The current guidance from the government is to work from home if your job allows, and to practice social distancing wherever possible. But what happens if you own a business which cannot function by working from home? All businesses are and will be affected by covid-19, but those of you who can work from home are in a better position to continue with work. We are here to support every one of our clients keep their businesses running and growing. In these uncertain and challenging times, we need to take a step back and think about alternative ways to keep our businesses going when we need it the most. Here we’ve outlined a few different things to think about, some which you may be able to implement. If you have any concerns and need someone to talk to, please get in touch. You can email or call your client manager, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can arrange a time to talk on the phone or via video call.
Loans & Grants
Options which could be available to you are loans and grants to help you deal with cashflow problems caused by covid-19. Although at the moment government guidance is unclear (to say the least) and continuously changing, it has been reported that the Scottish government are making the following available:
- Small and rural businesses will be able to apply for a £10,000 grant.
- Hospitality businesses will be given 12 months of business rates relief.
- Those with a rateable value of between £18,000 and £51,000 will be able to apply for a £25,000 grant.
We’re trying to stay up to date with any news of government help for businesses at this time and will share when we can.
Work on the structure of your business
If you are no longer able to do the work you usually do, now could be a good time to take a step back and look at the structure of your business and ways in which you can work on making your business more resilient etc. Although it is a tricky time to make any decisions, it is a worthwhile task to look at your business and make a plan. Doing a cashflow forecast is something which is really important right now. If you need any support or guidance with this, just let us know. We can provide a simple weekly cash flow spreadsheet if that would help.
Again, if you are in a position where the normal tasks that keep you busy have been put to an unexpected halt, have a think about the things which need done which aren’t urgent but have been building up in the background, such as admin work. Now may be a good time for you or your employees to catch up on this.
Many businesses are trying to find new ways of using their skills and expertise to help their clients. Could you provide online video tutorials or webinars? Can you write blogs and share information critical to your customer base? If people usually come into your shop, can you provide a new delivery service? Try thinking of interesting and innovative new ways in which you can continue to help your customers. At Rosslyn Associates we are fortunate that the majority of the work we do can be done remotely. That being said, we still need to be creative to ensure we can continue. In place of seminars, we will host free webinars, and we will have meetings with clients via video or phone call (whichever preferable and depending on the nature of the meeting.)
New ways of providing services may not be for every business, but try to think of as many ways you can continue to help your customers, and the changes you make will potentially carry over and make your business better in the future.
One option which we have seen from some businesses which are struggling to pay their employees, but who will not leave them unemployed, is crowdfunding. This is where you get in contact with all of your client base and let them know your situation. You can then set up a crowdfunding page and offer them future services if they donate to you now. Similar to offering gift vouchers, which Is another option, but you can decide what it is you want to offer them depending on the size of the donation they make. This can work for most types of businesses. Generally, people want to help one another and if some of your clients are in a position to pay now and receive services later, when you can provide them, they probably will want to help. Be open and honest and speak to them from the heart.
Systems and Procedures
Get to work on creating strong procedures and systems. This is really important. Although right now everything is uncertain and this can completely throw everything off its usual track, having solid procedures in place can help you in the event of future disruption. Systems and procedures can be time consuming to make but are essential so nothing goes amiss. Use your extra time to get started and reap the rewards going forward.
Contact your clients/customers
Call and/or email all of your customers and check in on them. Now is the time where we need to help each other and build a strong community. Show your customers you care about them and check that everything is ok. If you really care about them, they will probably care about you too and will remember the warmth you’ve shown towards them. They will then be likely to help and support you and your business during this tough time and after.
Are there any costs you can reduce/don’t need anymore in the current situation?
If you are struggling with cashflow, have a think about all of your current outgoings. Are there any non-essential costs which you do not need to pay at the moment, which could be cancelled or frozen for the time being. It might be good to look at a list of all of your outgoings and have a look into how possible it is to stop paying. Another way is to renegotiate terms for payments.
We are here to help you
The current situation is difficult and confusing for all of us and none of us have all the answers, but what we can do is support each other. We are here to help all of our clients and want to provide information and support wherever we can. If you want to talk about any of the above, please get in touch. Email email@example.com and we will get back to you and if you want to arrange a phone or video call we can. Let’s try to stay positive and work on new ways of working and keeping each other going