Strategies to help businesses navigating COVID-19

24 April 2020 Andy Irvine Business Taxes, Covid-19

COVID-19 has presented significant challenges in recent weeks and many business owners are now thinking about just how to navigate their way through to the 'other side' of the present situation.  Our team have pulled together a list of strategies which could help them develop both resilience and revised plans for their future.

If you are a business owner then things might have been looking pretty good a few short weeks ago.  The economy was buoyant, profits were good, you had a relatively settled team doing good work and your future prospects were generally positive. 

Maybe you were planning to sell your business in the short to medium term (and had spent years building up good results to optimise your sale price).  For others, focussing on your business might have meant you hadn’t spent too much time considering the health and wellbeing of you and your family. Then came along COVID-19.

We have seen that the pandemic has changed both the prospects and perspectives of many of our clients:

  • They worry about the value of their business reducing and the economy stalling, thereby frustrating their plans to exit/sell the business.
  • They want to do all they can to protect their business for the long term.
  • They have changed their views on life and realise that maybe work isn’t quite so important – they might now want to take a back seat, exit their business asap or slow down a little.  All this has reaffirmed that running a business is hard work.
  • They realise (more than ever) how important the health of their family, their key staff and themselves is.

This change in circumstances can be frankly bewildering for many busy business owners. We are suggesting below some strategies that could help business owners navigate a way through current times, helping to develop both resilience and revised future plans, allowing businesses (and their owners) to stay on track in the longer term.

  • Is this possibily now the time to consider employee share schemes in lieu of bonuses? This preserves cash, helps staff stay loyal and aligns them more closely with shareholders.
  • Many small businesses rely on a few key individuals within the organisation. The loss of any one of those individuals could pose a real threat to the financial stability of that business. So why not think about business insurance for your key staff?
  • Don’t neglect your personal affairs:
  • If a sale of your business is on hold, do you have a Plan B? Have you thought about other options to unlock value and de-risk your personal position these could include:
  • Have you thought about ringfencing the businesses key assets and reducing their exposure to trading risk:
  • Make sure you can properly manage your business going forward
  • Make sure your Management Information tells you what you need to know
  • Put together detailed forecasts for your business showing you how much working capital you need
  • Ensure your business is lean – use technology, focus on profitability, innovate

 

Now could well be the perfect time to take a step back and think strategically about your business, plan to sucessfully navigate through the current situation and come through the other side in a stronger position.

Please do get in touch with your normal Shorts contact to talk through any of the above ideas, or one of our Covid-19 support coordinators (David RobinsonScott Burkinshaw or Martin Dean). 

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