What does your business resumption plan look like? Do you even have one in place?
Chris Ross, Managing Partner of McKees said: “It is vital for business survival to make sure there is a plan in place and the necessary resources available to resume trading as we move out of lockdown. Don’t wait until the time comes because you will have lost vital time and it could then be too late.
Key areas to prepare your business
Take the time now, to prepare your business so that it is ready for whenever there is an easing of current restrictions and able to function in the future. Look at what steps you will need to take in preparation for the exit of lockdown – consider the areas you need to plan for including cash flow, communication planning, both internally and externally, staffing issues. For example, look at furloughing and when is the right time to bring back furloughed employees, supply chain issues, credit risk analysis and social distancing measures.
Speak to your bank now and keep the channel of communication open. A lot is currently changing for businesses from week to week, so it is important to continue to reassess the support you might need on a regular basis.”
We hope the following list of practical steps to consider will help with the creation of a Business Resumption Plan.
Your Business Landscape
What will your business look like after lockdown? This should include several assumptions and different scenarios depending on how the government exit strategy is rolled out in the weeks and months ahead.
What resources will you need to start trading again?
What do you need to do to have your supply chain ready?
Social Distance Planning
It is likely that social distancing will be in place for some time. What will you need to do to ensure your business can enforce/manage this?
Check your insurance policy to see if it includes Business Interruption Cover and if so, consider what information is required to initiate a claim.
Communication is key – with your employees, bank, customers, suppliers and stakeholders.
Look at your manpower. In preparation for a return to reopen your business you may wish to bring some furloughed employees back into work. Remember that employees can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of three consecutive weeks.
Cash is still king. Continue to prepare weekly cash flows. Assume a baseline of activities continuing as they are now. Work out if your existing cash resources will be enough to sustain the business for the coming months. Work out if you have additional working capital after accessing the government support initiatives of the job retention scheme, the grants for small businesses, deferred VAT and self-assessment payments and CBILS lending.
Having carried out the above base line analysis, consider if you have sufficient working capital for resumption of business activities. Operationally once you start to bring staff off furlough do you have the working capital to pay them until your income starts to flow again? If not, you may need to go back to your bank for further credit or consider other ways of bridging this gap.
Review key contracts with customers and suppliers to ensure you understand your duties and obligations. Each contract will need to be carefully considered to ascertain the impact, if any, that COVID-19 may have. The current crisis may excuse or postpone the performance of certain contractual obligations.