Preparing a business resumption plan
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, the priority for a lot of businesses will be firefighting issues and ensuring they have access to the support they need at this moment in time.
With growing pressure on the UK government to release a plan of how they will eventually lift lockdown measures, however, it is important for companies to have a similar roadmap of how to get back to ‘business as usual’.
When the time does come that businesses are able to ramp up their activity and eventually resume normal trading, you don’t want to be caught off guard. It is important for businesses to make sure they are prepared for any upturn, can make the most of new opportunities and crucially have the necessary resources to start getting back on track.
What areas should you focus on?
When it comes to a business resumption plan, the key areas to focus on are similar to those you would look at in a business continuity plan.
While a business resumption plan may need to be written after any business emergency, under these circumstances there may be some additional aspects you need to consider. These include the fact that other businesses have also been affected, many workers are currently furloughed due to the widespread use of the job retention scheme and spending habits may be different.
Cash flow remains one of the most critical factors, as businesses will need constant access to cash to scale up operations, take advantage of opportunities as they arise and make the most of any increase in demand for goods and services.
It will also be important to perform a credit risk analysis, looking at potential financial threats going forward and how to keep your business protected.
Consider, too, how to manage your workforce, including how to communicate your resumption plan with your staff, when to bring back any furloughed employees and the logistical element of bringing staff back to work while implementing social distancing.
Another crucial area to think about is your supply chain. As well as communicating your own position with suppliers, it will be essential to learn more about their position, plans for trading and ability to deliver the essential materials and services you’ll need.
Finally, consider your external communications, how to approach your clients and potential clients to let them know you are open for business and what measures you have taken to keep people safe.
What help is available?
As more businesses begin to look to the future and how to navigate their way back to a sense of normality, some may find that they will need further support to get back on their feet.
Government schemes such as the CBILS and the job retention scheme are expected to continue, in order to support businesses all the way through this pandemic.
Other forms of financial support are still available through a wide range of commercial finance solutions, from loans and invoice finance to asset based lending.
It will also be worth reaching out to your suppliers during this time, as you may be able to agree an arrangement that relieves the pressure on your cash flow slightly.
Clearly there is much that remains unknown about how the immediate and longer term future looks. But by starting to look forward and considering how you can adapt once lockdown measures start to be eased, your business will be well placed to trade out of the pandemic in confidence.
Hilton-Baird Financial Solutions is an independent and FCA-authorised commercial finance broker. If you would benefit from additional commercial funding to support you through this difficult time, you can speak to our funding consultants by calling 0800 9774833 or requesting a call back at a convenient time.