Business guide to Coronavirus

How eliminating expenses helped Corporate Edge stay afloat

Corporate Edge are leaders in culture alignment, leadership development and executive coaching with a small team, who they call their ‘village’. Like all businesses during this time, there have been some truly heartbreaking decisions.

Phil Allison, Founder & Managing Director of Corporate Edge has had to let-go of an assistant who had just started in the business. He says it was an extremely tough decision to make but it made sense given the rapid drop in face to face workshops. They just couldn’t justify keeping her on. 

‘Black and White Box’ decision making  

Phil describes himself as a pragmatic person. “In times like this, we often need to take a ‘Black and White Box’ approach which means taking the emotion out of decisions (facts and objective). This is critical for big and timely decisions. After we make the decision, we can then test the decision in the ‘Grey Box’ which is all about emotion and how it impacts our people (subjective).” 

“If there is $10 you can save, save it! Do the best you can to avoid cutting pay, hours, etc. This is symbolic. If your team sees that you are doing it for them, it shows that you care for them,” Phil explains. 

“We have also stood down our PR agency who were previously on retainer and decided not to replace our lead designer who left the business for a new role. We have also asked the landlord for 3-months’ rent-reduction and are currently in negotiations with them on how this would look in the long term.” 

Be reactive to be proactive 

Phil has taken a reactive approach in order to be proactive. He says he acted on these things weeks ago before it all blew out of proportion.  

“We could see our future income falling off the cliff. I decided I was ready to forgo the office that we were in for 14-years so that we wouldn’t have to lose a staff member. Being able to negotiate a rent reduction early has allowed us to stay”.  

“We had a contractor who looked after content marketing. We also stopped marketing paid ads.  

My finance manager provided updates all the time to make sure we were on track”.  

Phil was very transparent with his people and kept the communication lines open. This helped build trust with his team. He has spent many years building a strong and effective ‘village’    

“Be prepared and create your worst-case contingency plans based on worst-case scenarios. Then have them ready to roll out in stages. Once you have made the decision you need to be able to implement it rapidly.” 

Phil Allison is the Founder, Managing Director at Corporate Edge. If you want to learn how Corporate Edge can work with your team to develop leadership skills organisation-wide, get in touch with them


Business Australia is on hand with a range of resources to help businesses navigate this difficult time, with practical advice and information to help you develop strategies to maintain and sustain. Visit our resource hub to find out more.

Catherine Ngo

Senior Editor and Content Writer, Business Australia

Catherine is passionate about unravelling the latest news and insights to help entrepreneurs, small business owners and employers.

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