2020 was a doozie, wasn’t it? Joy and hope filled the air as we kicked off a new decade, and then within a few months, words like restrictions, lockdown and mandates had entered our vocabulary. The sudden implementation of a statewide lockdown here in South Australia due to a COVID-19 cluster left businesses and families reeling in November.  Whilst we were fortunate that it was only short-lived, the flow-on effect of cancelled events, doors shut, stock loss, lost income, wage bills and more put a massive strain on so many.

So, while we’re not able to predict these types of events, what can you do to be better prepared?

We asked the SA Woman community to share their top tip on how to protect yourself and your business financially for hurdles like this lockdown. The answers flowed in from our accountants, budgeting experts, mortgage brokers, financial planners and more.

“Cash is King” or for us SAW’ers “Cash is Queen”!! Stockpile cash as much as you can. Do this by cutting unnecessary spending, chase any outstanding debtors. Plan to have enough cash to over outlays for a three to five month period.

~ Emma Fabbro from Fusion Accountants

Reduce debt – pay off the credit cards, overdraft or any other debt you might have, then open a Vault account and start putting money aside so you have at least 3 months operating expenses to get you through the tough times.

~ Tracy Brockhoff from Nourish Your Numbers

 

Cash flow forecasting is a magic crystal ball and can be used to run all sorts of what-if scenarios in times of crisis.

~ Jodi Facy from Facy & Co.

Have a buffer account with a minimum of three months worth of expenses comes in handy at times like these. Start with smaller targets and build up to a 3 month buffer!

~ Catarina Santini from CS Accounting

 

1. The first step I’d recommend is completing a break even point calculation, we are about to load an e-book on the website that will help if you want more info, but it’s a great way to get started in understanding where you are.
2. Then start reviewing your costs and negotiating better rates with suppliers. Take a deep dive look at things like subscriptions, bank fees, interest rates, rent, advertising.
3. If you have products, review your cost of sales and check if you can improve direct product costs like improving on wastage, improving on freight costs, or buying in bulk.
4. Then have a look at your sales, are you pricing right?
5. Try to hold back on all spending that you can, think hard before you spend being wise to keep hold of cash.
6. Negotiate with lenders, ATO and other suppliers on payment arrangements for any outstanding debts you might have.
7. Learn your numbers, do it regularly each month, you’ll become a pro at building up cash, paying down debts and making decisions with more confidence.
8. You’ve got this.
~ Vanessa Bamford from Vision Beyond Business

Personal insurances!! Not all financial issues are caused by a pandemic- lots of issues are caused by injury or illness. By having a backup plan of proper insurances, you can have extra peace of mind that should the unthinkable happen, money wont be an additional worry!

~ Hayley Dyson from Dyson Financial

 

Does your business provide credit? (7,14,30 day invoices) Protect your businesses cash flow against your clients entering administration by registering on the PPSR. As a SECURED CREDITOR you be first in line to be paid, and you will also be exempt from preferential payment clawback. We are entering uncertain times with the debt moratorium ending late December.

~ Julie Bowels from Australian Credit Risk Management

 

Have your numbers up to date. You can’t make any wise decisions if your numbers are a mess.

~ Tash Sampson-Ly from Tashly Consulting

 

Loyalty does not pay when it comes to your health insurance, mobile, internet and electricity bills. Review these regularly otherwise you will be paying more than you should.

~ Amanda Horne from Every Day PA

Avoiding the Cash flow Crunch

On a personal finance perspective, now is a great time to review your spending habits and assess your “needs” versus “wants” in order to scale back spending and save for the future uncertainty that covid has surfaced for us all. Are there subscription services that you have that you don’t need? Or can you cut back in grocery expenses and make yummy meat free veggie meals a few times a week? All the savings you make can help you save for a “buffer” of a minimum of 3 months expenses, making uncertainty less stressful.

~ Melissa Taylor from Newberry Paterson

Know your budget and spending! I find that so many people don’t actually realise how much they spend every single month, actually keeping a spreadsheet about all your expenses versus income is very liberating. Today is a good day to start!

~ Talitha Holme from Talitha Holme – Finance Broker

Use this time to get back on top of finances – prep your books, reconcile accounts, set up tax savings accounts, review auto transfers, check in on budget vs actual results for the last five months, and prep what you can for tax.

~ Lauren Thiel from The Real Thiel

💡Never spend money before you’ve earned it
💡Pay yourself first (always)
💡Cashflow forecasting is a tool that every business owner should be using
💡Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket, you need more than one income stream
💡Start building your emergency fund right now with what you have
💡Separate your money, have different accounts for business expenses, profits and taxes
💡Spend an hour a week looking at your finances, tidying up, catching up.
✨Business Ownership has to be worth it.
~ Emma Dallon Dedans from Evolve Books

 

It’s as important to track your figures in business and personal and understand your spending…
Important to keep accounts separated for Bills, long term expenses and personal spending that way you can live within your means and track weekly your spending. Remember that its not what you earn but what you spend ….
~Gabriella Ingram from Spending Planners Adelaide

 

I would like to request ladies to check their super funds…your freedom years savings accounts! How much you have, what level of investing you’re on, what are the costs and interest credits, what are you investing in thru your fund. Do you get a regular statement or can view it online? Your super fund needs love and attention to keep it healthy and happy 🤩