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  • Writer's pictureUHY Haines Norton

Disasters, Pandemics & Business- Joe Smith

Corona virus. Bush fires. Floods. Disaster is happening all around us but how does it affect your business? This week Joe shares some insight to that question and gives Australian business people some worthwhile points to think about.

2020 has certainly been an interesting year so far! The bushfires from last year continued into the new year. Then came the rain we were hoping for; however in some places we ended up with floods and then related damage from too much water in fire ravaged areas. Now we have Coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is now called, profoundly affecting tourism and education industries with the ripple effects being felt in other industries too.

Some business owners may think that these issues will not affect their business, but this may not be the case. The tourism and education industry are substantial in Australia and when spending in these areas is reduced, there will be a direct impact on almost every other industry across the country. So, business owners must be prepared for this.

One basic tip to ensure that your business is well placed to deal with disasters and pandemics is to ‘run a tight ship’. This can be achieved by not being too extravagant in spending in your business that does not have a high return on investment. A well known PR businesswoman recently boasted of spending $75,000 on curtains in her meeting room. While this may benefit her by attracting clients to her business, for most businesses this wouldn’t necessarily be beneficial and might not have a high return on investment.

Personal expenses of business owners should also be kept in check as the profits in the business need to be in excess of the amounts that they need to take out to maintain their lifestyle. So, you may want to hold off on buying the Ferrari using a big loan! Warren Buffet who is well known for his expertise in making money, is less known for having lived in the same house since 1958. This may be an extreme example, but it is something to think about.

Finally, having a disaster plan is a must for every business. What happens if we are locked down and you can’t get to the office – can you and your employees work from home if required? If you lose power for a long period will your business be able to operate in any scenario? While these are ‘worst case’ scenarios, being prepared means that your business can guarantee that it will be able to operate if and when disaster strikes!

If you would like to discuss how we can help you with your business please call UHY Haines Norton on 4972 1300 or email

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