As an accountancy advisor working hard with clients all over the UK I wanted to do my bit to reduce the overwhelm and help business owners with a four week plan to get out of COVID-19 and get back open. Every week throughout June I will release an article with action steps that you can follow to ensure you are ready to reopen.
Many of our clients sit in the hospitality, leisure and retail sector meaning these businesses have been the hardest hit. We have felt extremely proud to be able to help our clients feel more settled and less worried. This is an incredibly difficult time for so many people but we know we can help and share our advice to ease the strain.
I have put together this advice to help any UK business owner, so please feel free to share this article with your business owning friends and family and let them know we are here to help.
1. Get Help
Many people are often scared to ask for help out of fear of judgement or shame. There is no shame in asking for expert help and guidance through what has been the worst national emergency since WW2. You cannot be expected to know everything about business finances, grants, tax, furlough, VAT. You cannot be expected to be able to read all the government advice or watch the daily briefings and make sense of it all if this is not your area of expertise. That’s why it is important to ask for help and ask for help from the right people when it comes to business finances.
If you have an accountant already
If you already have an accountant you may already be covered for advice and guidance. Depending on the level of service agreement you have with your accountant, you may have been in touch regularly over the course of the pandemic. I have said this before and I will say this again until I am blue in the face – if you pay for the services of an accountant and you have NOT been contacted by your accountant during this pandemic you need to sack them. It’s blunt and it’s harsh but it’s something I am so passionate about. I have been disheartened and ashamed at the varying levels of support that accountants in my industry have been providing people. Some have been superstars. Some have been silent. If you haven’t been supported, you deserve to choose someone who will have your back.
If you have an accountant who prepares your year end tax return but you do not use them for any business finances advisory services then you can still employ a business finance company like us to work with your accountant. Again, this depends on the level of service you have with your existing accountant and agreed services that are undertaken. We work alongside many clients who already have an accountant who prepares their year end tax returns really well. We act as the virtual finance manager looking after the day to day decisions and proactive planning. It’s brilliant if you can have the two.
If you don’t have an accountant already
If you do your own bookkeeping that is absolutely fine. We can still help in a big way. We help many sole traders and small businesses with big decisions around finances to make sure they’re informed, clear and confident with day to day money decisions.
Getting the RIGHT help
I really wanted to stress this that what works and is right for one business isn’t right for all. You will have friends and contacts who will all be discussing the government support and legislation and what might work for their business might not be right for yours and vice versa. We recently helped a business owner claim a £10,000 grant they did not realise they were entitled to as they had relied on the advice of others, plus tried to make sense of the daily briefings. It was a fantastic feeling to make him aware of the guidelines and realise that he was indeed entitled to the grant which reduced a lot of stress and worry. His business will reopen thanks to the grant. Please don’t take advice from online groups, social media or others. Have a conversation with your accountant or an accountancy advisory service like us and we will be able to give you the right advice.
Our Healthcheck Package
If you need help, you have come to the right place. At Insight Finance Solutions we offer an in-depth health check package for a one-off low cost fee or rolling monthly retainer. This allows us to assess and triage where you are right now in your business, even in these pandemic times, and then work with you to formulate a proactive plan for reopening and business growth. Our healthcheck package is offered at an incredibly low cost with no minimum term. You can call on us as a one off, or have us in your corner every day. We can diagnose and treat any potential issue with your business finances and work with you on a proactive basis to ensure your business finances are no longer something that cause you extreme stress. We make it simple, we make it easy and you might not believe this but we make it fun!
2. Create a Plan
Once you’ve asked for help and got clear on what you’re entitled to, whether your furlough is right, grants or any other aspects of your business finances, it is time to make a plan. Work with your accountancy advisor on the steps that will be needed to reopen your business.
At a time when the future is very uncertain and government legislation will drive new rules on how we come out of the pandemic, it is still important to plan ahead as much as possible. Giving yourself the time and brain space to get clarity on how your business can reopen and under what terms will be important for you over the next month.
At Insight Finance Solutions we use Float cashflow forecasting which is unbelievably brilliant intuitive software to clear up and cashflow confusion. Using Float we can plan for different scenarios that will govern business decisions.
For example, with one client this week in the fitness industry, we have been able to act on the ruling that groups of 6 people could meet outdoors and plan outdoor personal training session pricing. With another fitness client we are working on different scenarios involving reopening the gym and working on different possible plans of bringing some instructors back into work, or keeping some on furlough. Float allows us to do this really well planning for so many different variables to give the right advice to clients. We will talk in more depth next time on cashflow forecasting and how this will give you peace of mind and clarity on business decisions this month. Make sure you check out the next blog in this series.
3. Get Peace of Mind
At Insight Finance Solutions we have a very unique selling point in terms of our mindset coaching. We are chartered accountants but we are also mindset coaches and the two blend together beautifully. This time has been so strange, worrying and upsetting for many. It has caused extreme anxiety and I believe many of us are in a place of grief. We are grieving for our businesses, our loss of routine, our lost connections to those we love. It has been a challenging time for our mental health but I know our work as mindset coaches has really helped relieve some of this worry for our clients. We have listened intensely to the worries of our clients, allowing them a safe space to vocalise their fears but our response, guidance and advice has meant they don’t stay stuck in fear. They are informed, reassured, supported and held accountable to take action. Every single client has welcomed our support.
“Helen and Insight Finance Solutions have helped us a great deal (aka, couldn’t live without her) to organise our finances, help us negotiate with landlords and access grants before and during lockdown.” – Matt Kay
“If your accountant is this good, grab onto them with both hands and never let them go.” – Stevie Watson, Float Cashflow Forecasting
Helen Crapper is the founder of Insight Finance Solutions. Helen and the team specialise in accountancy advice at every stage of business and help make finances stress free for clients. Helen is also a coach and uses money mindset coaching to help business people remove their personal blocks and limiting beliefs to grow as people while growing their businesses.
To have a chat about your business finances and how Insight Finance Solutions can help you, get in touch.