The latest indicators for the UK economy found nearly half (49%) of currently trading UK businesses reported a decrease in their turnover below what is normally expected for this time of year. On 8 November, overall UK footfall dropped to 33% of the level seen on the equivalent day last year as national restrictions were introduced in England.
Clearly we are living in tough times. It makes sense to take advantage of Government supports both directly such as the extended job retention and self-employed support schemes, deferring tax and using bounce back loans. There are also grants available to help firms with Brexit changes for import and export administration.
We have helped many businesses apply and claim for these supports and if you need any assistance, please contact us.
Business planning for 2021
Business planning for 2021 will be difficult but it is still important. We don’t know the timings for mass vaccinations or whether they will truly work. However, there are some practical steps you can take to minimise potential disruption to your business:
- Review your Budgets and set realistic and achievable targets for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021.
- Get your employees involved in a discussion of likely trading conditions and get their input on reducing costs and maintaining revenues.
- Use ‘bottom up’ budgeting where everyone in the business gives input on areas over which they have control – target a 10% cost saving.
- Review and flowchart the main processes in your business (e.g. Sales processing, order fulfilment, shipping etc.) and challenge the need for each step.
- Encourage team members to suggest ways to streamline and simplify processes. For example sit down and brainstorm about efficiencies and cost reduction.
- Put extra effort into making sure your relationships with your customers are solid.
- Review your list of products and services and eliminate those that are unprofitable or not core products/services.
- Review efficiency of business processes and consider alternatives such as outsourcing certain activities locally or overseas.
- Agree extended payment terms with all suppliers in advance.
- Pull everyone together and explain the business strategy and get their buy-in.
Please talk to us about cashflow planning for the next six months. We can help with a template so you can do this yourself or work together to produce estimates for a variety of scenarios. Now more than ever it is important to plan for the future!
As always, if we can help you in any way give us a call on 01332 292022.