Continuing my series on Coming out of COVID, week 3 is all about your reopening strategy.
It’s Not Just WHEN You Will Reopen but HOW
We know for many businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector that being closed for so long has been an enormous worry and burden. Now that the government are starting to ease lockdown restrictions, it is time to think about reopening and putting your strategy to reopen in place.
While we are at the liberty of what the government briefings will announce in terms of lifting lockdown, we know that social distancing is set to stay for the foreseeable future. This means a 2m distance from those people who do not live in the same household. This could mean you must reduce the number of tables in your restaurant or space out gym equipment. You might need to create dedicated waiting spaces or one way systems. You might need to accept customers coming into your business on an appointment only basis. There are a lot of factors and every business will be different.
What Will Work for Cashflow
As we discussed in the last instalment of Coming out of COVID, cashflow is king and understanding what factors govern your cashflow is important. You may be making very important decisions around staffing, costs, suppliers and all factors to do with your business based on the predicted impact on cashflow.
If you are gradually bringing employees back off furlough, you will need to know who can do what. Having open and honest discussions with your team features in our next instalment centred around communication but getting the feedback of your team could help ease the burden of responsibility here. Use a collective hive mind to decide as a team the best way to work moving forwards that takes everyone’s wellbeing and that of the customers into account.
Contact Associations or Governing Bodies for Advice
Your sector specific associations will have been discussing best practice for reopening for weeks. For example, the National Hairdressing Federation have been advising hairdressers of the potential new guidelines for the last couple of months. Many have put on specific webinars giving expert advice. If you are not a member of your specific trade organisations, it might be a good time to look at the options to join.
Sector specific publications will have written about nothing else during the coronavirus outbreak. Websites and magazines that are specific to your sector will have had journalists writing about the best ways to reopen. Websites like The Morning Advertiser for publicans, the Hairdressers Journal, Fitpro magazine for personal trainers and group exercise instructors, Professional Beauty for salons and Big Hospitality are just some of the sites for industry specific news. Just ask Google for [your industry] + [industry/trade] + [magazine/news/governing body]. You could also search iTunes or Spotify for industry specific podcasts.
Create Your Plan
Once you have researched best practice from your industry insiders, work with your team to create your best practice plan for reopening. List everything you will need to source in advance with PPE being the most important for yourselves and your customers, get it ordered and ready for you to reopen.
You may need to produce training manuals or signs to emphasise changes in the workplace and you will certainly need to communicate your plans to both your employees and your customers (but we will touch on this in the next instalment of the series).
This will feel like a stressful time but you will come through this and it is also a chance to look at how you were doing everything in your business before lockdown and look at ways to improve as you move forwards.
Cashflow Planning – Do You Need a Healthcheck?
When it comes to planning and strategising to reopen, it is advisable to utilise the services of a professional to give you clarity on your cashflow. This will govern the decisions you make as a business moving forwards.
At Insight Finance Solutions we get a real buzz from helping business owners go from confused to confident when it comes to all aspects of business finances. We work alongside traditional accountants to provide up to the minute real-time support and insight into your business finances right now and for the future.
Supporting business owners to now migrate out of COVID-19 restrictions is our focus right now. We are helping business owners to forecast the next few weeks, giving them the confidence and peace of mind to make sound business decisions at an unprecedented time.
We act as confidential and understanding advisors, experts and virtual finance managers to give you the right up-to-date advice on the support packages available. You don’t need to try and understand the daily government briefings when you have us on hand to distil the advice into easy-to-understand and manageable actions.
These next few weeks will be critical to business owners looking to reopen. We work with you to help you with all aspects of the furlough scheme, business grants and eligibility and also forecasting different scenarios for understanding how your business can not only survive this time, but thrive too. With a little insight and a clear picture of different scenarios that could work for your business, you can feel more clear and confident about the right way to reopen and the right time.
To arrange a healthcheck package and learn more about how we at Insight Finance Solutions can help, please click here.