As the country emerges from the coronavirus lockdown, many businesses are navigating their way through a new economic landscape. So much has changed in the last 6 months and businesses have needed to be agile to survive. In all likelihood, the impact of the pandemic will be around for some time to come, but it’s not all doom and gloom! The pandemic has shown that British businesses can adapt and innovate, looking for new opportunities and transforming the way they work.

As COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve around us, it’s now time to shift focus and efforts to rebuilding business.

Many of you are on a journey to rebuild and restart your businesses, with shops and restaurants reopening, staff returning and a need for new business plans. We’re here to help on the journey!

Now the lockdown restrictions are gradually lifting and businesses in different sectors are slowly moving forward. What does the next stage look like? How can small businesses start to rebuild? We’ve put our heads together at the Sence office to come up with some tips to get you back on track.

Assess the damage

Working out how much your business has been affected by the pandemic is an important first step. If you haven’t done it yet, take a look at your profit & loss and cash flow statements and compare them to last year’s figures. This will help you understand the financial impact on the pandemic on your business.

As well as the financial aspect, take time to review the impact on other areas of your business – the impact of furloughing staff, cuts made to marketing budgets, investments made to develop new business practices and what your customer base looks like.

What’s changed

Your business might have worked well pre-pandemic, but the landscape has now changed. How does that impact your business?

If you relied on footfall what alternatives can you think about? You may need to consider focusing on a different social media strategy or look at improving your online offering.

Go back to basics and look at how life has changed for your ideal customers. Are you still able to solve your customer’s problems? Has your ability to deliver that changed? Do you need to adapt?

If you are not sure, ask them! See what challenges they face and what they are concerned about. Research what other local businesses are doing, looking at your industry sector and discuss your ideas.

Act quickly

Identify the primary sources of revenue for your business and decide what action needs to be taken.

Consider targeted campaigns to win back loyal customers, communicate what you’re actively doing to keep customers and staff safe, look at payment terms and packages, review pricing and offers and whether you need to re-skill your team to meet the new demands.

Staying agile is the key for business success, be innovative and look where you can gain competitive advantage.

Funding options

Re-building your business after the pandemic may be daunting, but there are a number of schemes that can be accessed to secure post coronavirus finance.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45 million who have been affected by the coronavirus. The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance of up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

This scheme is open to all sectors except for banks, insurers and reinsurers, public-sector bodies, and state-funded primary and secondary schools. The maximum length of the loan will be up to three years for overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, and up to six years for loans and asset finance facilities.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is available to businesses through a number of accredited lenders across the UK. Businesses can apply for between £2,000 up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available under the scheme is £50,000. The government will cover the interest payments for the first 12 months.

The Leicestershire Business Recovery Fund has been launched to provide support for rural businesses and independent retail businesses, to enable them to overcome the impacts they may have faced, or are still facing, as a result of COVID-19.

Grants are available between £2,000 and £10,000 (excluding VAT) and the scheme will provide 50% grant support, with the applicant providing the other 50% as match funding.

It is managed by Leicestershire County Council and funded through the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Business Rate Pool, and has been set up to ensure business recovery, including supporting businesses to diversify and increase their digital skills.

Eligibility criteria apply including, but not limited to:

  • Business must be located within or locating to the administrative area of Leicestershire (businesses within the Leicester City boundary are ineligible)
  • Employ less than 50 full-time equivalents (FTE) employees i.e. a Micro or small business

Making sense of it all

The team at Sence are here to offer support, advice and guidance to our clients. Our Finance & Mentoring Service is ideal for businesses who need an extra set of eyes and ears.

This is where Sence is very different from other firms of accountants, Anna’s enjoys looking beyond the numbers at the best of times and helping you evolve your businesses in many ways.  Now, is a great time to invest in some Senior Technical time to use to your advantage.  Utilise the skill sets we have.

Anna has been in touch with a good chunk of you throughout helping to diversify, to think outside the box, to tax plan, to look beyond Covid19!

Get in touch with the Sence team to find out more.