MBF continues to support small business owners
Today (6 May 2020) is the 100th day when the first coronavirus case was recorded. More than three months later, schools have been closed, businesses are shuttered, hundreds of thousands have been pushed onto welfare and 96 Australians have died.
The Micro Business Forum took immediate steps to support small business owners during this challenging time. We promote our members' offers on our online channels and continued MBF meetings, coffee connects and committee meetings online.
MBF also offered business owners who want to join as new members, a trial membership of three months.
Please contact Alison Caroll, our membership secretary for details.
The biggest worry is Money.
So on May 1st, the Micro Business Forum invited four speakers to form part of a panel discussion where they addressed pressing challenges faced by small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The four speakers were David Ross of Direction Accounting, Veronica Lind of Vermilion Pinstripes - Sales Marketing Communications, Ingrid Weissmann of TBT Australia and Barbara Smith of The Roving Trainer.
Facilitated by MBF Treasurer, Glenda Hamilton, we discussed ways you can save money, take advantage of the stimulus package, do better marketing and take care of your mental health.
You can listen to the recording of May Day is Pay Day on our YouTube channel by clicking below.
Payments of $1,500 a fortnight to businesses eligible for JobKeeper was supposed to kick in on 1st May. More than 728,000 businesses have signed up to the $130 billion program, covering 4.7 million employees.
The Australian Commissioner of Taxation has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.
David Ross of Direction Accounting gave an excellent summary of the various stimulus packages, including Bush Fires grants and of course JobKeeper. More information about JobKeeper for Sole Traders can be found on the Australian Government's website.
For more information on finances, claims and JobKeeper, please contact David Ross though his website - https://www.direction.com.au.
Barbara Smith of The Roving Trainer provided some useful tips to save money.
Talk to your insurance company. If you're using less of of your vehicle because you can't be selling at the markets anymore, your insurer may suggest a cheaper premium;
Avoid wastage - food especially;
Talk to banks, landlords, council about deferred payments, cheaper rates etc.
Barb recommended some books and website like simplesavings.com.au for inspiring money saving tips.
Barb can also help you with technology, especially now when you need to be online. Contact Barb through her website - https://www.rovingtrainer.com.au
Preparing for post COVID-19 and stay top of mind
Veronica Lind from Vermilion Pinstripes advised business owners to continue their sales and marketing engagements with prospect and customers to stay top of mind.
There are seven top things you can do right now to stay ready, open and available.
Audit your online channels and ensure they're optimised for search. Do this right now so that you can be found on the world wide web when most people are at home on their devices;
Be prescriptive with your offerings and tweak them to meet the utmost needs of people right now. People need medication and not multi-vitamins at this moment;
Connect with your customers - show empathy, discuss service deferments, instalments, refunds, delivery options - anything that implies easing the customer's anxiety. Don't just email, talk to them on the phone, via video - a voice is what's needed to demonstrate care;
Audit your business and find areas you can improve on. Go online; grab on to free productive tools that suit you most; learn something new and prepare for these skills that can take your business up a notch;
Go through your computer. You might find valuable information which you can use to create blogs, eBooks, social posts etc that you can share with your audience and drive traffic to you.
Access to Vermilion Pinstripes' free marketing resources and tools to help you do marketing better.
Strategies to destress
Ingrid Weissmann of TBT Australia says that E + R = O which means an event happens; we react to it that creates an outcome. That being said, optimists are more likely to increase their incomes because they saw opportunities so keep connecting and keep being informed.
A human being can't be switched on at all times. Sometimes doing nothing at certain times of the day can trigger creative ideas.
It's also good to be present in the moment, especially when facing adversity and fear. To prepare for post COVID-19, ask yourself, "Is there something you can do or want to do", even if it's knitting or learning a new skill; learning in small increments to uplift yourself.
Your well-being is important. Talking to someone like Ingrid at a time when you are overwhelmed with everything that is going on around you is critical. Contact Ingrid through her website - https://tbtaustralia.com
Wellbeing tip sheet
If you need counselling services, please contact Linda through her website - https://www.smoothsailingcounselling.com.au/
If you have any comments on this article, please address them to Veronica at firstname.lastname@example.org