Susan Poric knows what it means to own a small business in the middle of a global pandemic and what ways there are to stay successful.
Like many others, she saw the revenue of the business she owns with her husband dry up when COVID-19 arrived.
But Susan knows how to pivot – and as a Westpac business banker, she also knows how the bank can help small businesses with lockdowns and their aftermaths.
“We engaged with the bank on day one. What we got was someone we could talk to, someone who was close to the source and could give us regular updates, someone who we could contact as things evolved. What it is today changes tomorrow, it’s a very rapidly moving environment,” she says.
“You need to use the network you have. Sometimes women, when we run into roadblocks, feel like we need to fix it ourselves and don’t ask for help when we should.”
Participants tapped into industry support options, how to navigate an ever-changing environment, and lending options to give business owners breathing space.
Our top takeaway tips:
Do a health check and know where the business sits.
Make sure that you've got some sort of emergency fund or cash reserves in place for when unexpected things happen.
Don't assume. Ask, reach out to your bank, and find out as much information as possible. Be open and have your financials ready to go.
Head of Women’s Markets Felicity Duffy said female business owners had a central role to play in supporting Australia’s economic recovery.
“We know this is a time of great change and uncertainty for all businesses, and we’re running this session to give women who own businesses access to advice and support which could make all the difference in bouncing back,” she said.
Susan says: “We’ve seen some amazing stories come through where customers are using SMERLs not only to recover, but to take advantage of opportunities which are presenting themselves.
“A recovery loan can give you the breathing space to keep your business going, because you know when everything opens your business will be fine. All the money you’ve invested into it, that’s going to go down the drain if you can’t keep it open. Compare that to the low interest rate that’s on offer with SMERLs, that’s the cost of having the business open for a year and saving your investment.”
Susan believes it’s crucial that female business owners have the right advisory channels in place, so they can take advantage of all available supports.
“You can’t stick your head in the sand. What you’ve got to do every single day is wake up and be prepared to face what’s changed, take on the new challenges and adopt new ways of running your business.”
*Conditions, credit criteria and fees and charges apply, credit provided by Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.