29th April, 2020

Restrictions lifted: 5 steps business owners must take at Level 3

With New Zealand now moving out of Level 4 lockdown restrictions, businesses are now faced with many important decisions. What’s the best way to get your business moving?

While some businesses may see a rush of business return, owners will have to deal with ongoing uncertainty around when face-to-face interactions can occur, with clear implications for their business model. And this is before considering complications regarding maintaining or retraining staff.

The new MYOB Business Preparedness Guide features a range of different solutions for this new stage of restrictions. Among them are five key steps for ensuring business owners are ready.

Above all, though, business owners should primarily focus on the essentials to get them up and running again — with a key focus on safety requirements.

The first few days will be the most critical

Business owners should prepare to be flexible in the first few days after lockdown. Experimenting and changing policies on the fly will be crucial to maintaining an efficient business as restrictions continue, and are gradually lifted again.

Businesses should make sure they:

  • Have all safety requirements in place
  • Fully brief staff on those requirements
  • Re-engage with customers and suppliers
  • Provide regular updates to customers
  • Engage with suppliers to let them know of your plans

MYOB NZ country manager Ingrid Cronin-Knight said businesses need to revisit these on an ongoing basis, and regularly tweak plans.

“This process will be a new way of operating for everyone, so it will be a good idea to have a review at the end of the day on what’s working and what could be improved, especially around your health and safety plan.”

Focus on these five key areas

With everything that’s going on, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done, but MYOB has provided you with five areas of focus to get your business moving again.

1. Focus on cash flow

How can you free up more cash? Consider changing terms of trade to get paid weekly, providing incentives for early payments, and sales and specials to move stock

2. Build a cash reserve

To provide a buffer against future disruption, find ways to set aside cash so you can avoid living from invoice to invoice

DOWNLOAD: MYOB’s FREE invoice template

3. Lines of credit

Banks are being supported by the Government to provide more business loans – a credit facility may help you smooth over any cashflow bumps and avoid costly sources of finance (like credit card payments)

4. Business re-gearing

Talk to your accountant or financial advisor about how best to structure your business to respond to the new market. Can you do things more efficiently, streamline operations, temporarily mothball parts of your business, close non-performing sites and so on?

5. Continuity planning

When you have the opportunity, evaluate your response to the lockdown. What worked, what didn’t, and what could be better? Use the experience of the lockdown to help prepare a plan for disruptions your business may face in the future – including changing Alert Levels.

Read more steps in the MYOB Business Preparedness Guide.

Going back to business after lifting restrictions won’t be an easy task, but by taking a sensible step-wise approach to get things going again will help put you back on the path to success. Above all, remain flexible — and be open to new ideas.