Bouncing back

Martz Witty

Chief strategist at Shi Martz Chartered Accountants

Businesses are seriously hurting from the COVID-19 disaster. In Canterbury some of us will remember the impact the earthquakes had last decade (yes decade!). It feels so recent but in fact is a long time ago as far as business and lifecycles go.

You need to be already embarking on the path to bounce back from weeks or possibly months of economic disaster. It is a sad truth that some will not make it.

Some businesses have an online shopping presence. That has kept wheels turning. Yet others have reverted to on line video to keep services going.

The Government has introduced a wage subsidy and other financial assistance. For some this will not be enough. Do you know if it enough for yourself? Call your advisors and find out if you don’t already know.

Can your business survive to repay the loans if you go down that path of taking an assisted loan? Gut feel won’t work in this crisis; you need facts, assumptions based on reliable data and wider help.

It is perfectly normal to feel isolated and panicked in a total lockdown, but action is more necessary now than ever before. Soon (we hope), we will revert to Alert Level 3, then Level 2 and so on.

You need a plan right now. Agreed it will not be perfect, but it sure beats doing things off the cuff in a week or two, or a month.

In one sense recovery should be easier than from our earthquakes – we still have our buildings and still have infrastructure. The telling point will be how fast you can be back up and running with varied restrictions imposed by our alert levels.

The Great Recession of 2007 saw small business have fewer employees yet larger job losses. Preliminary numbers suggest this will be exacerbated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have you done your numbers? Your what-if analysis? There is no better time than right now if you haven’t already.

Micro-business and infant businesses are the most vulnerable. Typically, they don’t have the cash reserves to survive a long period of time.

Conversely though, they can be quicker to introduce and adopt change when they have a plan to do so.

Any plan needs to start with a programme to mitigate the situation, then to recover. It’s time to take a very serious look at every single aspect of your business (without rose tinted spectacles). Do it, and do it now!

Good luck and remember to call your trusted advisors (banks, accountants, lawyers, coaches, mentors, colleagues).


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