Other than the cruel personal impact of COVID-19, there is unequal pain and gain for UK businesses. Hospitality businesses are grounded and businesses with sought after services and products are struggling to cope with demand and managing their supply chain.
There is no one magic solution for all!
More than ever, business leaders need to keep a cool head and make the right short term decisions to enable their business to survive or operate differently. Supporting staff as far as possible is a defining characteristic of well-led businesses. The businesses that make the right decisions now and plan effectively for how to be prepared to thrive in the recovery should have a bright future post coronavirus.
You are no doubt being bombarded by emails and other communications offering advice, help and “seven steps to solving everything”. The UK government has announced an unprecedented range and magnitude of support for businesses and employees – you will have found that many of the offerings are work in progress. Make the most of what is on offer from the government to stabilise your cash flow and support your staff.
As premier business advisors to SMEs we have activated our nationwide network of experienced advisors to help businesses survive and then thrive. We can provide initial support, be a sounding board for decisions and share our experience, at no cost, over the phone or by video call.
You are encouraged to visit our support page at https://ukba.co.uk/coronavirus/
When will the recovery start to emerge? Clearly it is too soon to say. However, you should plan on sensible scenarios and refine these as the COVID-19 crisis develops. We really can help with this.
Fortunately, by using technology and digital tools many businesses have been able to have some or nearly all their staff working from home. For tech smart businesses this was a minor change, as they were already using conferencing, mobile technology and collaboration tools. They had tested their systems and contingency plans for mass home working. For others, this was a huge shock and a steep learning curve. Shortages of some IT equipment has not helped. IT support companies have had massive increases in demand while also moving staff to home working.
Forward-looking companies that have had to furlough employees to protect their business and jobs are investing in online training so that staff can upskill while at home.
A whole new lexicon has emerged into common usage, for example, Zoom, VPN, Slack, Webex, Zoho and Teams. Video call etiquette is still developing!
If you are one of the many businesses that need people in a work location or in the field providing key services, then you are dealing with significant challenges not least ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your workforce.
Some things will be different post coronavirus:
- Businesses are likely to retain newly found remote working and collaborative practices.
- New competitors will emerge as businesses pivot to change their offerings.
- Some businesses will, unfortunately, cease to trade, but others will start up and flourish.
- Suppliers and customers are likely to reward companies that treated them well. Employees that were fairly treated will be more loyal.
- Companies that have acted in a mercenary way are likely to have damaged their future once the dust clears. Their staff, customers and suppliers will remember.
It will surely endure that businesses that take quick informed decisions, plan well and lead strategically will be the stars of tomorrow.
If you need guidance for your business and want to thrive please visit https://ukba.co.uk/contact-urgent-support/ and contact us. There is no charge for the initial conversation. We are ready to help and have an extensive network of experienced advisors across multiple disciplines.
Keep safe and plan well.
Chair UK Business Advisors