Sarah Ediss FCA
- Accounts and Audit Partner
- +44 (0)330 124 1399
- Email Sarah[email protected]
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With the latest phase of Covid restrictions lifted this month and society returning to some form of normality, we are seeing this easing of the lockdown present both challenges and opportunities to many of our business clients. Here are a number of key business areas where opportunities may lie for you to review and improve your overall business performance.
Many businesses have utilised the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to some extent to help them survive. This has meant that many team members have been on furlough for some, if not all, of the last year. The majority of office workers have been working from home and not attended their workplace at all during this crisis. As we see the economy re-open, employers will need to carefully re-introduce employees back into the workplace or new working arrangements.
For many sectors, traditional ways of working have changed forever and the commercial property market is adapting to accommodate this. The use of technology has rapidly advanced during the pandemic and is likely to accelerate further. Opportunities include:
As economic growth returns, it is a good time to revisit your business strategy, and for each sector there will be a range of new opportunities, for example:
As the VAT that was deferred last year now becomes due, the phrase “cash is king” is more important than usual. A large number of businesses in the hospitality, travel and tourism and retail sectors have opened up under the government roadmap from a standing start. Cash is likely to have been exhausted during the period of prolonged closure whilst expenditure on stock is required to re-open the business.
For other sectors which have continued to operate and perhaps even been successful during the last year, cash will allow these businesses to take advantage of investment and growth opportunities as they arise. Focusing on sustainable sources of finance will be vital. There are various government support loans available, the latest being the Recovery Loan Scheme. To access this scheme, it will be key to have a well prepared cashflow forecast which can be stress-tested for various scenarios.
The decision will be to assess whether taking on further finance is affordable and, with all the uncertainty of a potential third wave, whether the business will be sufficiently profitable to manage the repayments.
We have all had the time to reflect and make change over the last 14 months, so make time to consider what changes are needed in your business to set it on a steady course for the future. To discuss your business needs further and the opportunities that await it, get in touch with our team today.
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