• Coronavirus it business support

COVID-19: YOUR BUSINESS ‘SURVIVAL’ PLAN

Coronavirus is spreading rapidly throughout the UK affecting everyone. At Chameleon, we have created a survival plan for your business in order to function and stay in business during this difficult time. Please read and share our business survival tips below: 

NOTE: Please remember we are all in this together! 

COVID-19 GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

With the announcement on the 20th March 2020 by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak setting out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19 it is vital that you understand what your business needs to keep staff employed and save the economy.

The COVID-19 support for businesses includes a package of measures to support businesses which includes:

  • A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
    • Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
    • Deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.
  • A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
    • Help small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
    • Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

HEALTH AND SAFETY OF YOUR EMPLOYEES

You should take appropriate measures to safeguard your employees and reduce the spread of the coronavirus at your workplace.

Actions such as providing employees with hand washing facilities or alternatively hand sanitiser.

Working from home if possible, using software which includes the cloud and looking at systems like Microsoft Teams.

Teams can benefit your company in many ways. It allows you to communicate with both internal and external employees, team members and clients via messages and phone calls, all in one place – no matter where you are in the World.

Taking extra cleaning precautions should be a priority. 

Clean frequently touched surfaces for coronavirus cleaning:

  • ​​Desktops and all work surfaces
  • Areas of human congregation
  • Doorknobs and door handles​
  • ​Light switches / dimmer switches
  • ​Computer monitors, keyboards, mice, etc
  • Tablets and laptops
  • ​Telephone equipment
  • All chair rests and arms
  • ​Canteen tables and chairs, crockery, trays and cutlery
  • Sinks, taps and kitchen areas
  • Toilets, including all surfaces
  • Water fountains, drinks dispensers and vending machines
  • Lifts and their doors and buttons.

Internal or external cleaning staff will be responsible for regular cleaning of common areas frequented by employees. Dispose of gloves after cleaning and wash hand with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Important points to note when using disinfectants:

  • Check the labels and use according to instructions, and be aware of the potential hazard of each product
  • Avoid contact with eyes and skin when handling cleaning products
  • Comply with all warnings and precautions for use
  • Do not mix different cleaning products
  • Use in a well-ventilated area
  • For disinfection of highly contaminated surfaces or material, avoid the use of spray, and allow appropriate contact time needed for disinfection prior to rinsing or removing the product from the treated surface (refer to product instruction).

CASH FLOWS

In these tough times ahead we need more than ever to make your cash flow priority and reduce costs where possible.

Business Cash Flow coronavirus

If your sales have dropped or are dropping take actions quickly and do not bury your head in the sand.

Reduce the working days for your sales team from 5 days to 4 days or even 3 days or alternatively look at changing working hours from 9am – 5pm to 9am – 3pm.

It is vital to try and cover your office hours or find a way to deal with phone calls and emails even if the office is not open. VoIP phone systems will allow more flexibility and provide solutions to work from the office or at home as needed.

Chase any outstanding invoices, hold payment for any non-urgent payments and negotiate with your landlord the rent payments.

If you are spending on Google Adwords, get an Adwords specialist to carry out a health check and see if savings can be made!

CHAMELEON WILL PROVIDE A FREE AUDIT IN THESE TOUGH TIMES – CLICK HERE

Remember in these tough times people will be looking for services and options and businesses that can stay open will continue to grow.

CUSTOMERS

Your customers matter! Make them aware of all change wherever possible, whether it be small or large.

Explain to them that it is business as usual, where possible and re-assure them that you are doing all possible to keep up with their requirements.

Put information on your website about the changes and help people understand more details.

COMMUNICATION

Communication is the key objective at this moment in time.

Many other businesses / people will be able to compare your situation to theirs and offer you advice and support on the matter.

It is also vital that you communicate with your team members and make them aware of any hurdles that you face, as they may be able to other further support etc.

MARKETING

When business becomes tough, it is the marketing that needs to support the company stability and growth, as a result of coronavirus consumers will be facing financial difficulty and this will mean that they will have to be cautious in their expenditures.

Reassuring the consumer, holding thier hands in a “we’re going to get through this together” manner is a vital ingredient of successful marketing during a recession.

Value brands with low cost structures and low priced brands advertising about price will retain their market share.

Companies targeting the middle segment of the market will face the most difficulties and this is where marketers need to be thinking outside the box. Fasten your seat belts for a long and difficult 2020 with pressure on everything and tightened expenditures.

It is vital now more than ever to research the customer and instead of cutting the market research budget, you need to know more than ever how consumers are redefining value and responding to the coronavirus impacts.

Maintain marketing spending because this is not the time to cut advertising and it is well documented that brands that increase advertising during difficult times and recession, when the competitors are cutting back on marketing spend will increase their market share and this will drive a return on investment.

Marketers must re-forecast demand for each item in their product lines as consumers trade down to models that stress good value. Gimmicks are out; reliability, durability, safety and performance are in.

WEBSITE

Now is the time that you need to look at your website. Take a look at the content, is it up to date?

Visit your website pages, check your contact page works – this sounds stupid but so many people are not aware of issues.

If you need to add to it, do you know how to? it might be something internal staff can work on.

Chameleon have been supporting our clients with changes, messages and information for staff and customers.

Get in touch if you need asssitance.

TALK TO US – CHAMELEON ARE HERE FOR YOU!

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