To feel like you are in control of your business during this pandemic we have chosen 8 things that every business owner should keep on top of.
This is a stressful time and it’s important we look after our mental health as well as offering mental health support to our team.
Some tips for managing your mental wellbeing:
- Select your information sources carefully. Access information from official sources when required.
- Try to maintain your daily routine. Some adjustments will need to be made but try to keep to your routine as much as possible.
- Exercise each day. Go for a walk or run and get some fresh air and sunshine. Even if you’re self-isolating, you can get outside while maintaining social distancing.
- Get enough sleep. Easier said than done at times. Put technology away earlier and read or listen to an audiobook to help you relax.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Eat a range of fresh and nutritious food. Reach out to your community and swap produce if possible.
- Stay calm. Choose a relaxation practice, e.g. yoga, meditation, etc. and commit to doing it daily.
- Stay connected. Spend time with your family and keep in contact with friends; call instead of texting.
- Be positive. With crisis comes opportunity. Seek out opportunities and don’t catastrophise.
If you’re struggling to cope and need to speak to someone, you can call Samaritans on 116 123 any time. In an emergency, dial 999.
- Personal budget
Review your personal budget and ‘trim the fat’. Identify areas where you can save money. Your personal budget doesn’t need to be complex – it could be as simple as totaling your expenditure from the last month or 2 to identify your monthly personal costs. From there identify where you can make savings e.g. on entertainment, coffee, gifts, and any other unnecessary expenditure. Every saving you make takes pressure off what the business needs to provide to you.
Don’t cut costs for essential utilities; a strong and reliable internet connection is a must if you’ll be working from home.
- Supporting Your Team
Your team members will be worried about job security. The government has stated that there will be job losses during this time. Be open with your team. Share your plan with them and be honest about the potential impact the pandemic will have on your business. If there are to be job losses, ensure you obtain legal and HR advice on the best way to handle restructuring, stand down, reduced hours, furloughing workers, and redundancy processes.
- Terms of Trade
Review your Terms of Trade and update the terms to reflect your changing business practices. Share your updated Terms of Trade with your customers, highlighting key changes. In particular, review your payment terms and delivery terms. Remember to enforce your Terms of Trade at this time. Don’t let customers avoid paying you, as this could have a material impact on the sustainability of your business.
We have a Terms of Trade Template available to help clients develop robust Terms of Trade, please contact us if you need help with this.
- Offer incentives to retain customers
You customers may be facing job losses or reduced hours and lower income, so they’ll be prioritising where they spend their money.
Consider the types of incentives you can offer customers to keep buying during this period. Can they spread the cost over a number of weeks or months? Companies such as Afterpay or Laybuy can enable this. You may be able to arrange consignment stock at this time, whereby you only pay your supplier once you’ve been paid by your customer.
- Communicating with key customers
Ensure you regularly communicate with your key customers so they’re aware of what’s happening, particularly if you have an ongoing relationship with them to supply goods or services. They’re likely being inundated with communication from numerous sources, so keep all communication brief. Make your communications as personal as you can.
- Your business
Managing cashflow is essential for a business at all times but becomes even more important during times of crises. Bear in mind that your customers and suppliers will also be concerned about their cashflow.
Preserving and bringing forward cashflow, and creating a war chest of cash reserves is important right now.
- Cashflow Forecast and Cashflow Management
The first step to managing your cashflow is to create a Cashflow Forecast. Projecting your cash position forward gives you the ability to make far more informed decisions. Your previously prepared Cashflow Forecast will no longer be valid. We can help you review and update it to reflect the impact that Covid-19 may have on your cashflow.
Some businesses will need to look at their cashflow and their cash burn on a weekly basis.