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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
How can we keep our printing company going and protect the future of our workers and the whole industry?  We are a small printing company AiMO Print, We worry about cashflow looking after our clients and contracts and our employees in these scary and uncertain times

Question submitted 20/04/20 @ 06:11am
Industry: Manufacturing
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  • Hi

    I presume you’ve applied for your wage subsidy. The other measures available are:
    1. seeking funding from your bank under the Govt Guarantee Scheme although that will be restricted depending on the prior financial position of your company;
    2. Negotiating rent relief or deferment with your landlord;
    3. Reviewing entitlements to tax deferment and recovery of tax paid, if you have historically paid tax on prior year profits but are expecting future losses;
    4. Applying thru’ the Regional Business Partners network for funding for preparation and support for cashflow forecasts – limited to $2,000, but other services are also available on a matched funding basis;
    5. Communicating with your clients to find out what their expectations are going to be as we move thru’ the different lockdown levels;
    6.Taking advice from your advisers assuming they have forecasting expertise and don’t just do your annual accounts. One firm trying to keep things simple is
    https://www.bdo.nz/en-nz/covid-19 But there are many more out there as well providing great support
    7. for inspiration look at websites for overseas printing businesses to see what they might be doing to restart and generate new clients in this new environment- I checked your website – you may need to look at having some options on their to better submit quotes – look at promoting deals and offers – look at what marketing campaigns you can do to promote your brand with social media, Newsletters, having a more interactive website maybe.

    Most of all look positively at the future, keep focussed on what you can do, rather than look with regret on what might have been lost, and think outside the box for new opportunities.

    Great response Shaun, and well done Aimo on surviving for 30 years! Wow….

    Obviously this crisis is different, but given your success over decades, I know that you will have weathered significant economic crises in the past.

    At this point, I feel it’s ALL about relationships – talking to your clients (and your suppliers, presumably) about how they’re feeling, what they’re thinking about the future – and asking what you can do to continue the relationship in the future.

    Unlike previous recessions, I think it’s okay this time around to tell clients that your business is in a precarious state, and that you’re trying to do everything you can to keep your team together and keep paying them. Thank them for their role in the past in getting you to where you are now (well, were, pre-crisis), and ask how their business and needs are changing too.

    In person conversations work best at this time – my email box is full of people and companies trying to maintain relationships by bombarding me with ‘news’ about them – what I value is those who give me a call and ask about me.

    A final thought about your staff – be open and honest with them. I’ve been astonished at how willing staff are to have the hard conversations, and make more sacrifices than you might imagine to keep the team together. If you do need to make people redundant, go hard – it’s better to do it once, deeply and decisively, than to have the survivors wondering when the next cut will come. Decide who you want / need in your lifeboat when you get to the other side, and make it clear to them that’s what you’re doing.

    Sorry, I don’t have any more practical advice – but take heart that you have a business that HAS survived in the past, you’ve got this, you know how to do it. And someone you can really talk to about how you’re feeling yourself… you can’t rescue people if you feel like you’re drowning.

    Take care.

    Excellent answers above. I can only add 2 things. Cash is king and if survival is the priority right now then talk to your customers and pull in as much cash owing as possible. Be open and honest about your situation as I have found most people are willing to support one another as much as possible.

    The second thing is staff. Probably your team feel a little like family and you don’t want to see any of them lose their jobs. But the reality maybe that you need to let some go to ensure the business stays whole and that you have jobs for the rest. Don’t procrastinate on this. Move quickly and decisively.

    All the best

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