7 Things Every Small Business can do today, to prepare for disruption

by | Mar 23, 2020 | Business Building Musts, Small Business Help

Small-business confidence is plunging, and it seems like “State of Emergency” has been interpreted as “State of Panic” – but lean in real close because I really need to tell you … this too will pass.

Yes, it’s going to be an impact on your small business – be it big, small, dramatic, we are in no-man’s at the moment with knowing what will happen, but we need to just take one day at a time.

Let’s be proactive, not reactive.

And let’s only listen to the authorities – not fake news, not sensationalised news, just the authorities.

If you have employees or contracts – make Fair Work Australia your new favourite website – it’s being updated all the time, with every new development.

And make the only place you’ll look for health advice is at www.health.gov.au – it’s so important to get the right information.

But back to being a proactive, not reactive business owner.

What steps can you take, today, to prepare for the unknown or even worst case scenario (worst case being asked to close your doors and not go to work).

Here’s 7 Things every small business can do today to prepare for disruption:

  1. Do a risk assessment.

Assess what does best case look like, what does worst case look like?

If you are told to close your doors, what systems, strategies, procedures can you put in place today to make the seamless (or at least as seamless as possible).

Do you need to invest in a new computer?  A new piece of software – like Zoom for communicating with staff or clients from home or Slack – a project management tool.

What is it that you need to do?  Do not leave it until it’s too late or tomorrow – do what you can today to help tomorrow.

Be proactive, not reactive.

  1. Start the Conversations you have to have

Some of these conversations are going to be tough, for sure, but have them anyway.

Start conversations with banks, accountants, bookkeepers, contractors, staff – putting your head in the sand is not a strategy for this particular time in your business.

Ask about wage subsidies available if you have to shut down or scale down, ask suppliers about holding back stock if no-one is there to receive it or unpack it, ask about payment terms, check to see what measures your bank has in place and how or if they will affect you.

Be proactive not reactive.

  1. Over communicate rather than under communicate

Send an email to your clients or customers, let them know what your business is doing for them amongst the uncertainty.

If you have a bricks and mortar store or office – put up signs, reassure your clients or customers that you are taking the advice of health authorities very seriously, and these are the measures you are taking to ensure their safety and that of your workers.

Share authority advice, articles, blogs, that can help your clients (not fake news – solid advice from the people we know we can trust).

Be proactive not reactive.

  1. Start your rainy day “to-do” list

Start listing all those jobs you have been “meaning to do” and the things you’ve been putting off for a “rainy day” – because, the rainy day could be around the corner.

What have you not had time for because you have been so busy working in your business, and not on it?

What do you need to get these jobs done?  Tech? Support? Training?

Who on your staff list can you delegate some of these jobs to do, from home, if necessary?  And what would that look like?

Imagine, if amongst the chaos and hard times, you pulled through and your business could bloom because you’ve put all things growth strategies in place, all the ones you know will help, but you’ve had no time for.

Be proactive not reactive.

  1. Have a Growth Mindset

The business you have today, might need to adapt and change to be a business that’s open and operating tomorrow.

How can you grow your business or your mindset in coming days, weeks or months?

You might never have considered having staff work from home, you might not have a website as yet to sell your goods or you might have always wanted to collaborate with a particular person, but never had the time to reach out and say “hey!”.

What do you want to learn, as the business owner, but never had the time to take that course or listen to that audio book?

Start a list!

We are going to learn so much about ourselves, our businesses, our communities in coming days, weeks and months, and looking at these lessons with a growth mindset will serve you well and ensure your business blooms when this all goes away … and it will … because this too shall pass.

Be proactive not reactive.

  1. Stay off Social Media (or at least stay out of the doom and gloom)

Ok, perhaps a social media expert shouldn’t be saying that, but it’s so easy to get involved in the negativity, fake news, and the doom and gloom – so perhaps it’s best to curtail your social media a little.

Remember, everything you say and do, says something about your business, whether you meant it to or not.

So, getting involved in negativity, spreading fake news or sharing your gloom, will reflect on your business.

Don’t put your head in the sand, but be very aware of what you are saying, what you are commenting on and how you are being perceived as a business owner.

On your own socials, be proactive, be open and honest but also share good news stories, usual activities in your business and so forth.

Give some reprieve to your followers amidst the rest of their feed – which possibly will be filling with fake news and negativity.

Be proactive not reactive.

  1. Be ready

One of the beautiful things about owning your own business is that we are nothing if not adaptable!

We are the decision makers, so having the ability to be ready is almost in our nature.

We do need to be ready for worst case scenario and best case.

We need to be ready to reassure our staff, our contractors, our clients, our customers and even our families.

We need to be ready to go with the flow and take this day by day.

Be ready to step up because leaders lead in times just like this.

Be proactive not reactive.

Final thoughts:

As a small business owner, the buck does stop with you but that’s an amazing advantage to have over big business.

The decision is yours; it can be made quickly, and you can adapt faster than any medium or big business.

This is your superpower right now.  Embrace this superpower.

Finally, don’t panic, because this too shall pass… and today you have control and the time to make the measured decisions you need to make.


Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners.  Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.

With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)

Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast


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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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