Paul Davies Paul Davies

Restarting your business post Covid

By Paul Davies, Partner, OneTeam Chartered Accountants Ltd

You are down, but not out. Now you consider when and how to restart your business. What should you do?

• Take another look at your business plan.

When going over your business plan and model, get clear on your business’s strengths and weaknesses. Look at what was working before that may not work as well now and see where you can adjust or improve to remain competitive. Finally, don’t forget to revisit your business goals to make sure they’re realistic, given the current circumstances.

• Consider what resources you’ll need to recover.

Unless you had a large amount of cash on hand going into the pandemic, it’s likely that you may need working capital to jump-start your business operations coming out of it. There are several options to consider.

Should you apply for a small business loan? Options still exist with the government guaranteed loans.

Should you go without a salary for the first few months as things rebuild?

Should you hire staff on a part time basis or outsource some of the non-
core work (marketing, book keeping, payroll etc)?

• Create a contingency plan for the next crisis.

While the coronavirus pandemic may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime event, the reality is that an emergency can come along to disrupt your small business at any time. Using what you’ve learned to prepare for the next crisis can help you insulate your business from future shocks.

Are you an agency or a consultancy business?

Agents get paid by the seller or a fee to sell their products or services (ie real estate, insurance, sports, artists’ agent). They represent the interests of their supplier and take a commission or charge a fee when they sell the supplier’s products or services.

Consultants get paid by their customer for advice and expertise. They get paid when someone engages them to provide a product or service that meets the needs of their customer (ie lawyer, doctor, architect, designer). They provide services that assist their client to achieve their goals and generally charge by the hour or by assignment.

Many staff have left the travel industry and those that remain are highly skilled and not only required to guide clients with their travel plans but also with their options should their plans be disrupted by Covid.

Perhaps now is a good time to review your ideas about what you do and how you should be remunerated.

If you have been forced out of your full time travel job and had to take on other work – you will be aware that there is an opportunity cost if you come back into travel full time.

A client of mine has been working as project manager for his builder brother over the past 12 months. His brother pays him $60 per hour for his organisational skills. We discussed him returning to travel and his own business. I explained to him that there is an opportunity cost of $60 per hour to do that. No matter how passionate he is about his own business and assisting clients with their travel plans he could earn $60 per hour in his project management role. What he is doing for his travel clients is project managing their travel arrangements and seeing them through to the end of their trip.

What value do you put on your own time and skills?

If you are a consultant you would expect to get paid for your expertise whether your client proceeds with their plans or not. If they proceed with their plans and you are there to assist them, a consultant would expect to be remunerated for this.

Think about this when someone asks you to price up their next trip.

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