to start building up revenue once again. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has announced the country would move to Level 3 restrictions a of Tuesday, 28 April (next week).

The Level 3 restrictions will allow more businesses to open. Such businesses will include takeaway and food deliveries, construction businesses, forestry businesses, and some retail businesses (but, many social restrictions will remain in place).

These eased restrictions bear a striking resemblance to what Australian businesses face right now, so New Zealand businesses may be able to take some cues from Australian counterparts in how to get up and running in the face of social lockdowns.

For instance, several businesses in Australia have managed to pivot their models (like moving from eat-in restaurants to takeaway businesses), while others have pumped more money into their online infrastructure to compensate for a lack of in-person sales.

READ: How to pivot your business into lockdown mode (Australia)

So, how can New Zealand businesses start readying themselves to open again?

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First, focus on what you can do online

Whether it’s increasing investment in existing digital infrastructure and marketing, or planning entirely new revenue streams, online is the order of the day in Australia, and we can expect the same in NZ under Level 3 lockdown.

In February, Sydney-based fairy floss seller Fluffy Crunch had $250,000 (AUD) in forecast revenue, which quickly zeroed out under COVD-19 lockdown.

That’s because the majority of Fluffy Crunch’s revenue comes from attending live events, but founder Michael Karamallis saw an opportunity to make the most of their online sales channel in the downturn.

Previously, the business had made around $2,000 in online sales per month. In March, it made $30,000 through a combination of savvy marketing and attention to detail when selling online.

You can read more about Fluffy Crunch’s online pivot here.

Other examples of common lockdown pivots and tactics in Australia:

  • Hospitality businesses have quickly taken up various delivery models in order to offer contactless delivery for all kinds of goods
  • Another strategy from hospitality businesses has been to diversify product offerings — local cafés are starting to look more like the old corner store, with staples and wholefoods available
  • Now’s the time to reassess your pricing strategy, no matter what business you’re in. MYOB economist Jon Manning gives his advice here
  • Seek out new partnerships. As you can see, many businesses in Australia have already put new plans into action and you may find mutual benefit in working with one of them. Alternatively, other NZ businesses will no doubt be looking to take on strategic partners where it makes sense to do so
  • Play to your strengths. In times like these, people need help and advice more than ever. If you have something unique to offer, consider how your assistance could be valued, and it what circumstances you might be able to charge for it

READ: 3 examples of businesses thriving under lockdown (Australia)

In the coming weeks, MYOB will be sharing stories of customer success and great business pivots to assist our audience in getting their operations up and running again. For advice on how you can start adjusting your business model today, we recommend consulting with an accredited accountant or other specialist business advisor.