As the UK begins to ease the Coronavirus lockdown and the economy begins to re-start in a ‘new normal’ environment, businesses need to look at how they can adapt to this new reality. Ensuring your business not only survives but thrives as the UK slowly exits out of lockdown will be a minefield for many businesses, we’ve highlighted some key advice on navigating this tough time.
Adapt your business
How can you look at different alternatives to still sell your products or provide your services? Many businesses in the retail and hospitality sector have changed their service offering. An example being Halfords who now allow you to queue at the door whilst they bring products out to purchase or providing a simple bike fix whilst you wait outside. Many pubs have set up take away and delivery options with ordering and payment being made online.
Look at how you can deliver your products by ensuring they can be ordered and paid online, promote this on social media and through e-marketing to ensure word gets around. This could provide an opportunity for your business to continue but in a different format.
Look after your team
Ensure you keep in touch with your staff, there are many software applications you can use to arrange video calls, at Clear Vision we have been using Microsoft Teams for regular meetings and to check in with each other. Provide advice on how your employees can ensure they can work productively from home, you can read some tips in one of our recent articles here.
Seek all of the support you can
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an unprecedented amount of support from grants, HMRC time to pay, finance to furlough payments. Check to ensure you have applied for everything you are entitled to, find out more here.
R&D Tax relief
With cashflow being a huge issue for businesses right now, there are other options available from the Government such as the R&D Tax Relief scheme. You don’t need to own a research lab and wear a white coat to qualify, it can apply to many different projects for businesses in all industries. Now would be a good time to check if you qualify, our partners at R&D Tax Box can discuss this with you.
Look after your customers
Even if you can’t see them right now ensure you are regularly communicating to your customers and updating them on your business plans. From letting them know how you’ve adapted your business to reassuring them – communication is key right now.
Ambitious plans may need to be put on hold for the time being as you protect your business and ensure your survival. It may be necessary to temporarily shut down your business in order to preserve it long-term, this would involve furloughing all staff and cutting all costs to the minimum so only the liabilities like rent and rates are left which can hopefully be covered by some of the above. Putting a temporary pause on your business until you can re-start will ensure your business has the best option of continuing in the future.
Take time out to plan
If you find you have a bit more time on your hands then now is a great time to tackle those tasks that you have left. Look at how you can promote your business online, social media is a great tool for making connections with existing contacts and new ones. Also look at your website, how can you make some small refreshments to ensure you are keeping up to date with the latest Coronavirus (covid-19) recommendations.
Being able to work from home is vital during this current period, the ‘new normal’ will mean we may not return to offices for some time yet. Review you how you can operate your business virtually from selling online to providing your services via webinars. Ensuring you keep on top of your business finances is very important at the moment, we partner with Xero who provide a cloud-based accounting software package. The software enables you to access your business finances from any device from anywhere (as long as you have an internet connection).