5 Key Priorities
Whilst this situation is unprecedented, experience of past economic disruption, including the financial crisis in 2008, provides some insight into what could happen.
For leaders of entrepreneurial and privately owned businesses, focus should be placed on exposure to risk, interdependence and eligibility to receive government support.
1. Government & funding policy supports
Fearful of a global slowdown, policymakers have been quick to react. In the UK, a £330bn package has been given to support businesses and individuals, including deferred business rates, payments and loan schemes.
As the landscape of government support and bank policy change, it is important you remain up to date with what is available, we are updating our Government advice and support page regularly here, which summarises the reliefs available.
2. Clear communications
With remote working now in place for many, clear internal communication is required so that your workforce can be kept up-to-date and continue to feel included.
Staff may need to be redeployed in the long term, so you should review your staffing contracts and arrangements to ensure that management is clear on how to be flexible and agile in the current climate.
We provide advice and guidance on the key areas for your IT team to focus on as well as technology issues related to cyber-attacks, software and working from home here.
Spending habits have been impacted dramatically by Covid-19. While supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential businesses have experienced spikes in, other industries such as hospitality and leisure have experienced a significant drop in sales.
In times like these, you will need to review cashflow projections on a regular basis and run scenario analysis to map potential performance and cashflow outcomes, modelling varying degrees of business interruption.
This will give you the crucial information necessary for honest, open conversations with your key stakeholders and funding providers.
4. Speak to others in your ecosystem
A global event of this size, which impacts so many, allows us to become more open and honest in our discussions. There is a growing sense that all businesses are in this together. If your business is exposed because of low reserves then aim to defer large outgoings, discuss your arrangements with landlords and where necessary, increase debt with lenders.
5. B2C and B2B priorities
B2C demand over the next weeks and months is difficult to predict, but it is likely that most customers will not commit to large financial outgoings or events. You may need to adapt and project demand for your products and services in order to stay on top of sales and contingency plans. Again, this information is critical for conversations with key stakeholders (creditors, landlords and others.)
If your business serves B2B markets, you need to understand how exposed the customer base is – the reality of events like these are that while many organisations will suffer, some stand to gain.
By focusing on those who need support, you can strengthen relationships and lay the foundations for sustainable, if not immediately lucrative, sales pipelines and payment.
The full impact of Covid-19 – for society and business at large – remains to be seen. This article is intended to help with business-critical conversations and to provide a level of support on next steps.
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