As a small/medium business owner ourselves we have been interested in the so called ‘leadership sacrifice’ the top executives and some Government MP’s are making, and how this is making headlines. It has been over a month now since we entered this Covid-19 situation, and for many small to medium business owners in NZ, we have had to make large salary sacrifices to keep our companies running. So here is a plug for all those who carry the risk and liability of their business and are making huge sacrifices in an aim to keep your businesses afloat and provide ongoing jobs for your staff. Well done you, and if you don’t get it from anyone else, a big Thank You and if it does not work out how you planned, take note of a couple of quotes:
Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again – Richard Branson
Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. – Zig Ziglar
We will all learn from this experience even if we feel it has been done to us rather than what we ourselves have done. Don’t forget that being in business is a marathon not a sprint and weathering the hard times and enjoying the good times, is what makes us sustainable. However, make sure that you do not let the stress get to you, look after yourselves and realise that there are always options, looking at what these are, and making important decisions earlier rather than later could make all the difference.
So, some advice:
- Don’t bury your head in the sand when confronted by problems
- Get good advice from trusted advisors – if not sure, ask someone you trust to refer you to someone who can help you with specific areas of your business you need advice on – no one advisor is a knowledgeable expert in all areas of business: be careful of those who think they are
- Don’t delay in making decisions- make them early as it will be less painful in the long run
- Consider both the short term and long-term effects on your business before making a decision
- Ask yourself, are there other options I haven’t fully considered – being creative may be your saving grace
As we move into new territory – look at new areas for revenue and growth that you haven’t considered. Ask your staff for ideas and options – they often have ideas that may not have been an option previously but may now be the best way forward for your business.
As far as the government support goes here is a recap of what is on offer:
- Wage Subsidy Scheme – this is still an option
- Essential Workers Leave Payment Scheme
- Business Finance Scheme
- Business Cash Flow And Tax Measures
- Support for Maori Communities and Businesses
- Support for Tertiary Students
The Companies Registry Office NZ also has information on legislative changes the Government is planning to make to the Companies Act for businesses facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to enable them to remain viable, and keep New Zealanders in Jobs:
Utilising the support from all areas, both government and private sector, is important to see our way forward and to have a business that is once again viable and making profit. There may be more support coming in the next week for businesses – we will try and keep you informed as these are rolled out.
So, as we potentially move to Alert Level Three, this is our take on what the PM had to say in preparation:
- Continue to restrict our contact with others
- Primarily stay at home, if you have been working from home, and still can, then continue to do so
- Continue to keep your bubble small – we can expand it a small amount e.g. close family
If you are considering opening for business, or returning to work from your usual work environment, as business owners we have to be able to ensure it is safe for our staff, clients/customers and visitors to our work place, otherwise you should continue to work from home.
As the PM said “Safe Operations Only” which means, follow Health and Safety guidelines of:
- Social distancing at least 2 metres or 1 metre away if you can trace the people you are in contact with
- Good Hygiene both individually and the workplace
- Develop a Work Site Plan for managing your premises and business under Alert Level Three and then in Level Two
Industry specific guidelines can be found on the Government website or at the Ministry of Innovation and Employment.
As a business you will also need to be able to contract trace everyone who comes into your business or who you have contact with e.g. face to face meetings.
Travel restrictions will also remain in place e.g. staying within your region.
There is more information available from an individual perspective, rather than specific to business and again this can be found on the Governments website for COVID19.
As we wait to hear if we are going to move to Alert Level three – be aware that this level is different from before we went into lockdown. If you were open prior to lockdown this does not mean you will be able to automatically reopen again when we move back to Level Three – the rules are different. With this ‘new’ level three, businesses can go onto the Government website to find industry specific information about whether you can open or not. You will also be able to register for the Self Accreditation Scheme which will be available next week if we make the move.
Russell Drake Consulting provides expert advice on the following:
- Employment Relations (conflict in the workplace, Personal Grievances, Mediation)
- Human Resources
- Discipline and Performance Processes
- Employment solutions
Please visit our website for further information