In business there will always be good days and bad days, sunny ones and stormy ones. So, it would make sense to prepare yourself and your business for those dark clouds and rainy days that can appear so suddenly at times.

There are so many things that could potentially go wrong… Perhaps your business partner wants out and you need to figure out a way to minimise the emotional and financial impact this could cause. Perhaps your business idea isn’t quite working out and you need to go back to the drawing board. Then, of course, there is the unpredictability of Mother Nature – droughts, floods, bushfires… and don’t forget pandemics and health issues! 

How do you cope when the storm hits?

Pause and think

Acting quickly may seem like the obvious thing to do when a stressful situation arises, but making hasty decisions could end up having a negative impact. Talk things through with a business coach/mentor or someone you trust in your community to get some perspective. 

Look at the situation from all angles

You can only deal with an issue effectively if you understand it completely. So, ask yourself some questions to get clarity on the possible damage or impact it may be causing. Is time a factor or finances, or health? Is your reputation harmed by the impact? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you respond more effectively.

Weigh up your options

If you already have insurance, now would be a good time to contact your insurer to fully understand what’s covered and what’s not. Should you need more money to tide you over, be sure to review your cash flow report or budget. Your accountant or business adviser should be able to offer some support in establishing whether you may need short-term business finance.

Keep communication channels open

Communicate openly with relevant partners and reassure your team. Keeping them informed will help you control the spread of information. It will also ensure that those in key roles will know exactly what is expected of them.

Stay one step ahead for next time

Once you have taken action and responded, be sure to reflect on what exactly has occurred. Take some time and complete a risk assessment to aid in planning for future unexpected difficulties. It may be beneficial to add this into your business plan.

Where can you find help when the dark clouds loom?

It may seem like a daunting task to find sound advice, but there are many organisations and professionals out there who can help you move forward in the right direction: 

Bookkeeper – if time is an issue or you need help choosing and implementing accounting software and other systems to aid the smooth running of your business, bookkeepers (like SYM!) can be very handy! They can also assist with providing financial reports in order to secure funding. Contact our Dream Team to find out how we can be of assistance.  

Accountant – talk to an accountant for advice about starting, growing or ending a business, tax obligations, employee payments, and managing records and finances. 

Business banker – reach out to a business banker for help with managing cash flow, understanding payment solutions, and looking at finance options

Small business mentor or business coach – for help with goal setting and accountability, business coaches or mentors can be very valuable. Be sure to ask your business network or community for recommendations. 

The Australian Government Business and Australian Taxation Office websites also have many guides and resources available for business owners.

Unfortunately, you cannot stop those unexpected rainy days from coming your way from time to time, and occasionally we will get drenched! But we do not need to drown – we can ALWAYS find help.