It’s been an extraordinarily challenging journey for businesses of all sizes and industries during COVID19. When it’s time to get your business back on track, it is likely you can expect there to be a period of recovery. During this time, you may operate at reduced capacity, offering only a portion of your normal goods and services with less employees on your books.
All aspects of your business will need to be scrutinised more closely than pre-COVID times, in particular your financials, if your business is to successfully get back on track.
Initially, you will need to undertake an assessment of the impact COVID-19 has had on your business. Before you formulate any future plans, you will need to ascertain the full extent of the impact of COVID-19 allowing you to determine the areas of your business to prioritise and focus on.
Then, you can start by checking off the areas of priority as you go. In this article, we take a look at the areas of your business that may have been impacted by the pandemic and discuss ideas on how to start this process:
Take Stock of your Finances
Work with your accountant or business advisor to evaluate your financial position. Whether you have been operating in a reduced capacity or had to close down, your revenue was likely impacted. Determine your debt position and outgoings you need to pay to get your business up and running again. Investigate what government support you may be eligible for to get you back on track.
Estimate your Current and Future Cash Flow
Put together some conservative estimates and expected revenue forecasts once you’ve reopened or resumed your normal business operations. This will help determine your cash flow and calculate how much you can afford to cover staffing and supply costs. If you have customers on regular payment arrangements, make contact and ask if they intend to stay with you or if they will be coming back when you’re operational again.
Revisit your Business Strategy
Undertake a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of your business in its current state. Work with your known strengths and develop tactics to improve your weaknesses to help inspire your strategies that will get you up and running. If one of your strengths is customer service, then start by reaching out to your loyal customer base to assist with regaining support. Many weaknesses in your business operations may have been exposed during COVID that you’re now able to recognise and address. An opportunity might be a new way of doing business that you pivoted to during the pandemic and can continue when business starts returning to normal. Lastly, one of your competitors who weathered the COVID storm better than you may help you to plan what you need to do better or differently in order to perform better than your competition.
Assess your Suppliers
Take some time to evaluate your regular suppliers. Have they been affected by the pandemic and still in business? Do they still have a regular supply chain to meet your requirements? Are they still performing the same functions post COVID? Are your regular contacts still employed and servicing your area?
This may present a timely opportunity to assess your suppliers, your needs and support and if they can still be met at this time. Is there a competitor that may be able to offer better value now that you weren’t previously in a position to consider. Have your order quantities or items changed? It pays to do your research to ensure you’re getting the best value for money and take advantage of opportunities available.
Changes in Technology
If your business needs have changed during this time, your current technology and systems may need to be evaluated to meet these changes. Is there a better system you can use, or can you get more value elsewhere? Have you moved into online retail which now requires an online platform and payments? Your SWOT may have revealed weaknesses in this space that will need to be prioritised to get your business back on track and trading quickly.
Getting your business back on track might seem like an overwhelming task, but if you break it down into the sections suggested above, it may make it seem more achievable. You never know, it may force you into analysing your business and making decisions you wouldn’t previously have considered. Make an appointment with your Arabon accountant can walk you through these steps and analyse your financials to help give you the best possible opportunity to get back on the right track.