Infuse Issue 11 May 2020 - Page 13

"If you are not healthy (including financially healthy) you cannot help others." As I write this, we are in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, and I will not profess to give you any business strategies to get you and your business through this difficult time. I am hoping that as I read this article in the May issue of Infuse, that we are on the other side of this crisis and my advice below is in preparation for the next crisis (there will be more). Foster generosity if you can. To be honest, my business was thriving in 2008/2009 when the Global Financial Crisis hit, and many health businesses and households including mine were not as affected as other businesses. I absolutely do not have experience in thriving after an event such as COVID-19, where all work evaporates seemingly overnight. What I do know a lot about, is dealing with tough times and adopting a sense of resilience with the knowledge that you will come out on the other side. From the outside, when you look at my life and what I have achieved, you could easily mistake that life is easy for me. It is not and I won’t take you down some of the more personal difficulties I have faced in my life, but living with a disability - Ehlers Danlos Syndrome - has prepared me to deal with continual hard times. Each day I deal with pain, dislocations and fatigue… but I have embraced these as my normal. Most years (except the last 2 - fingers crossed), my life stops as my doctor tells me I need another surgery and all of my plans will be swept to the side for 8 - 12 weeks. This sucks, like our situation today sucks, and hopefully the below strategies that I use to get me through these periods help you in this situation. If you are not financially affected by the crisis, or the Government incentives allow you to keep staff and re-purpose their work to build for the future, please do this. We need those people who are still getting a pay packet to help small businesses and their employees if they can. You must feed yourself first. If you are not healthy (including financially healthy) you cannot help others. As noble as it is to answer the call of campaigns (putting others first, shopping local and supporting small businesses etc) you need to reasonably look after yourself first now. Do a personal cashflow analysis (moneysmart.gov.au budget template here) and a business cashflow analysis (template here from ANZ Bank). Get personal advice from your accountant and/or financial planner. Overall, do not spend money you do not have, unless you have a strategy to be able to pay back the loans that you obtain during this time. Finally, if you have employees that you do not need and you cannot sustain, you may need to let them article continues overleaf... © Dietitian Connection 13 Infuse | May 2020