Happy Wednesday team and welcome to Alert Level 3, or as many are calling it, Alert Level 4 with takeaways.

Is it just me, or did that professionally-made coffee this morning taste the absolute best?! If this crisis has taught me anything, it’s to take notice of the small pleasures in life, and I have so much gratitude for my local cafe owner who hunkered down through Alert Level 4, did what he could to stay afloat with zero sales and found a way to serve contactless barista coffee come Tuesday morning. He’ll be getting plenty of patronage from me.

While we don’t yet know how long New Zealand will spend at Alert Level 3, we can all take heart from the sense we are moving closer towards ‘normality’, or at least ‘the next normal’, whatever shape that will take.

While we wait to see whether NZ can maintain control over COVID-19, the wise among us have started scenario planning in an attempt to manage a few ‘what ifs?’ and get some plans in place for the most likely outcomes. You’ll see below a scenario map from management consultants, McKinsey and Company, which could help you in your own planning.

While much of the outcome is out of our hands in the sense that we alone cannot cause or contain the spread of COVID-19, together we can follow the Alert Level rules and make some important decisions that are guaranteed to help resurrect our bruised economy.

Read on below for some of the things I plan to do in Alert Level 3 and beyond.

Scenario planning

The idea of crafting a strategic plan for your company when we don’t yet know when we can start seeing our customers and clients again might feel a bit like building a house on shaky foundations, but the reality is, we’re never really sure of what’s around the corner – as COVID-19 has shown us! So, the best we can do is plan our choices on a few possible outcomes and educated guesses. This in a nut-shell is what scenario planning is; making informed assumptions on what the future is going to hold and how your business environment could change.

McKinsey and Company’s chart below shows a range of scenarios for the economic impact COVID-19 could have on NZ. We are all hoping we fall into the A4 cell. While we wait to see, I recommend pulling some business plans together for best-case, worst-case and middle-of-the-road scenarios to help you plan for any necessary decisions. This way, you’re covered wherever we land and can quickly start to take some positive business actions to give you the best restart possible.

diagrams of how COVID-19 has affected us and could affect us economically

 

SUPPORT LOCAL

As a small, innovative and entrepreneurial country, we’ve heard this message before. But I’m wondering whether COVID-19 has actually drummed home just how important it is to buy your meat from the local or online butcher, purchase clothes from NZ designers and seek the advice and expertise of local business consultants. Many of the small New Zealand businesses who will open their doors to customers again in Alert Level 2 and beyond will have spent lockdown wondering whether they could survive. Whether it was worth the risk of staying open and paying rent or suppliers when no one can guarantee what consumers’ spending power will be like at the end of all of this. They’ve been brave, they’ve taken a risk and if you want to see diversity and NZ-made quality around for decades to come, now is the time to buy it. We need to get money pumping back into the economy to bring it back to health as quickly as we can.

So, how can we support local business?

 

Buy local 

Your meat, your fruit and veg, your clothing, your cosmetics, your skin care, your gifts; wherever you can, buy from a NZ business. Let’s use our money to reinvigorate our economy. The reality is, you’ll be hard pressed to find better quality anywhere else anyway.

 

Pay your bills on time

We’ve advised in the past to use the full payment terms given to you by suppliers to help your own cash flow, and this is still a smart thing to do. But if you can pay sooner, do. It’ll help that fellow SME that’s building itself back up again. And avoid missing payment deadlines. That’s not cricket.

 

Outsource locally

It can be tempting to look abroad for cheap virtual labour and in the past we may even have recommended it as a savvy option. But today, we’re not. Today we recommend you hire that local business expert who knows NZ, knows the market, feels the current sentiment and needs a job. Chances are they’ll be more grateful and hard-working than ever. We have a trusted pool of experts, many of them locally owned, ready to help you grow. Check them out here.

 

Plan a staycation

We’re all sick of our houses now. When the restrictions are loosened and we can move out of our regions, why not take the family to stay at a B&B in another town, sample the local fare and enjoy a change of scenery knowing your mini break is helping to save the economy.

 

Head back to the cafe

How much better will that morning brew taste when you no longer carry the guilt of ‘$5 a day for a coffee = the combined annual price of your mobile phone and broadband plans’. NZ now needs you to have that coffee as much as your brain does. Support your local restaurants, cafes, bakeries and takeaways as much as you can – all while sticking to physical distancing rules of course!

 

And support us!

Grow NZ is a free service for kiwi business owners funded from our own pockets because we love and fully support kiwi business. During this period, we have conducted free webinars for hundreds of kiwi business owners, secured special assistance for those in need and held many one-on-ones catch-ups providing free advice and counsel. Help us spread the word by sharing the link below with fellow business owners by forwarding this email or posting on social channels, so they too can access support during these unprecedented times. Free Sign Up To Grow NZ Business Here.