Normal has changed, let’s embrace it!
Whatever your line of work, it’s likely that you are beginning to emerge, blinking into the light of a new working world. We are all thinking rapidly on our feet at the moment, and trying to establish good working practices for our staff and that most precious of commodities, our customers.
Here are some of our thoughts which you may find useful:
Guard your health and the health of others! So, consider the wider implications for yourself, your family, colleagues and the community you live and work in. Remember there is an interconnectedness which we don’t always think about. Before you agree to see someone face to face, where have they been and who might they have been in contact with? Having been organising a shielded household, the necessity for this has become very clear to me recently!
Next, I need to return, once again, to my mantra of ‘Plan’!
Assess the new world we are in and look at your business to clarify its strengths and weaknesses. As I have mentioned before, include all your team in your decision making.
Bright ideas can come from the most junior members, and we should never fall into the trap of thinking only the senior staff know best. A written plan you can refer back to would also be very useful now.
Thirdly, you really need to work out a very clear budget. You have to know all your expenses, down to the last penny, and take a realistic view of what your cash flow is looking like for the next six months. Now is a good time to talk with your accountant about this. They should be able to produce a useful model for you to work with. Without a thorough knowledge of your business you really cannot make sound decisions about its future.
Finally, make sure you know the customers who don’t pay, and please don’t make the mistake of thinking they are ‘good customers’ because they order a lot. They are only good customers if they pay fully and promptly! This is also a very good time to peruse your list of aged debtors, and chase them up. If people are struggling to pay you the full amount, don’t be afraid to offer a reasonable payment plan to them. Sometimes people can feel overwhelmed and an understanding response like this can clear the way for them. Similarly, if you are stuck with debts yourself, contact your creditors and offer to pay your debts off in manageable instalments. Then, make sure you negotiate payment terms you can manage going into the future.
If, when all these exercises are completed you are concerned that your business may not be viable, please talk to your financial advisors. The chances are that if we can’t sort the situation out for you, we will know a person who can. Above all, don’t let fear stop you taking action – we are here to help.
Stay well, and move forward carefully but positively. Who knows, the future could be great!