Action planning for your business
17th March 2020
Guidance for small businesses in response to coronavirus (covid-19)
In these uncertain times we wanted to reach out to all our followers with some support and guidance to help you.
This article is to support a strategy meeting (which can be held online as well as face to face) designed to help a team agree on a short-term tactical plan to support the UK government's objective to minimise and slow down the spread of Coronavirus to reduce pressure on the NHS. The conversation includes time to gain a shared understanding of the problems but focuses primarily on listing and evaluating possible solutions and the creation of a short-term action plan.
Use this guide and the meeting agenda to answer the question:
“WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW?”
The agenda and guide are not intended for use if the situation turns into an emergency (as declared by the Government as a ‘state of emergency.’ We realise that some may feel this is already an emergency. We are referring to a situation where the government assumes exceptional powers). It is also crucial that follow-up meetings are scheduled. We suggest there is a weekly Coronavirus report and review meeting to keep track of how the situation is changing.
Topic 1 – Introduction and purpose of the meeting
State the purpose of the meeting, to create a Coronavirus action plan to:
- Reduce risk and financial impact
- Support the government's objective to minimise and slow down the spread to reduce pressure on the NHS
- Explore if there is an opportunity to provide support to the community
- Review the situation report using the prompt questions
- Get agreement of the level of risk to the business
Topic 2 - Employees
- Our duty of care
- Advise of sick pay
- Encourage employees taking sick days
- Consider a remote working policy
- Policy customer visits
- Encourage video / Skype / tele conference style meetings
- No shaking hands
- Policy on events
- Defer non-essential seminar training
Topic 3 - Customers
Advise customers of the firm’s Coronavirus plans
- Fewer face to face meetings
- Use of video calls
- Courier papers rather than drop off
- Offer Coronavirus support
- Blog posts and newsletter
Topic 4 - IT & Cybersecurity
Remote working and cybersecurity is a topical subject. In an effort to do the right thing by having people work at home to limit the impact of Coronavirus, you may create a bigger problem; home working environments are likely to be insecure and not risk assessed, e.g. home Wi-Fi and sharing of work devices with family members.
- What IT is required?
- Remote working
- Video conferencing
- What data security risks need to be addressed and managed?
Topic 5 - Marketing & Business Development
- Events and exhibitions – cancel?
- Switch seminars for webinars
- Budget and resource
- Do we need to step up our investment?
Topic 6 - Purpose
- What can we do to support the community?
- Town or region
Topic 7 - Financial Impact
Cashflow management is key. Consider the impact of:
- Customers paying more slowly
- Bad debts
- Fewer new customers
- Risk of clients moving to lower-priced competitors
- Customers asking for lower prices because profits are hit
- Look at payment terms
- Offer customers time to pay
- Expenditure – cut non-essential
- Delay capital purchases
- Finance all capital purchases
- Avoid discretionary costs
- Contact your bank – if you have an overdraft can it be converted to a loan?
- Loan holidays
- Alternative funding for the business
- Bookkeeping, VAT and payroll – do we need our accountants help?
Topic 8 - Actions
- Agreed actions
- To do or project
- Who is producing notes?
- When and how are they to be circulated?
- The date for next review
By conducting this meeting you will take control of the situation, protect your business and those of your customers and help your teams feel assured in a very uncertain time.
If you and your people are working remotely and / or struggling to keep your records straight then contact us. We can install a variety of Cloud based solutions to help you operate, wherever you are.