We have learnt to live with COVID-19
We have seen many shifts in the last two years and dealt with the madness of COVID-19. The MBF committee is constantly looking forward, we accept that the world will be in a never normal, one that will always be in flux and we need to keep navigating it with new ideas and strategies.
It's been fantastic working with MBF members, business networks, Council, community and our committee members in 2021. We are truly grateful for your support. Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy holiday season. We want to put 2021 behind us and look forward to working together again in 2022.
MBF Members who have pivoted during COVID-19
Some business owners are faced with challenges in securing inventory and have created new products to complement existing range. Take for example, Lee Heng from My Blue Tea who has introduced "Spice Pantry" to complement her staple product lines.
Liz Paine of Learning Insight has brought her courses online. These are self-help courses which you can just pay and learn.
Veronica Lind of Vermilion Pinstripes has brought her marketing technology skills to Brilliant-Online introducing a multichannel, interactive advertising platform that includes a magazine, blog stories, social media, email and ad banners.
Some businesses including restaurants with staff hiring challenge have converted to a take-away model (including click and collect) and used technology to take orders and improve efficiency. The click-and-collect business model will remain a permanent feature for these businesses.
We're very proud of micro business owners who think out of the box. If you have pivoted or have an idea, share with us.
Going online: It's the wisest thing to do if technology can help you drive efficiency and manage your business with ease. If you need help with technology, David Peake of Lighthouse Beach IT and Barbara Smith of The Roving Trainer can help you get started.
Supply chain: This will be a key priority for many businesses next year as getting inventory will be a challenge, prices will go up and end-users are going directly to manufacturers.
Staff and skills: As we mentioned earlier, staff hiring will be a challenge. We also see several micro business owners going back to the workforce. If you are lacking expertise in a particular are, why not look at our members. It's better to get someone who can help you than you trying to do everything yourself.
Digital marketing: Yes, everyone is beefing up on their digital marketing right now. Customers are searching for products and services online more than ever, so is your website updated? If you want to know what kind of marketing will work for your business, contact Veronica Lind, Vermilion Pinstripes.
From cashless to cardless: Are you set up with the necessary digital wallets that will bring you more business?
Careful spending: More than half of businesses are nervous about spending but I think it is important to understand where you should be spending and why. Xero reported that there were increase in digital expenses like marketing and ecommerce. Spend where it allows long term growth.
Cash flow: 56% still face cash flow pressure (Xero). There seem to be more borrowings. Inflation can eat into profitability. Take time in 2022 to look at your pricing structure and how you transact - decide on payment terms with your customers. To get cashflow advice, reach out to John Clarke, Success Tax Professionals or Lyndall Ward, CATS4Tax.
Health: According to Xero, 43% of business owners are concerned about their mental health. It can be lonely especially many of us, like myself have return to a work-from-home model. If you're struggling talk to MBF member, Linda Mitten.
MBF is here for micro business owners
The Micro Business Forum has always been the friendliest business network in Port Macquarie-Hastings providing support, networking opportunities and personal development to micro business owners. All of our events are designed that way, so you can grow.
Download our event calendar then pin it to your desktop. Block your calendar for 2022 as it's the best year to grab knowledge and expand connections
MBF members who are renewing their membership before 31st January will receive a coupon code that allows them to use it against any event so they can attend free.
Meanwhile, have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and a very Happy New Year with your friends and families.
Micro Business Forum