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The second wave is not your main problem

There are some big stories hidden by the current headlines about the "The Second Wave". They are significant and they seem muffled and lost. I'm not sure why. If it bleeds it reads so it's easy to see why mainstream media is still stuck on the virus story. However, these other backstories have much bigger implications in what my be the start of a financial reckoning. So it's worth thinking about their implications for your small business or startup strategy.Shrinking tax baseThe implications of weaker company earnings, lower employment, reduced retail spending and paused stamp duties, payroll tax (for some) and other sources of government income, is dire to say the least (for the budget). There's many more but these are just the headline grabbers. It's beyond a perfect storm.  I think it implies unprecedented reductions in our state and federal tax base. The implications for the budget and for government debt issuance are huge. This cannot be understated.
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Shut-in economy

The Shut-in Economy has started. It's a sad time for me personally I have to say. To think this might be the new normal for my family and children. Trying to remain optimistic but the science and data side of my personality overwhelms the optimistic side. There is a relentless barrage of evidence suggesting this will become a repetitive situation, not just a one off.
I, like many, am hopeful an anti-viral or cure may be found in the next 12-18 months. I'm even optimistic that a treatment may be found. The sheer volume of dollars and people on this suggest its more probable than not. However, I have since come to realise that it is not relevant anymore because a change just happened that can't be undone. Not unlike 9-11, it is a fear that will persist beyond the cure. It will be addressed in an ongoing way by authorities however illogical and lacking in science it may be. The next silent enemy will always be just around the corner.
Governments are notorious for controlling so…

Coronavirus mutates our business models

In an economic sense the world is undergoing a collision of complexity. How government, markets and health systems operate are all under immense stress. People are making lots of decisions. What I have learned in 30 years as a professional trader and innovator is that people aren't good decision makers during crisis. Logic is swamped by emotion, understandably.
This post is about giving our customers some concepts to think about in the hope it might help improve decision making for your business and your future. Concepts only, take these and seek specific financial or strategic advice from your financial planners and accountants.
Online everything
The trend from retail bricks and mortar to online will accelerate. This event is training millions of senior citizens to buy online. It's causing people who use a mix of both to do more online. Essentially the adoption curve is shortened for online e-commerce. Even for accountants this will be tougher than they think. The governments di…

Coronavirus and the building industry

With many friends and family in the building industry I did some refresher research on what helped get builders through the Global Financial Crisis in the USA. In Australia it was different as they had the most support from the government by far. So in a way that industry didn’t develop a financial collapse immunity as it was used as the gateway for money to enter the economy and stimulate activity more broadly. This time it will be different. The help will be diversified.
I have put together the key strategies that worked, taken from studies mostly. I must caveat that this is not financial advice because every business has its own unique model, approach, legislation and laws. Employment, awards and the like are also complicated and circumstance specific.

Formally engaging employees
This was used to help hold onto the best of their staff during the GFC. As an employer this may feel counter intuitive because you think you hold the power in the tough times but this isn’t the case as employ…

Hardening your business for a Pandemic

I wrote recently about hardening your business. That post was to help make Small Businesses more resilient in the face of economic risk caused by any manner of events. This post will be a more specific, a more uncomfortable conversation, but one we need to have due to the Coronavirus risk. 
Obviously the health of people is the highest priority in a pandemic but there is also the secondary aspects which greatly affect this primary concern. One of those is sustaining your small business. This is what I want to address today.
There are 5 key areas I will cover. There are many more but it would take an entire book to do this topic justice.
The presumption I will make is that the virus gets to Australia and begins to spread and even if it doesn't (which is unlikely in my opinion) then it will have some economic impact on our main trading partners and the retail sector. So some impact is unavoidable at this point. Typical human behavioural reactions will occur as a result. How does your b…

Building moats around your business

It's tough out there. You've got enemies after you from all directions. Not just competitors, new technologies disrupting your business, big marketing budgets, ex-employees leaving and starting up against you. I could list a dozen more here I've faced over the years.
Point is, you need moats to defend your business. Apart from being differentiated, being defensible by developing moats is one of the most important things you can do for your business.
In this post I will go over some common moats and briefly describe how they work. It's not a detailed guide but a good mezza plate to give you ideas to explore particular moats suited to your business model.
Brand
Powerful brands can sustain pricing power versus competitors. Coca Cola and Apple are the two best examples of this in the market (but note that powerful doesn't necessarily mean big). Both these companies prices are markedly higher than competitors, they can sustain that and their royal loyal customers may occasi…

Minimalism in Business

Minimalism is a big area despite its name. So I will summarise the concepts that I see impacting small business while also letting you know what we do at Saasu. What we do in software is just as applicable to any business where you're designing a product or a service. My examples might be a bit more software-centric, but you can easily translate it to your business model.
Execution trumps ideas
I’d like to look at this from the perspective of what minimalism can do for your business. First, we have to understand the key drivers of success in business, because minimalism is about reducing down what you do and have, so we must be sure it allows the most critical factors of success to survive.
One of the main concepts in business success is your ideas (intellectual property). To the new business person, without battle scars, these are taken to be the most important thing in a business. In reality, and what many investors will also back is, the skills of execution are more important. Exe…