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Leverage El Niño to highlight opportunities for your business.

There’s an old saying ‘It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good’ – which means that while some people will be negatively impacted in unfortunate or bad events, others will benefit. That certainly applies to the El Niño weather phenomenon, expected to bring hotter, drier conditions over the coming months. It will bring challenges for some businesses such as agriculture and energy providers, but shifts in consumer behaviour and industry dynamics are set to make it a boost for others.   

The key is to be proactive rather than reactive, and ride the El Niño wave to get ahead. Think of this as a potential opportunity to: 

  • grow your business 
  • manage resources effectively 
  • execute expansion or diversification plans 
  • ensure strategic seasonal restocking. 

Turn a negative to a positive: 

Equipment financing or working capital finance can be used to turn around potential disadvantage for your business. 

For example, outdoor hospitality venues might find themselves less appealing to consumers this El Niño summer. Investing in portable air conditioning, cool misting systems and/or retractable awnings can give you an edge over your sweltering competitors, and maintain your seasonal revenue despite the challenges.   

Outdoor business owners may also want to consider kitting out seasonal staff in attractively branded, light coloured sun-protective gear, to ensure they’re able to operate at their optimum level and reduce absenteeism when business is strong. 

Utilise forecasting tools to assess impact on the business 

Consumer shopping habits could be influenced by the weather, depending on location. 

In some regional areas, consumers who are unable to stay cool at home will gravitate to air-conditioned places like shopping centres, ice rinks, public pools, bowling alleys, indoor hospitality venues and other cool, enclosed environments, bringing a boost to trade. Installation or upgrade of air conditioning for retailers and other indoor venues could be called for here. 

Conversely in metropolitan areas with rapid delivery systems, the heat could potentially drive more people to make purchases online. SMEs with e-commerce operations should look to enhance their digital presence and marketing efforts during this time, investing in inventory and technology to meet online shopping surges. 

Forecasting tools can help predict demand patterns during El Niño, evaluate inventory levels and make data-driven decisions. Working capital finance can help you to stock up on products and materials, or diversify into new lines that are likely to be in high demand.   

The key is to be proactive rather than reactive.

Diversify to capitalise on the conditions 

Renewable energy projects can thrive as Australia's energy demand spikes during El Niño. If you’re in the renewable energy sector, or are looking to enter it, use this period to secure funding and develop projects such as solar or wind farms. Government incentives and grants may be accessible to support these green initiatives. 

Businesses like garden supplies, swimming pool-related companies and nurseries could explore lending support to exploit opportunities to expand product or service offerings to meet changing demands. For instance, a landscaping business might look to offer drought-resistant garden design services or water-saving irrigation solutions to appeal to environmentally-conscious clients.   

Manage restocking strategically or collaboratively 

Seasonal businesses like tourism can experience a surge in demand during this time, and must manage their inventory and resources effectively to ensure they can capitalise on the busy periods brought about by El Niño.  

Think about collaborating with other similar SMEs or suppliers to strengthen your position in fulfilling contracts. Forming strategic partnerships can help pool resources, reduce costs, and enhance your collective ability to meet seasonal requirements. 

If that’s not an option in your industry, instead strengthen your relationships with suppliers to ensure a smooth restocking process. By building a good relationship, and communicating your needs and expectations clearly, you may be able to negotiate favourable termsand discounts.     

And finally, some helpful practical tips to keep you and your business – as well as your staff and customers - safe:  

  • Have a blackout plan to help your business adapt to power outages. 
  • Check your standard fire plan, keep fire alarm systems and fire-fighting equipment well-maintained, go through evacuation plans, and know where to find the latest information if there’s a bushfire threat in your area. 
  • Make sure your business data is stored in the cloud, so it can be accessed from anywhere in a worst-case scenario. 
  • If you’re dealing with Australian Taxation Office (ATO) debt, El Niño's impact on your industry can be an opportunity to prepare and streamline your finances.  Allocate funds strategically to settle outstanding debts and avoid financial strain. 

If you're seeking to get ahead this El Niño season, get in touch with Banjo today. 

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* Disclaimer: Fees, lending criteria, terms and conditions apply (including an origination fee on each advance). Actual fixed fee (or interest expense) and repayments will vary based on your individual circumstances. Advertised rates are subject to change at any time. Fixed fee (or interest expense) accrues upfront and is paid in instalments. While Banjo does not generally take security over assets, director guarantees may be required and a general security deed or other security may be required for larger loans or in respect of some loan types. Statements regarding timing in relation to applications, approvals and funding are only indicative. Any advice given does not take into account your personal circumstances and you should carefully consider what products are appropriate for you and obtain professional advice where relevant.

Copyright © 2022 Banjo® Loans. Banjo® and Banjo Score® are registered trade marks used under licence by Banjo Loans. All loans are provided by FundIT Ltd ACN 601 130 527 in its capacity as trustee of the Banjo Small Business Loan Fund ABN 32 713 685 984 (AFSL 468033). All loans are subject to eligibility criteria and approval by Banjo. Upfront fee, terms and conditions apply.