Coronavirus has spread completely around the world, it is affecting all human races, societies, and economies without any discrimination. It has led to economic instability in most countries like the USA, UK, China, France, and Australia, etc. Australia, more specifically Perth has suffered a steep decline in economic activity due to COVID-19. All small businesses in Perth are simultaneously impacted as personal and professional lives are disrupted.
Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses in Perth:
The COVID-19 has turned down every industrial market. Besides, the unavailability of laborers, slowdown of productions, shortage of raw materials, and transportation restrictions had major ramifications on these businesses. It’s been almost one year since the Australian Prime Minister announced the social distancing measures and business restrictions in response to COVID-19, since then small businesses have faced a drop in customer and sales numbers, disruptions to supply chains, and ultimately cash flow shortages. Social distancing measures bite businesses, 72% of businesses had less income as a result of COVID-19, 22 % revenue remained the same, 7% revenue increased. The underemployment rate hits a historic high of 13.8%, which means 1.8 million people working reduced. Youth underemployment (15 to 24-year olds) hits 23.6%.
Recovery of Small Businesses in Perth:
COVID-19 will not end suddenly, considering the evolving nature of the virus and the uncertain possibilities and timing of the vaccine. As the backbone of the Australian economy, small businesses need to adjust and recover. The small businesses affected in Perth must prepare for every possible situation as they try to shift from the crises response to recovery. The owners of the small businesses must reflect the situation of their businesses and highlight the areas which require their utmost attention such as:
- Cash flow
- Supply chain
- Digital Enablement
The owners must have some priorities for the next 12 to 24 months and work out an action plan for their businesses. The businesses have to determine that how is COVID affecting their approach to managing their physical and virtual workplaces. The following steps might help most businesses to recover from the loss during the pandemic:
Identifying the needs of the customer:
Businesses must identify their target customers and have a good understanding of their needs. The customers must be aware of the impact of the pandemic on the business. The managers must analyze how the customer patterns have changed and how reliant is their business on direct customer contact to continue their trade.
Get the cash flow in order:
The owners must estimate the amount of cash and facilities the business holds. The company must have a clear idea of known cash inflows and fixed and variable expenditures.
Understand supply chains or explore alternative supply chains:
Understanding the supply chain is an important step. The company must have an idea of its supplier’s network, the impact of COVID on the supply operations, and if the supplier is an affected country the company must look for the other available options.
Identify the hidden strengths that emerged in your staff during the pandemic and train your staff to work diligently. Make sure that the company is devoting enough time to check on the employees during uncertain times. The employees must be trained to handle the increased remote connections if the majority of the company has to work remotely. Introduce new Software to enable your employees to work easily from home.
It is an unfortunate reality of this crisis that not every small businesses in Perth can recover but the customers, workers, suppliers, and competitors are watching. So if a business faces a decline but manages to recover, then its recovery will define its reputation and its potential to perform in the coming years.