(08) 9071 2173
As the Coronavirus continues to spread throughout China and across the world, many businesses in Australia are starting to feel the effects of a disruption to our economy.
Authorities are beginning to prepare for “all eventualities” and our trade and supply chains have been disrupted. In Esperance, the ban on live seafood exports has brought the live crayfish industry to a halt and our tourism industry is beginning to feel the effects of the China travel ban.
Regardless of whether the risk of Coronavirus affecting your business is low to moderate, or whether Coronavirus is having a significant impact on your daily operations, it’s important to consider how solid your business continuity plan is. How can your business prepare for and continue to operate after the effects of the Coronavirus epidemic have been felt?
The first thing to think about is how your business is affected by the global economy, and what your business situation is with China. Then, you need to consider any specific risks to your business and create a plan to manage or mitigate these risks.
For example, Farm Weekly notes that Coronavirus is going to affect Western Australian barley growers as WA is Australia’s major source of barley exported to China where the malt is used in beer production or the animal feed market. Iron ore prices are dropping, although – luckily for our local Wheat growers – the demand for wheat remains strong.
Many local and WA-wide retailers are feeling the effects of supply-chain shortages, as a significant number of our goods are manufactured in China, and the tourism and education sectors are feeling the pinch with the China travel ban.
How can you manage or minimise these risks? Talk to your grain marketer about focusing your efforts elsewhere, if possible. Ascertain whether your customers will buy Australian-made products. Pitch your tourism campaigns to alternate markets and have a close look at your insurances.
Business continuity has also recently been affected by the Australia-wide bushfires and it’s having a huge effect on our tourism industry. Once Coronavirus passes, a new threat may be only a stone’s throw away. Make business continuity planning and risk management part of your ongoing business planning so that your business is future-proofed.
Work with your Accountant to complete cashflow forecasting, make a profit improvement plan and assess your business’s viability in the face of economic strain. Look at your business processes, way that you can generate cashflow, streamline your operations and alternate marketing strategies that may be employed if and when required.
It’s not clear how long the Coronavirus epidemic will last or what the real impact will be to local businesses or the Australian economy, but it’s important to take a proactive approach to business continuity planning so that you are in the best possible place to minimise risk and continue to function during this threat, or any other threat to come in the future.
If you’d like to chat to your Accountant about your own Business Continuity Plan, contact us today on (08) 9071 2173 or fill in the form below and we'll get back to you within 1 business day.