ADAPTING YOUR BUSINESS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
20th March 2020
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The spread of Covid-19 and the speed of change in response is completely unprecedented. The health and well-being of family, friends, employees, customers and the public at large always comes first, but as the owner and/or manager of a business there are likely to be tough decisions in the days ahead.
For some businesses the current situation is making them unexpectedly busier than normal while for others it has seen a reduction in income, with some extreme cases of it stopping altogether.
There is one thing that is certain, and all business owners will already recognise this, the economy will be significantly affected by this in the short term. Now is the time to plan for what to do immediately in response.
It is in times like these that business owners and/or managers need to take the lead and not follow the herd. Waiting for government to tell us what to do will mean we are behind in our necessary decision making. It is now time to think differently. You will know your own business better than anyone else. It is for you to take the lead and make decisions now and it is with this in mind that Family Business Solutions has put together the following list of prompts/suggestions to consider.
While latest government intervention for the economy is unprecedented the follow still applies! It will take a while for government support to get through!
Cash – Your single biggest immediate priority is to look after cash. Cash is the lifeblood of every business. Whilst maintaining your legal and financial responsibilities do everything you can to retain as much as possible right now e.g.
● Speak to suppliers for extended credit terms
● Speak to landlords for rent holidays or temporary revised terms
● Speak to HMRC about any payments due and ask for payment delays or payment plans
● Speak to bank to discuss extending overdraft facilities or payment holidays on loans
● Change to emergency spending only right away and make one person responsible for authorising all expenditure, and make sure it is someone with the right mind set for the job.
● Review all automatic payments (Direct Debits, Standing Orders) and where these should be reviewed to control the drain in cash.
● End all luxuries.
● Ask customers to pay at the very least on time and if possible, earlier than normal
● Make sure that you are not doing anything that is in breach of contract with the above suggestions but do push very hard for changes.
● Reduced hours or staff layoffs – your staff will be your saviour at the end of this, helping you get your business thriving again so make sure you do everything you can to help them out and keep them on side, with layoffs and redundancies only as a very last resort. Making employees redundant is expensive anyway and could be counterproductive.
Now more than ever you need to consider how to address the direction & management of the business. It is vital to show a determination amongst the workforce and with customers that you will do everything to manage your way through this difficulty.
Here at Family Business Solutions some in our team have first-hand experience of significant business interruption and recovery, and so are well placed to advise and support. We will be making regular briefings to help each and every one of our clients. We can help with strategy for business protection, provision, and indeed planning for business continuity and development post the current threat.
In the current evolving circumstances we are setting up other ways to open up access to our consulting team for your Q & A, and meantime we encourage you get in touch via the contacts below. Central to our support is bringing together professional advisors in legal, finance, banking, and management for advice and implementation.
Our specialist Business Consultancy team are available for one to one support in your leadership endeavours. Please just ask if you would like to talk to them.