With the rapid spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) at this current time across the globe, it is clearly noticeable that it is causing serious threats to the global economy, as well as millions of businesses throughout the world. Meaning every business needs to have the right plan in place for essential next steps.
With the UK now placed into lockdown it is vital that you put your safety precautions into action now, otherwise you could be affecting yourself and more importantly, your colleagues and companies life.
In this article, Forbes Burton is going to go through some essential tips on how businesses can cope through this pandemic, and to help ensure that you have all of the right precautions in place.
Look After Your Employees
One of the most obvious ways a pandemic affects a business is the increase in employee absences, but now with the risk of Coronavirus on the rise, any businesses that can work from home are told to do so. Hopefully your company is prepared for the occasional employee off sick, but even these unknown times can cause large businesses to lose millions a year.
Your colleagues may be working from home now but you need to make sure that they have the right technology in place, make sure that you purchase anything that helps to make their working life easier and keeping frequent contact is essential, for example do a team meeting every morning, so you still have contact as if you was at work.
There are many different ways you can keep in touch, in terms of team video calling, Google Hangouts, Zoom and Skype are all brilliant tools that work for team calls. But when in regards to messaging, instead of constant emailing, consider a team messaging tool, such as Slack, which enables you to easily contact individual colleagues and also create groups.
82% of businesses believe that remote working saves them money and employees have consistently shown that it works well for them. Some key questions to ask if you do go down this route are: Do your staff have laptops or good technology, or do you need to deliver essentials to your employees so they can work from their respective homes easily? Are your connections secured? Do you need to create a VPN? Just as it is important to keep cash flowing, it is crucial you keep data flowing as well.
Of course, cash flow is one of the greatest concerns for any business and come companies might not be able to escape this, which is why having a thorough plan in place is crucial.
As the business owner, you need to continuously analyse the risks, as well as any additional events that will happen to your cash flow if it should slow down, even if there is demand for payments.
You need to ensure that you fully understand your cash flow and balance sheet, because you can find out whether you can defer payments on leases, or to take out a loan holiday. You can also consider contacting your landlord to discuss arrangements to defer any payments regarding that side of the business.
If you can, try and reduce any expenditure where possible, ask yourself whether the expenditure is critical, or if it is more of a luxury.
It will help if you can plan your monthly cash flow for the next year. Try and create a few scenarios, one of which should be a worst case. This will help you find out where you can plan to cut costs rather than making rash, on the spot decisions.
Practical Cash Flow Tips
Schedule 1 hour to work on the business, this should now be done more or less everyday, due to the vast movements and precautions that are now taking place within the UK. Start thinking how this is going to affect your business in the short term, as well as the long term and apply your thoughts.
Revisit your bank statements from the past three months and see where you can apply any savings to your company outgoings.
Organise what is owed and when by and also check to see who more importantly, owes you money, but do make sure to check how they are coping, because we are all in the same situation.
What areas of the operations can be delayed? Speak to your suppliers and people you owe money to. In times like this you may find they are more helpful.
Now you have all the information in hand, you can now try and plan your monthly cash flow for now and the future.
Keep Yourself & Others Safe
You can easily stay up to date with the current changes, by looking at credible and official sources, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England, so you can let your business quickly respond to real changes.
As well as yourself, make sure you keep in touch and see if your customers are handling things well too, give them a ring, send an email and make sure you have important information on your website if you have any changes that can impact them. You can also pin important updates via social media, so they remain at the top of your feed for however long you would like.
It is important to look after eachother and make sure businesses thrive. We can get through this crisis together.