Trusted advice through challenging times

02nd Jun

Things have been a bit bonkers since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year, and many businesses have found times trying. According to the Office for National Statistics, only 5% of business owners said they had experienced no negative effects from the pandemic, so while the short-term outlook for businesses varies greatly by sector, it’s important to consider what recovery will look like once the economy begins to return to a state of normality. Having a strategy for ‘post-Covid’ can help you hit the ground running and rebuild. If you’re not sure what your plan should include, here are a few ideas that may help with getting your business back on track.

Assess the damage

The first step in developing a rebuilding plan post-Covid is determining how your business has been affected. Review your profit and loss and cash flow statements, and compare them with last year’s to see how much your business has been affected. Consider other ways that your business has been affected. You might have had to lay off some employees, or cut your advertising and marketing budget; how will you finance these to help you recover?

Review your business plan

Your business model may have worked perfectly pre-Covid but, coming out, it may need some fine-tuning. If you previously relied on footfall to an office or shop, you may need to look at growing your online presence, maybe a new website to catch some of the high numbers who are now shopping from home. You’re not in this alone, however. There is loads of help available to you. Speak to Sirius – and if they cannot help you, they will know ‘a man who can’! The HEY LEP, Growth Hub and Enterprise Nation are great resources, and offer free informative webinars. Pay attention to trends to find new opportunities. What was working before may not work as well now, so see where you can adjust and become more competitive.

Will you need funding?

You may need some working capital to jumpstart your operations and there are several options to consider. Ask about a business loan from Sirius. A Sirius business adviser can check to see if there are any grants available, and help you to create a business plan and application. if you are considering borrowing to help rebuild, remember that lenders want some reassurance that loans can be repaid and you may have to offer guarantees as security.

Update your budgets

You may have to spend money to make money, investing in hiring and training new employees or rehiring ones you had to lay off; increased spending in new stock and advertising/marketing may also kickstart your business. See if you can make your business leaner, so as growth happens, you can take advantage of it and invest at the right time.

Create a timeline

Doing everything at once may not be realistic. A Sirius business adviser can help you build a plan that prioritises your actions. As you recover, track your progress, particularly if you’ve secured funding. Check weekly to see what’s working and what’s not.

Create a crisis plan

While the pandemic seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime event, the reality is that an emergency can disrupt your business at any time. Using what you’ve learned from the current pandemic, you can future-proof against crisis. Savings may be a priority for your business if you had nothing set aside before Covid, or you may need to find ways to help your staff work more efficiently/effectively from home to cut operating costs. The more outside-the-box thinking you can do to prepare for a worst-case scenario, the better. Having a Plan B (and even a Plan C and D) can help improve your business’s odds of surviving again during tough financial times.

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Sirius has its own business loan fund. For more information, call 01482 890146, email info@sirius-hull.co.uk or visit sirius-hull.co.uk

BusinessWorks Hull & East Yorkshire Autumn 2021

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