This has already been a year of unprecedented challenges for businesses. The coronavirus’s first wave saw firms across the UK shutting their doors for weeks on end – preventing them from turning a profit or servicing their customers. With a second wave well and truly upon us, and winter looking like a bleak season for consumers and businesses alike, the coming months may well spell the difference, for many firms, between sustainability and collapse. As such, this article draws out four tips for surviving and thriving in today‘s topsy-turvy business ecosystem.
You‘ve already been through significant disruption – from the months of March to June this year. As such, you know what decreased output and demand does to your firm – and you‘ll be able to model similar scenarios for the coming lockdowns and trading restrictions. Ultimately, you‘re looking to plan for many different scenarios in which your company brings in less cash than you‘ve been expecting. Talk to your finance department, and begin modelling on Excel, to discover the best strategies for cost-saving and overhead-cutting this winter.
In the meantime, all firms that are eligible for government schemes must be able to apply for them and take advantage of tax breaks, loans, and wage subsidies – as the winter approaches. There‘s no doubt that this help can revive businesses on the brink of collapse – but it would be wrong to expect government support to continue through to 2021. It‘s more likely that smaller benefits and grants – aimed mostly at paying your staff and keeping the unemployment rate down – will be issued to your employees through your firm. You‘ll still have to find the cash to support your other business processes – including rent, overheads, and maintaining relationships with your suppliers.
With the economy clearly a priority as we head into winter – and the UK‘s GDP taking another battering – this is not the time for businesses to look to shut down and begin working in stripped-down teams remotely. Rather, it‘s a time to make use of smart, flexible facilities in which you can welcome those members of staff who thrive in a working environment. Work Clockwise are a co-working rental space that you should consider contacting to book a covid-friendly space for your workers to meet and collaborate within.
Finally, with firms across the country suffering from another spate of severe disruption, this is the moment to look around you, at your partners, clients, and reliable corporate customers, to see whether you can rely on them through the winter. Many firms have already ‘gone under‘ this year due to poor planning and unavoidable financial losses related to the first lockdown – and many others have struggled along with little hope of long-term survival. Conduct due diligence checks on all firms around you to avoid the unpleasant news that a major partner is going out of business.
Business today is about taking stock and performing checks and modelling – forecasting a murky future so that you and your firm can ride through the coming winter with confidence and resilience.