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  • Writer's pictureUHY Haines Norton

So your business is in hibernation. What now?- Steve Marsten

Everywhere we go, someone, somewhere is talking about COVID-19. Amongst all the noise, Steve clarifies how business owners can make the most of this "hibernation" period and what they need to think about for the coming months.

In the wake of the coronavirus restrictions and shutdowns, many businesses have had to and will have to close their doors and effectively “hibernate”. The Government expect these measures to be in force for a period of at least six months. However, they want these businesses to start again and not be saddled with debt, rental repayments and other liabilities.

So, if you have made the decision to close your doors, we suggest you work on the following during your hibernation period:

1. At a minimum look at what your cash outflow requirements are over the next 6 to 12 months and review this on a weekly basis. Cut unnecessary spending immediately. Review and cancel / put on hold subscriptions.

2. Contact your bank All the banks are coming out and saying they will do a holiday repayment for a minimum of 6 months. This will not be treated as hardship and will not affect the on-going impact with the current lender. The most important thing to do is contact the bank prior to being late for any payments. Any arrears could hinder the process and outcome.

3. Ensure you pay any employee superannuation by the due dates. Employers still need to meet their SG obligations. The ATO has no discretion under the SGC rules to vary the due date or waive the SGC where contributions are late/unpaid. We encourage clients to pay staff super at the same time as when they physically pay staff wages.

4. Talk to your suppliers It is best to be open and speak with all of your suppliers about your situation. Keep them informed. It will be much easier to work with them again in the future if they remember that you kept them in the loop and were honest.

5. Create a customer communication plan Plan your marketing campaign now so you have a ‘bank of marketing’ ready for your re-opening. Write blogs and facebook content.

6. Projects/Systems Is there a project or system you had been meaning to implement in the business that you can use this time to do?

7. Health and family Take this time to improve yours and the family’s health, increase your fitness, play more with the kids and ensure the kids keep up their schooling.

We understand this is a difficult time for any business owner. Ask for help. We are all in this together. Call the team at UHY Haines Norton on 4972 1300 for more business strategies to cope with COVID-19.

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