Don't wait for a bailout - take action NOW.
Updated: Jan 26, 2021
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is due to announce further plans of how the Government intends to help business and employees through this crisis. Whilst we await the outcome and eventual deployment of any such action, this is what you can do now.
1) Cut your unnecessary costs. Hop on to online banking and see what standing orders and direct debits are going out on a regular basis and evaluate which are business critical and which are a luxury you could do without. You may wish to consider doing this for your own personal accounts too.
2) Save as much income as possible. We normally advocate putting aside a minimum of 30% of your income for tax, expenses and for contingency. If you are still getting monies in, put them in a savings account and don't touch them until you absolutely have to. If you have invoices out there unpaid, follow-up as you would normally. Clearly some will not have the capacity to settle their bills so take a judgement call on how you go about doing this - some businesses are not reporting a slowdown and therefore able to service debts as normal. You won't know until you investigate and there is nothing to lose.
3) Consider loans or borrowing very carefully. Piling on debt at an uncertain time may not be the wise thing to do, especially where you have personal guarantees on those loans. Is there another way of getting cash-flow into the business? Can you negotiate a payment holiday on fixed costs? What other options are there available? Do you have tangible goods that can be sold off to raise more capital?
The loan will need paying back and on top of your restarting costs, it might be wholly un-serviceable.
4) Look after your mental and physical health. It is going to get very tough for some. Stay calm and step out of the middle of the situation and look at what you can do. You've got to stay mentally and physically fit to enable you to make the right decisions and be in a position to react. It might be tricky to get your hands on fresh fruit and vegetables compared to last month, but keep exercising, take some time to relax and be sure to see how your co-workers and colleagues are getting on. There are lots of online resources to help you maintain a healthy mind and body.
5) Don't expect a miracle - we are just at the beginning.
With or without some sort of bailout, we are unlikely to be out of the woods for some months to come. When we do emerge into the light, it will take additional weeks and months for people to gain the confidence to start rebuilding their businesses and spending money again. Stay calm. Plan for the worst and do what you can to diversify your strategy. For example; some businesses are establishing an online presence (where they had none before), many are offering delivery of their products where before they didn't. Look at JVs or collaborations that benefit each party.
Whatever you decide, try and remain positive and look to the future. We will get through this and there will be better times ahead. We are happy to provide any advice or guidance you may need.
Wishing you the very best.