Turning crisis into opportunity

Finding business opportunities from the COVID-19 crisis was the theme for the first physical function for the Women in Business Regional Network since March.

Jasmin Gniel, Samantha De Lorenzo, Elizabeth Ellis, Dawn Peterson, Victor Harbor Mayor Moira Jenkins, Leanne Farr and Brianna Williams.

Hosted at The Boulevard Café by the Lake at Encounter Bay, the dinner on July 1 welcomed several new members.

“There was definitely an air of excitement for everyone as we held our first in-person event since hibernation began,” network founder Carolyn Jeffrey said.

“I was very pleasantly surprised by the buoyant attitudes and the exciting projects that had been born during the crisis including businesses opening new premises, new businesses commencing, plus those who had turned an employer closure into an opportunity to become an owner instead.

“Although restrictions are easing it’s important for everyone to realise we’re not out of the woods and financially there’s likely to be a lot more pain ahead, so businesses need to be taking advantage of every opportunity they can at the moment to not only make money but to adjust their businesses to find savings too. We can’t afford to sit back and just wait.”

Carolyn said there were some great signs that regional areas could ultimately be better off in post COVID times.

“There is an increasing recognition that where people work from is no longer as rigid as it once was. People working from home has shown that city-based businesses can have staff operating anywhere, so, if you could choose to work wherever you wanted to be, many would choose a regional area rather than in the thick of a major city,” Carolyn said.

“As regional businesses we must now stand up for our regions and promote the advantages of living and working outside the cities.”

A copy of Carolyn’s presentation is available for download from the Members Only section.

In the presentation she outlined some areas where she believed there would be growth, at least in the short term, as a result of COVID-19 and encouraged women to consider how they could capitalise on the opportunities. Options to make the most of the opportunities including looking at collaborations, competitions, marketing and changing the way you do business.

The list of focus areas included Australian-made products, health and well-being, local travel, online sales and services, social welfare, tech support, training and HR, cost-cutting including DIY, legal services, employment services, cleaning and business support. 

Carolyn also outlined a list of things you could do to assist your business if you have downtime at the moment.

The list includes:

  • Write/plan your social media for 12 months
  • Analyse and cut down on extraneous costs
  • Prepare a grant proposal for the future
  • Identify your skill gaps
  • Update your website
  • Review and update your business plan
  • Trial that app you’ve been thinking about
  • Do your online audit
  • Clean up your premises
  • Organise your emails and computer files