Corona Virus is clearly one of the biggest threats to organizations any of us will ever likely face in our lifetimes. None of us can say we were expecting it, or prepared for it. The coming weeks and months will be a bumpy ride, so we have put together some top tips right now for giving you and your business a greater possibility of surviving such an unexpected crisis.
Prioritise cash. Try not to stress over profits, turnover, or new sales, just cash matters now. Search for every opportunity to hold money inside the business; examine your outgoings carefully and cut any unnecessary expenses. Tighten your credit control processes, and collect all invoices beyond 30 days. See our previous article for expert tips on credit control, or for more detail check out The Chapter Technique. You need to be cash forecasting for 3-6 months, and look at this on a daily basis.
Look closely at all your outgoings – what do you need for the business to function, and what don’t you need? Reduce or cut totally what you don’t need, including your own pay-packet. When cutting, be brutal, and do it early, so that in the long run in hindsight, you won’t kicking yourself or regretting anything. Focus on the assets in your business that are the most valuable.
Don’t let this virus infect your business! Together we can beat it.
Timeline planning – Treat the COVID-19 crisis as one that will last 3-6 months. Produce short and medium term nett & gross income estimates and discuss openly with your staff and colleagues and get their assurances that they will do their very best to help your business survive!
Remember you are not the only one. Everybody is in just about the same situation. Do whatever it takes not to feel overwhelmed. Try not to freeze. Relax. Make short strides, little steps, not enormous jumps. Converse with and watch what others do in and outside of your industry. Take backing and thoughts for managing this emergency from anyplace and wherever you can, nobody has the complete answer. Ask people openly for advice, particularly customers, colleagues, friends and relatives. What are other people doing?
Ask yourself, what will it take to close this business down, and which of my rivals will be able to keep trading and why? Ask yourself what you can change rapidly, and how to be that survivor. Be intense. Search out better approaches for working. Try not to keep hold of the ‘old’ methods for getting things done. Put each alternative on the table. Be imaginative and adaptable. What ‘new’ technologies would you be able to utilize?
Your staff. Perhaps look at part-time options for staff, whilst following Public Health England guidance as a base, decide who is required for those parts of the business that are basic to its endurance. Can staff work from home? Make a general arrangement which sees expanded collaboration, work and information being shared, making the business more grounded and less dependent on certain key individuals. Trust your staff and give them additional duties where possible. If you help your staff now, they will reward you for it later when you need them.
Communicate more – talk to everybody who is critical to your business: your clients, your suppliers, your staff, your funders. Don’t forget that they are also are presumably encountering the same problems, and will no doubt be making comparable, frequently difficult, choices. Try & empathise with them and be straightforward, open and practical.
Grab all the help you can get. HMRC have been advised by the government to help organizations affected by COVID-19. A hotline has been set up: 0800 015 9559. Use it. Government grants and Loan schemes will be swinging into action in a matter of days. Take advantage.
If you are struggling to get to grips with cash collection in your business, now is more important than ever to tighten your procedures and collect all invoices over 30 days old. Do not leave it too late because many businesses will be failing over the coming 3-6 months and you need to make sure you are at the top of the pile to get paid. Call us on 01332 565 350 or email email@example.com to see how we can help you collect cash for your business survival.
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