Coronavirus Covid-19: Business Survival Tips and Techniques



Never before have we witnessed such an immediate and devastating financial and economic impact on a global scale.

Many businesses have lost a significant portion of their revenue overnight.

The loss in revenue does not have an equitable change in fixed overhead costs on top of the invoices arriving relating to last months trading.

These are businesses that employ your family, friends, students…..all who rely on the income from those businesses to live.

Accordingly, the impact on business flows directly to households as employees may have reduced hours or none at all, whilst still having to meet living expenses, mortgage payments and so on…..

This is not the time for panic…..

This is the time for swift, unique and critical action steps to ensure survival of the business and in turn the livelihoods of many…

So what can we all do to ensure that the impact of this virus which will continue to impact in ways that cannot be foreseen…


  1. Be Proactive

Identify your pain points:

  1. is it the oversupply of labour given the reduction in revenue (i.e café’s/restaurants/retail)
  2. Fixed overheads (landlord / overdraft / loans)
  3. Australian Taxation Office
  4. Combination of the above

Once you identify your pain points you can then taken action steps to deal with each of them.

  1. Collaborate and Communicate

Once your pain points are identified communicate and collaborate with those that affect those pain points.

Speak to your staff, ask full timers if they want to go on Annual Leave, Long Service Leave (thereby reducing future liability), seek voluntary reduction in shifts to spread the load etc

I am aware of a number of full time hospitality staff reducing their hours so that casual staff can take them up so that all staff have incomes despite them all being reduced.

It is this type of collaboration that is required.

Speak to your landlord and ask for a rent holiday for the next two to three months, then reassess.  Your landlord may also have a mortgage, speak openly to achieve a better outcome.  Landlords need to be accommodating, as the likelihood of finding a new tenant without a rent free period in these uncertain times is almost non existent.

The banks today have announced six month repayment holidays for small business.  So, speak to your bank regarding your overdraft, loan, credit cards etc and also ask for the repayment holiday. The banks are likely to be very accommodating if you have good payment and loan history.

This applies to individuals as well.  Speak to your bank, ask for the repayment holiday, advise them of the reasons behind the request (i.e. less hours etc).  I expect that they will be accommodating.

Speak to the Australian Taxation Office regarding deferral of payments or payment arrangement.  See point 3 below re Stimulus.  However be sure to continue to lodge your activity statements and SGC statements if required to avoid personal liability as a director.

Speak to your suppliers, collaborate with them so that both businesses benefit, this may include payment terms, discounting, consigning rather than buying etc, find a way that means that the supplier and the business survives. Again keep these arrangements short term until more is know and the media stops selling panic.

Never has greed been a more deadly sin.

  1. Accountant/Advisors and Government Stimulus

Never has your accountant been more important.

Your accountant will be able to assist in points 1 & 2 as well as with the Federal Government Stimulus package if you are eligible.

The package includes a range of measures including instant asset write offs, cash flow assistance up to $25,000 for employers (subject to criteria), wages subsidies for apprentices/trainee’s.

The Federal Government also has further stimulus measures for those in areas severely impacted by the recent bushfires.

There is also a low interest line of credit announced by the Federal Government and Reserve Bank available for small business.  Again, speak to your accountant and advisors.

Individual state governments are also providing stimulus packages.

The above list is not exhaustive but gives some insight into the way businesses should be assessing their current position and seeking to maximise their chances of survival.

With the length and breadth of the impact of this virus unable to be predicted, implementing short term measures to alleviate the cashflow needs now, will allow for a much better assessment as more becomes known.

Now more than ever all businesses must be supportive of each other, the banks and other large institutions need to be supportive of businesses and the government needs to be supportive of all.

But…..what if…..I am already in financial distress….

There are options available to assist in keeping your business alive.

The Safe Harbour legislation introduced a few years ago is designed to allow company directors to continue in circumstances where the company may be insolvent or on the verge of insolvency but are seeking to ensure survival and maximise benefit to its stakeholder you can read our previous blog to understand more.

The key to survival if you are in financial distress is to ACT EARLY!  The earlier you act the more options that are available and the better the chances of survival.

As always do not hesitate to speak to anyone of our five registered liquidators should you be or expect to be experiencing financial difficulty.  All our details are on our website at