As businesses come out of lockdown and look to plot their route to recovery here are five tips that may help make that journey go more smoothly:
- Good cashflow will be crucial for all businesses as they emerge from the coronavirus crisis. Those that manage their cash well will come out of this stronger. Keep on top of your cash flow forecasts. Take a look at your payment terms and see if they need to be changed to meet the new climate. Do you need to ask for more payment up front? Have honest conversations with suppliers and customers.
- Control your costs. Look at your overheads to make sure you are getting the best deals possible. Assess your office systems and your purchasing and ordering processes to make sure you are not incurring unnecessary costs. Ensure that your stock control is in order and is fit for purpose. Are the right processes in place? Now is the time to re-evaluate.
- Be prepared to adapt. The business world you are returning to may not be the same as the one that you left during lockdown. Has the market changed? Are your customers now looking for other things? Are there new opportunities out there that you can take advantage of? Does your business model have to be tweaked? Take a good look at your sector, your competitors and talk to your customers – and your staff – to get a full picture of the landscape.
- Talk to your people. They will be crucial as you look towards recovery and growth. As you bring people out of furlough it will be important to keep everyone fully in the picture about the business and its future direction. Good communication will help things go more smoothly. Be transparent and honest about the situation. You need to take your team with you. If you’re bringing some, but not all, of your furloughed people back, you need to explain that it doesn’t mean those who aren’t returning are not important or valued – the process is part of the bigger plan to get everyone back to work.
- There’s lots of support out there, and it is all geared to helping businesses in their recovery. Much of it is free. Take advantage of that and the help and guidance these organisations and their experts can give. Some can point you in the right direction when it comes to funding. Utilise your professional business advisers, they can help when it comes to planning and strategy and other issues like tax incentives and relief. And tap into that network of people you’ve built up over the years – it is good to talk.