TMM 111 Financial Health with Greg Valles, from Valles Accountants Australia – How to plan and prepare during times of crisis for you and your business.
** Please bear with us on the audio as we had to record this on the go while Greg was in his office with limited audio levels, so we really appreciate your understanding.
Managing Your Financial Health
I know that most of the world is in isolation at the moment, but that gives us even more of an opportunity to look under the hood.
What better place to research what you’re doing in your business now and how you’re managing your personal life is to look at your financial health?
What core pillars should you look at during times of crisis:
Financial Health and Self Care | Your Mental Wellbeing
Your own mental stability: People around you look to you to be the leader, the leadership, you’re in business.
- Know there is always a solution: Back yourself and lean into your trusted team of advisors.
If you’re in business, you’ve always been a leader anyway – but ensure you reach out to the trusted sources of professionals around to help you meander your way through. Including institutions and verified government support.
There are range of options to look at and that is from the government stimulus package to some strong accounting advice at this stage.
- So make a facts and stats approach rather than worrying in silence.
- Banks and any other people that can be assistance you should look at every avenue.
Financial Health and Your Team
Remember your actions inspire your teams: Be real and communicate:
Know your duty of care to your teams and staff.
Can you empower them to work smarter in different ways?
- If you do go down the home office route where they working from home, and have you done all the legal preparation to ensure staff are working from home and business as usual.
- Make sure all your information is readily accessible.
- Deploy video conferencing. We’ll still meet with all the clients in video conferencing.
- Making sure that your operations are secure – that you have clear communications and that your staff understand the collective co working situation.
- Ensure confidentiality. Giving your staff clear guidelines on how to stay productive, how to keep confidential information whilst be empowered to work from home and still feel connected are vital aspects right now.
Financial Health – Manage your Costs, Know your Numbers
If you don’t know your numbers personally or professionally, this is a very important opportunity to get back to basics and actually have a working budget. Talk to your accountant, understand where do you actually sit in your own financial health?
Stop and prepare. Do not operate from fear.
Bills haven’t been officially passed yet around the stimulus and how those things can be accessed. So make sure you use this time to come from a place of sustainable cashflow – don’t just pull all your resources, stop spending and “hide”. That has a negative ripple effect for everyone.
The key is to find a middle ground and make the right next moves. Keep the economy going and work with your customers and suppliers to avoid knee-jerk reactions.
Financial Health – Ask the Experts
Don’t wing it. Actually ensure you can have a robust look at the now/then and next.
- Cashflow, manage your costs, the wages of staff, planning of work to be done, other payments and depending on what those payments are, and having some arrangement.
- Ask about government stimulus packages. For example in Australia We’re hoping that the government has a stimulus for low base loans or some funding another way. It’s a proposed stimulus – so this is the time to prepare by understanding what you really need and to have the information at hand when the time comes to reach out for these programs and support structures.
- Know your personal budgets and accounts. Unfortunately, or fortunately, times like these does shine a light on where our weaknesses or where we may be “pushing things under the rug”.
Financial Health = Get informed, replace fear with curiosity – ask for expert support and speak up.
Lead by Example for Financial Health
You also need to be an inspiration to your family members, to your staff.
So leading with transparency, bringing all the numbers to the forefront, and then making sure that you’re not trying to dodge anything, but actually go what are the most practical steps right now:
- Where are gaps financially?
- What sort of cash flow do we need?
Then get assistance to fill out those forms and actually go for those government grants.
Pride? A lot of people don’t want to be seen to reaching out for help – but coping is not a strategy.
- Look At Tax Relief options
Read their current proposals in your government, look at the opportunities that you may have as a result of what’s occurring around you.
De-risk look at all the things that you can de-risk and be smart about it. Do a De-risk list with your professional advisor
- Be upfront with staff and customers
- We are in a very unique situation here.
- We are managing it thoroughly.
- We are seeking professional advice.
- We continue to operate at optimum are looking at working smarter and always open to ideas
- Check in With Your Own Knowledge and Your Experts
Look at cohesiveness, the understanding, the leadership, and the concentration of knowing your business very, very well.
- How do people trust this sea of experts out there now?
- Do your due-diligence behind the expertise that you’re sourcing.
From an accountant’s point of view
Check in that your tax advisory has:
- A good understanding of your cash flow analysis
- What are the resources they suggesting? Whether it’s a bank, whether it’s the IGOs, which is the tax offices, relief and
- Understanding and negotiable and non-negotiable elements of your business. What are the things that they are assisting with you to minimise your costs? Maximising your info at this stage?
