September 2021 - CEO Message

By David Shaw, CEO and Founder of WSC Group | Created on September 8, 2021

Making wise business decisions: What we have learnt in a post-COVID world

As an accountant who advises businesses, I have been putting some thought in how you would advise someone who is looking to purchase new business or start a business in today’s climate.

It appears that over the last two years, everything that we thought was true about making business decisions has been turned on its head.

Who would have thought that your business could be closed for months at a time, destroying cash flow? Who would have thought that businesses that relied on tourism, travel and socialization would be so hard hit; but businesses that only represented a small part of the economy, i.e. Uber Eats and various delivery services, would grow at such exponential rates?

Now more than ever, as a business owner, you can no longer rely on traditional sources of income to ensure long-term financial security.

Perhaps the new question that we need to ask ourselves when looking to grow/start a business are:

  1. Does this business have online and offline sources of income?
  2. If your employees are forced to work at home, what effect will it have on your business?
  3. Should every business be set up with the option to quickly pivot to being a home-based business (albeit some very large home-based businesses)?
  4. If businesses are to be operated more from home in the future, how do you maintain social interaction, collaborative thinking, and cohesion?
  5. If a traditional source of referrals in business was meeting people, and this is no longer possible, what are your back-up plans?

These are all very good questions and ones that we will need to ask more in the future, post pandemic.

Now is the time to pause and conduct a complete risk-management plan of our organisations which encompass all the worst ‘what-ifs’ as well as the best-outcome scenarios.

It is important to create an entity-wide risk-management plan for your business that encompasses:

  • The examination of financial and non-financial risks across your organization, including both primary and secondary impacts.
  • The examination of fundamental and particular risks - where fundamental risks relate to the entire economy and particular risks relate to issues affecting you and your business only.
  • Systematic and unsystematic risks – where systematic risks (which are non-diversifiable), such as inflation, interest rates, and taxation are balanced with unsystematic risks which are unique and specific to your organization.

I would encourage all those in business and looking to start or buy business, that it’s the risk-management plan from the start that enavkes you to see clearly how you should pivot in the event of a crisis.

What we can learn from these years is the importance of identifying the improbable and having a solution already worked out for that eventuality.

One of the things I know I am thankful for with our business is when we invested in a client portal for our clients. This enabled them to upload documentation electronically for their financial statements and tax returns, enabling us to continue our work even with most of our staff working from home.

My call to action is this, let’s not hesitate in conducting a complete risk-assessment of our businesses so we’re more prepared for the next crisis that comes along. Of course, we at WSC Group will be more than happy to assist you in this area.

Let’s all take our lessons from the last two years and continue to grow adaptable businesses which can pivot and make quick changes to adapt to the unpredictable.

Connect with WSC Group