Managing in these Challenging Times

With the current Coronavirus crisis we want to offer practical help to our fellow local businesses.  Having supported our own clients, we realise there are a great number of businesses who may feel isolated and don’t know where to get advice and support. We want to help and have produced an overview of the key steps you can take in order to put your business in the best place to cope with the current crisis which you can access here. We have also produced a webinar to which takes you through a plan using a sample business model to guide you through the steps you can implement to help protect your business in these challenging times. Check it out here

We are in this together and need to pool our resources for everyone’s benefit and the support and help available is changing rapidly, so we will also be looking at other support we can provide online and will post on these when we can and welcome any suggestions or ideas


  • Accept the problem


It is important to accept the position you are in and the challenges you face. Burying your head in the sand and ignoring the problem or hoping it goes away will not help.


  • Eliminate Emotion

It is normal to be angry, upset or scared. However, we can end up like a rabbit in the headlights and rarely make good decisions when emotional, so try to remain objective.

  • Stop the bleeding

Concentrate on the areas where your business loses most money and which can have the greatest impact and deal with them first.

  • Check insurances

Do you have any insurance cover, e.g. business interruption? Check your policies.

  • Get help

If you need it, get help. It’s difficult being objective about customers, suppliers and staff. Getting someone else involved will help in being objective and in sharing the problems.

  • Focus on what you are good at

Focus effort on the what your business is good at, which are most profitable and/or generate the most cash. Don’t spread yourself too thinly as it will almost certainly make matters worse.

  • Remember you are not alone

Lots of businesses are feeling like you….. alone, tired, helpless and uncertain about the future. BUT we will come through this and business will continue. You simply have to make sure you do the things you can and try not to worry about those things you can’t do. REMEMBER we are all in this together and will come through it together so don’t just look after your business and yourself.

  • Have a Plan

Develop your battle plan, make decisions and implement them.  If no other option consider temporary closure. Make sure you look at:

  • Getting external help
    •  Professional business advisors
    • Business organisations (Chambers, IOD, FSB, Business bodies, etc)
    • Accountants
    • Government


  • Reviewing budgets – work on two approaches:
    •  Expected
    • Worst case


This will help identify the scale of the challenge and inform the decisions that follow.


  • Protecting Your Cash Flow short term


  • Invoice and debt collection
    • Invoice quickly
    • Chase debts effectively
    • Shorten debtor payment terms
    • Ask for deposits and cash up front
    • Barter debtors against creditors


  • Creditor payments
    • Slow down creditor payments
    • Renegotiate supplier terms
    • Use a credit card to extend payment times
    • Negotiate payment holidays
    • Don’t pay HMRC for the time being


  • Stock management
    • Stop buying unless essential
    • Return or reject deliveries
    • Reduce orders and frequencies
    • Substitute slow movers to clear and turn into cash


  • Review ongoing direct costs and overheads
    •  Only spend on essentials
    • Renegotiate all costs and payment terms
    • Focus on the big wins – salaries, rent and rates, marketing and sales, etc 


  • Seek/release additional Funding
    •  Additional lender funding – loans, repayment holidays, etc
    • Inject additional funds – personal or external
    • Extend credit terms using credit cards
    • Sell unused assets – vehicles, plant, etc
    • Explore Government support available


  • Explore Government Support click here
    •  Repayment of Statutory Sick Pay
    • 80 % of salary (up to £2.5k) for staff not working
    • Self Employed (up to £2.5 k) for adversely affected
    • VAT deferment for payments up to June
    • Self Assessment deferment
    • Business rates relief
    • Business & Hospitality Grants
    • Loans with initial 12 months interest free
    • HMRC affording time to pay
    • 80 % of risk underwritten to ensure banks lend
    • Government funded bounce back loans - for more information click here 


  • Review weekly/monthly figures
    •  Implement a rolling 8 week cash flow forecast
    • Implement a rolling 13 week sales forecast
    • Review cash flow and sales weekly
    • Review financial management reports monthly


  • Maximise existing client relationships
    • Maintain regular contact
    • Explore how you can help each other
    • Be alert to opportunities in the market


  • Maintain market awareness
    •  Stay close to your competitors
    • Keep an eye out for opportunities
    • Maintain your profile


  • What to do if what you are doing is not enough


  •  Company has little value and is not viable
    • Sell any assets and close insolvently
  • Company has value but is not viable
    • Sell assets and undertake a solvent liquidation
  • Company has little value but is viable
    • Restructure and/or sale
  • Company has value and is viable
    • Refinance and/or restructure and/or inject additional funds

Get advice from an insolvency and restructuring professional as they have tools that help


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