Financial Health – Be Practical and Be Proactive
Not everyone is going to have the all the answers for your business – but you have to take the proactive approach and ask questions. The responsibility is on you:
As the owner of the business first and foremost, to take on an understanding that you need this assistance – to pick up the phone to have a chat and double check on things.
- Be Informed
Both as an owner and an employee. How can you plan during uncertain times to add value to that company and be flexible?
- If you’re an employee, if you’re a contractor at the moment, and you are worried about what’s going to happen, what sort of questions could you ask your business manager or business owner?
For example, you may going through huge shifts because there’s been sections of the organisation that have had to be shut down due to isolation in a retail environments.
Therefore, that possibly means redundancies. All sorts of things have a ripple effect. So the communication to staff means rallying together as leadership and to look at how everyone can pitch in.
Being flexible during these times and being collective – for example if everybody’s willing to go three days a week could that means everybody gets to keep their jobs. Business owners feel personally responsible for their staff during good times the crisis times. “What about the families? How can I keep everybody on going? How do we make sure that everyone knows what they can budget on”?
- So if you were an employee, remember more often than not your owner, your manager or the person that runs your organisation probably feels 10 times the stress. Trying to keep up, make all these decisions and look for solutions for the future.
Having a sense of community as employees and owners combined is important. There is no “us and them” we are all connected.
Look For The Silver Lining
If you’re listening to this podcast or reading this post – how can you add value to your company and community in times of crisis?
How can you actually be part of the change that you want to see so that we can all support an organisation to stay in business and that sustainability and to help each other out?
- How do we work smarter during this time?
- What are the things that we can do? What are the things that we do differently?
- Crisis creates opportunity and in some ways you’re working and understanding how the functionality of your business can be diversified.
- How can it be more robust and flexible in different ways?
- How does the stock hold so can be flexible in many ways?
- What new skill sets are they picking up from this learning?
This is an opportunity for to see where the gaps are and to become more educated.
While you’re managing in numbers, you’re understanding the climate, you’re understanding the environment, there are some things that you will not be able to control.
- What will you do? You might look at other opportunities, what are the business occasions in my business?
- What other angles can I look at in terms of my future for the business? What if this curves again?
- How can we do things better?
Always loop back to your personal health
We’re working longer hours and we need good health to make good decisions. Something like this current March 2020 pandemic has forced people to be accountable for their health as well as their wealth.
Our mental health is massively important – just like our physical health.
As people’s anxiety levels have gone through it is critical to have self care and self responsibility.
Do some yoga, do some meditation, do some exercise.
Think of all the positives. When I go for a walk in the morning along the beach are all of the creative opportunities come to mind or think about my clients and now I can assist them in different ways.
Coping is not a strategy.
NEXT STEPS FROM HERE:
We want to empower you, if you’re listening/reading this, to get a pen and paper out and to not just be stuck on a device, but to actually go back to basics and start getting the facts and stats on you and your business financial health.
- What is the now, then and next and to organise your thoughts?
- What do you need to focus on now?
- When what is the next thing and then after that, and always write a little “what if” box with the variables.
Get the worry on paper and out of your head, because if you leave this concern, this worry and these conversations in your head, you’re taking up extremely important hard drive space, which is where creativity flow and agility come from.
So Greg and I are both telling you now, resilience isn’t really the word we want you to use. We would rather use the word agility and evolution and to see the opportunity in this area for you to declutter.
People look at your actions and will follow your lead.
So make sure you’re leading with your actions and your words and be solid in terms of backing up what you’re saying. This is a call for real strong leadership with compassion and understanding as well.
Greg and his team will create a quick 10 point cheat sheet for you with some links as well. Please leave a comment below or add your email address so we can send this out as soon as it is ready.
Remember, there are State derived ones as well as national programmes.
- We encourage you in your own countries to go and source out and also talk to your financial advisers and talk to your family and talk to your staff.
- If your staff were worried about their own cash flow, this is a great time you can empower them to run a budget, and to feel that you’re part of a collective area of change.
We will be updating you on any government stimulus packages here in Australia – keep an eye out for a post Friday 20th March on this with Greg.
One last piece of advice from a tax accounting point of view to avoid chaos.
Knowledge is power. Try and be very educated about what is going on and be open to the flexibility of what you’ve got do.
You’ll get through this. Keep your mental health strong, stable and have good people around you. It’s not the end of the world.
So on a final note: Thanks so much to Greg Valles for his time.
Please leave comments. Like and subscribe on YouTube and iTunes/Spotify. Details below.
**We will be regularly updating this post with links and documentation around these key areas – so please leave your details if you’d like to know more or check back in the coming few days.
Until next time, you stay healthy, wealthy and wise.
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