COVID-19 Business Update – 17 February 2021
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Victoria lockdown to end
Victoria’s five-day lockdown is due to end at midnight Wednesday 17th February as no new local COVID-19 cases were announced.
While most restrictions will cease, some will continue. For example, face masks are required in most circumstances and five visitors are allowed to homes. Public gatherings of up to 20 people will recommence also. An overview of the remaining restrictions can be found here.
Australia Receives Pfizer Vaccine Doses
The first shipment of more than 142,000 Pfizer vaccine doses had arrived at Sydney airport on Monday. Healthcare, aged care, and quarantine workers will be among the first to be vaccinated starting 22 February.
Australia is expected to receive 20 million doses from Pfizer.
Australian Company Develops 3-Minute COVID-19 Breath Test
Australian company GreyScan reported that it has developed a 3-minute COVID-19 breath test and is seeking government funding for mass manufacture by the end of the year.
This is aimed to improve existing rapid tests by showing how infectious someone was, and not merely whether the person had come in contact with the virus. The company has partnered with the same researchers who helped it develop its Eureka Prize-winning product, which is a highly sensitive and rapid test to detect traces of homemade explosives.
Number of Australians on JobKeeper More Than Halved Since September
The number of Australians being supported by JobKeeper has fallen by more than 2 million since September, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg claiming a “remarkable recovery”.
According to the ATO, over 512,000 businesses have left the scheme and are now covering their entire wage bill by themselves. However, there are still 1.53 million Australians relying on the wage subsidy.
Are you ready for the end of JobKeeper
The government’s JobKeeper program is scheduled to end on 28 March 2021. If your business is currently relying on the relief this scheme provides, the end of JobKeeper could create some concerns. So what exactly can you do to prepare?
1 – Conduct Scenario Planning
Planning makes a huge difference. Before JobKeeper ends make sure you have explored various scenarios for the future and plan for these accordingly.
Your scenario planning should include thinking about the worst possible scenario and preparing for it. You may need to secure additional credit lines, liquidity, or equity for your business, but chat to us and we’ll help map out a plan together.
2 – Evaluate Your Business Model
Many businesses have developed creative ways to pivot during the pandemic. Restaurants have focused on takeaways, fitness centres have launched online sessions, and others have created totally new products or services.
What can you do to reimagine your existing business model and understand new industry norms and market trends? Don’t just wait for your competition to do something and follow suit. Be on the front foot and always look for new opportunities. Again, we would be more than happy to chat to help you work out your next steps.
3 – Keep nimble
COVID-19 has put us all in a tricky situation, but being flexible in the way you do business will help you roll with the punches.
From remote work arrangements to the way you design your payment models for your customers, there are countless ways to adopt nimble characteristics that will help you scale back quickly even as the government support ends.
4 – Review Your Expenses and Financing Arrangements
Run your business as lean as possible and cut down on unnecessary expenses so you can save as much cash as you can while you still have support from the JobKeeper program. By keeping a bit of a war chest, you will be in a stronger financial position when the end of March comes.
Keep in mind that insufficient cashflow and capital can easily throw your business off track– so securing finance may be an option to help you carry on and face the months ahead.
5 – You Don’t Have to Do it Alone…
In these unpredictable times, changes like JobKeeper ending can have a big impact on your strategy and direction. We understand that these events can be confusing and frustrating, but you don’t have to face these business challenges alone.
Work with trusted business advisors to get professional guidance and support. We act as a sounding-board for our clients, helping them to strengthen their cashflow position and build a profitable business. Get in touch if you’d like to chat.
Upcoming Key Dates
Upcoming key lodgment and payment dates for businesses:
- Activity statements
January monthly activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment.
- Activity statements
Quarter 2 (October–December) activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment, including electronic lodgment.
Annual GST return or Annual GST information report – final date for lodgment and payment (if required) if you do not have an income tax return lodgment obligation.
- PAYG instalments
Quarter 2 (October–December) instalment notices (forms R and T) – final date for payment, and lodgment if varying the instalment amount.
- GST instalments
Quarter 2 (October–December) instalment notices (forms S and T) – final date for payment, and lodgment if varying the instalment amount.
- Income tax
Lodgment and payment due date for self-preparing entities that were not due at an earlier date (if you don’t lodge your previous financial year return on time, your income tax return for the current financial is due by 31 October.)
Contact us if you have any questions.
Upcoming Superannuation Deadline
Here’s an upcoming due date you need to look out for:
- Lodge and pay quarter 2 (1 October–31 December) Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly if you did not pay your contributions on time.
- You can choose to offset contributions you’ve paid late to a fund for each employee against the super guarantee charge for the quarter for those employees.
- You cannot claim an income tax deduction for the super guarantee charge.
If you need help with your taxes or superannuation, drop us a message.
Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended
The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.
5 Key Ways to Boost Your Revenue This Year
2020 has been a difficult year for business owners. Now that a new year is upon you, it’s time to put your foot on the gas pedal and make 2021 the year for your business. Here are some ways you can grow your revenue this year and beyond:
Review your business and address blind spots. The first thing you can do is to look at your current situation and identify blind spots that keep your business from growing. This could be anything from lack of the right staff, your management style, or untapped potential revenue.
Make sure you’re reaching the right target market. Get clear on your target market and make sure you are selling to the right people. Once you know your target, you will also be able to design your marketing campaigns better.
Create a growth plan. Evaluate where your business is standing and where you want it to be by the end of the year. Set clear and realistic goals on how much you want to grow, create an action plan, and communicate your growth plan with the rest of your team.
Improve you and your team’s sales skills. Brush up on your sales skills and train some of your employees on how to sell in their particular area of expertise. Identify sales opportunities within your business and hire additional sales staff if necessary.
Increase your prospecting efforts. Assume that your target market won’t find you. Think of ways to find quality leads instead, whether this is through social media or cold-calling.
Want more tips to stay ahead of your competition? Get in touch with us to book a one-on-one business consultation.
Get in touch
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.