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What are businesses doing to adapt to Covid-19

28/05/2020

Over recent months, many businesses have had to make major adjustments to the way they work in order to survive the Coronavirus pandemic.

Here we looked at the actions some businesses have taken to help them adjust to the ‘new normal’ of operating during a pandemic.

Reducing costs

In a survey by Aldermore bank, they found that 72% of SMEs had taken steps to reduce costs and thereby ease the pressure on their cash flow. Different businesses approached this in different ways, with 31% reducing operating costs and discretionary spending, 29% furloughing staff and 17% drawing on capital.

Increasing income

In addition to cutting costs, 67% of SMEs have also been finding ways to increase their income. For some businesses (17%) this has meant shifting their business online. Another 15% of small businesses said they had invested in new technology to allow them to operate remotely.

Adapting the business

A large number of businesses have realised that the impacts of Covid-19 are likely to be long lasting, and 39% have adapted their business plans accordingly. Others have taken things a step further, with 7% of UK SMEs entering a new market in order to drive business.

Despite businesses feeling they have to take action to make it through the pandemic, the research suggested that only 11% have applied for a business loan under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. There are also a small number of business (8%) who anticipate they could see an increase in business revenue due to Covid-19.

Talking about the findings of the survey, Tim Boag, Group Managing Director at Aldermore, said: “Businesses are having to survive in an environment which has never been more challenging or uncertain. The situation is continuously changing, and many SME business owners are having to swiftly adapt by finding ways to diversify their products and services, as well as cutting costs, managing supply chain arrangements, and furloughing staff in order to survive.”

One of those businesses owners who had to make quick decisions when it came to adapting his business is Andrei Lussmann, who owns a chain of restaurants.

As the pandemic began to escalate, he realised he needed to act sooner rather than later. Many of their waiting staff who could no longer work were furloughed under the government scheme, but Lussmann wanted to continue to offer their food, which centres around produce from sustainable sources, to the public.

Speaking to the BBC, he described the challenge that lay ahead of him: “A restaurant kitchen is completely different from a production kitchen, and we had never delivered a unit of food.”

However, he didn’t let that stop him, and within 30 hours he had transformed the business into an e-commerce operation, producing boxes of food for local delivery that include organic ready meals and pantry items.

What changes has your business undergone during the Covid-19 pandemic? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!

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