Boris Johnson’s eagerly anticipated ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown restrictions was unveiled last month, consisting of a cautious four-step plan which could see all legal limits on social contact lifted by 21 June.
While the staged dates for scheduled reopening provide a greater element of certainty for businesses, their owners and employees who have been dogged by ambiguity and uncertainty for the past year, this news may unfortunately come too late for a number of companies.
As restrictions on business activity and consumer behaviour are eased, so are the aid measures introduced by the government in an effort to help businesses survive the pandemic. While these will not be removed overnight, the signs are that the government is looking to wind down these financial support packages and requiring businesses once more to stand on their own two feet.
The reality, however, is that some will struggle to operate without this support having been irreparably damaged from 12 months of heavily reduced trade, and the acute cash flow problems this has inevitably caused. Although the roadmap is the light at the end of the tunnel for many, others will be facing a long, hard road to recovery.
What steps can be taken to prepare businesses for an emergence from lockdown?
Directors should adopt a proactive approach and create their own ‘reopening roadmap’ to ensure their business is in the best possible position for the easing of restrictions.
The first thing directors should do is to conduct an honest overview over the current financial and operational position of the company, and what the future is likely to look like. Understanding whether gaps in finances need to be addressed, if the supply chain is in order, or whether the business is even still viable in a post-Covid world is vital in preparing a plan for the future.
If you anticipate problems, or are already experiencing signs of financial distress, taking professional advice in order to explore your options for either refinancing, restructuring, or an alternative turnaround strategy should be high on the agenda. Implementing a robust yet flexible plan at an early stage could make all the difference as you prepare for doing business in a post-Covid world.
We will continue to work closely with businesses to focus on positive outcomes for all business owners. Being entrepreneurial about the challenges ahead means being proactive which is why we’ve set up a free Directors Advice Line for business owners to speak confidentially to experts from Begbies Traynor about how to implement a survival strategy during 2021.
Call the confidential hotline on 0800 056 1059.
For more information, please contact:
T: 07969 905 654
T: 07810 751 788