The New Normal

I sent an email out to our list today, and I received five replies.

The replies were all positive and I must have hit the spot, so I decided to reproduce it here for all to see.

Dear All,

It’s been three weeks since I last put out an email canceling the SBA Business Expo. Can you remember back that far?

Back when social distancing was barely a phrase, Zoom meant to go fast and tape on a shop floor just looked cheap and tacky.

With all the information and changes over the past three weeks, another email from the SBA Committee is probably the last thing you needed, and to be honest, the Committee members have had other things to do.

After all, we all run businesses and have been scratching our heads thinking about how to make sense of everything.

And now that Easter is gone, you could probably say that we are now in the “new normal”.

Restaurants are the new take-aways, everybody has enough food, Free-To-Air TV is showing E-racing on Sunday afternoons and supermarkets are refusing refunds on toilet paper.

Now, the country has run out of webcams. And I’ll bet that there will be a plethora of second-hand car racing simulators and home gym gear going cheap for Christmas.

So there’s not much that we can add to your world to ease the pain. But there are a couple of things that we would like to say.

First – Don’t feel bad by applying for JobKeeper or JobSeeker payments. They are there for a reason and that reason is to help you. Don’t wait to see if you can survive – apply now. You can always withdraw your application.

Second – Keep your head clear. You have heard the old saying “You Are Not Alone”. Those words are so true right now. There are people all over the country not knowing exactly what to do. Talk to somebody – anybody. It doesn’t have to be a business expert or a finance whiz. Just an ear that’s willing to give you five minutes.

Third – Treat this as an opportunity. An opportunity to make your business a better business.
Get close to your numbers. Take a good look at expenses. Find out what products make you the most money. Is that the same as the highest-selling products?
Have a look at the shelves in the back room. What is sitting there and how long has it been sitting?
Talk to your customers and find out what they are really thinking.
Does your logo and business slogan need a refresh?
Read a business book or five and binge on podcasts. Remember Tim Reid from our 2016 SBA Dinner? His book, The Boomerang Effect is about selling by not selling. The foreword for that book is from American marketer Jay Baer who wrote Youtility – a marketing book about help, not hype. Locally, Jim Penman from Jim’s Mowing also wrote a book about the same thing and called it “Selling by Not Selling”. Jim spoke about this at our 2017 SBA Dinner.

And finally, the world will still roll on.

Your dog will still think you are the best person in the world and your cat will still expect food when it is hungry.

Collingwood will still be around and all the keyboard experts on Facebook will still be experts next year – but experts in a completely different subject.

And the SBA will still be here. A bit battered but we will get back to doing what we do when we are allowed to do it.

And that raises a point. We had the Expo booked for later this month. We don’t know when it will be back.

We can only assume that the end of this year will be flat out, with weddings, Friday night drinks, birthdays, presentation dinners, baptisms, footy games, picnics, motor racing, cricket, netball and Saturday nights on the town. So we will see when we can make it fit along with our breakfasts.

So that’s it – except for one more little tidbit. Hume City Council has a Small Business Quick Response Grants Package that is open NOW and closes this FRIDAY 17th APRIL.

The SBA Committee encourages all Sunbury businesses to click on the link and go to the Hume CC website and read through the criteria.

As mentioned before, the money is there to help and specifically help retail, commercial and industrial tenants in the Hume area.

Bye for now.

Darryl –