For start-ups and small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the combined impact of Covid-19 and a possible no-deal Brexit is taking its toll. A report from King’s Business School shows that many of the UK’s 5.86 million SMEs are at serious risk of failure due to the pandemic. And this also means 16.6 million jobs are at risk of being lost if businesses are unable to survive.
To cover the impact of business closures and disruption, the government made many forms of financial support available. But the fear is that not enough of that support has got to the SMEs who need it most. Now, with increased tiered restrictions and uncertainty over what 2021 may hold, business owners need to be decisive in taking the steps that will help them recover.
Is business restructuring the answer?
Of course, it doesn’t mean hacking away at different parts of the business where cash is being lost. Taking a measured approach, reducing costs is certainly the starting point. And this often means considering the ‘must-haves’ – and what are the ‘nice-to-haves’. By reducing costs, you can then focus your budgets on core areas or even invest in growth areas.
You could also look at a broader restructuring of your finances and operations. This can seem a daunting proposition, especially to smaller business owners with numerous concerns. But this is also where calling on the knowledge of restructuring lawyers such as Withers can help. This can be an effective way of future-proofing your business at a time when it’s under most pressure.
Looking after your customer retention
The lifeblood of any business isn’t money, but the clients and customers who spend that money with you. At a time when your business is up against it, you can’t afford to lose the income that your customers bring. The idea of focusing on the needs of others when you’re trying to steer a business away from the rocks might not sound right. But it can make-or-break your prospects.
Past research shows that increasing your customer retention rates by 5% could drive profits up by as much as 95%. But how do you keep customers loyal to you when they have their worries too? It can be as simple as staying true to your brand image and mission, according to Deloitte. Or it could be a short note checking in on your customers to show how much they mean to you.
Adopt a positive mindset and outlook
Above all, perhaps the most important way to enhance your survival prospects is to maintain a positive mindset and outlook. Of course, it’s not as simple as that. But being your own greatest advocate and supporter can help guide your business through. Even amid all the difficulties and challenges that Covid-19 brings with it as a business operator, confidence can still prevail.
The hope is that measures you take now can ensure that your business is in a position to thrive in the future. It could also take you down a profitable path you hadn’t been aware of before the pandemic struck. With the start of a mass vaccination programme, we’re now hopefully all on a collective road to recovery – with your business fully equipped to emerge on the other side.