Managing your production business during uncertain times

We’re living in unprecedented times. Things change day by day. It’s leaving us all feeling uncertain, overwhelmed and out of control.

But, as the world experiences the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, there are things you can do right now to prepare and respond.

Act now

The best advice we can give is to start now. If you don’t have a plan for business continuity, it’s time to make one. 

We have extensive experience working across the film and television industry, and suggest you prioritise taking time to really think hard about your business. 

These are the things you will want to do.

Business impact assessment

How will this impact the different parts of your business – best case and worst case? Are you going to be ok financially? How are you going to get through this?

Ask yourself:

  • What is my current position? Make sure you have assessed your cashflow and debt.
  • How long can you operate with reduced or no revenue?
  • Can I contact any lenders, creditors or debtors to discuss different options, such as payment plays or deferrals?
  • What financial help is on offer and can I access it?

Government assistance

Do your research on the various incentives and assistance that the government is offering right now, and watch for updates. 

There are options right now for individual income support, boosting cashflow for employers, and instant asset write-off if you’re looking to purchase equipment and re-invest in your business. 

If you would like to cut through the clutter and ‘government speak’, you can discuss any of these options with your tax accountant.

Plan for recovery

Create a timeline for when you will make key decisions about recovery.

We don’t know what the future looks like right now, but even having a firm date for re-visiting key decisions can help us feel more in control of the situation.

Plan different scenarios. What does closure look like for 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 8 months.

In your planning, consider what variables you can change:

  • Hours of operation or staffing models
  • Premises
  • Business focus (e.g. investing in development over production)

Also remember that, for now, Screen Australia are processing funding applications as normal. This means things like the Producer Offset, the Location Offset and PDV Offsets should be available in their usual timeframes.

The one exception is that applications to attend overseas events will be held until we’re once again able to travel.

Stay open (to opportunity)

We are a creative industry. We think outside the square and thrive on problem solving. Think of the skills that go into film production: resource management, logistics, action. These are essential skills to overcoming a health and economic crisis.

Yes, right now, we won’t be seeing new projects moving into production, but there are opportunities for development. 

Screen Australia have indicated that they will divert funds that were earmarked for production, to development, over the coronavirus crisis.

What opportunities does this create for you and your business?

As an industry, we are all in this together. We will feel the impacts, just as you do.

Most importantly, stay safe and well.

If you need to talk anything through, please get in touch.

A note on this article

Information provided by the Above the Line Accounting on this website is general in nature and does not take into consideration your personal financial situation. It is for educational purposes only and does not constitute formal financial advice.

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