Through our work with small business retailers, we help with POS software and broader management advice. recently, we have been asked for advice about trading in this period of recession.

7 principles for navigating there Covid recession

We get it, Australia is in a recession, a Covid recession brought on by the pandemic and responses to it here and overseas.

Relentlessly, media outlets overload with recession stories, fuelling worry and anxiety and challenging consumer confidence.

It’s tempting to get drawn to the doom and gloom stories, to amplify the woe is me narrative. But that does not help.

Plenty of people in business, especially small business, prefer to look ahead, to focus on the other side of the recession as it is that view of what could be that motivates.

We think a back to basics approach is what is needed to get us through the recession. We think it’s right for our software business, the retail shops we own and for the many local businesses we serve.

The back to basics guiding principles we share here are focussed on this, focussed on providing sure footing today and encouraging optimism for tomorrow.

This is not a list from which you choose what you like. Our advice is that you do everything on this list, because in our experience, together they provide the best chance of navigating the recession well.

  1. Nurture what makes the business money and fix or stop what does not make the business money. Leverage strengths. Fix or eliminate weaknesses.
  2. Embrace ways to broaden the reach of the business.
  3. Make safe decisions, decisions you know will work. For example, buy well. That is, buy what will sell easily, quickly.
  4. Embrace ways you can add value to what you sell without spending more.
  5. Be frugal. Before every spending decision ask 2 questions: do we need this? Will this add value? Review every business expense. Cut those that do not add value.
  6. Your next step is in front of you. Look ahead, not behind. Talk up, not down.
  7. If you feel overwhelmed, take it one step at a time. Every day, do something that makes you happy.

When should you start? Now. But not alone. This is a whole of business project. Involve the whole team and embrace all the points at every opportunity.

How do we know these principles work? We have experience trading through two recessions, one country wide and the other sector wide. We’ve also traded through Covid with excellent results – because we embraced these principles back in early March 2020.

Let’s take a moment to unpack principle #3, make safe decisions. Safe decisions are those you can bet on because they work every time. They may not be exciting, but they are safe. They may not be the best margin, but they are safe. Safe decisions are all about certainty, providing a small step that is stable, sure-footed. Put a few of those in a row and you feel better. Feeling better is key to helping you navigate the Covid recession.

While we understand the value of news, there may be value in consuming less news, staying away from the negative stories. Your success is the most important news right now.

We  provide practical support for local small business retailers.

It is cliché, but …. We are here for you.