Coronavirus can either make or break your business. Each business will be affected to differing degrees but everyone will have to deal with challenges during this time.
This book is designed to guide you through a step by step simple process to give your business the best possible chance of survival with clear action steps and no secret sales pitch.
This can be your opportunity to really drive growth in your business and make significant progress as you respond well to the challenge life has set.
The main benefits of reading this book are gaining a strategy you can implement today to get more clarity on how you will survive this pandemic. The knowledge in this book will help you:
Simon set up GrowFactor in 2011 on a mission to help his clients and the GrowFactor team fulfil their potential. The GrowFactor team does this by helping clients understand their numbers, have world class systems, processes and financial maps so they have clarity over where they are going and what progress they have made against their plan.
Simon's a Chartered Accountant and has over 15 years experience in the industry.
He qualified at KPMG and worked at Thomas Cook and Paramount Pictures before setting up GrowFactor.
Outside of work
Outside of work he loves to spend time with his wife Kiran and two boys Caleb & Jax.
Reduction of overheads and getting your business to a position where it is only paying for critical overheads and nice to have expenses are paused.
This doesn't mean stopping work with your key advisors, if you have a coach you need them more than ever to create a strategy to get through this. If you have an accountant they should be supporting you to get access to funding quickly, if needed, and map out your likely future cash flow.
This means going through all your outgoings and cancelling things that you don't use such as software subscriptions.
Then go through and pause any costs that are nice to have but you don't need them right now such as staff training CPD portals. You'll be surprised that if you just contact these suppliers and ask them for a payment holiday that lots of the bigger ones will still give you access to the software!
The point here is we are trying to reduce the fixed costs that a business has and therefore reduce the amount of gross profit needed (sales less direct costs such as FB ad spend or staff costs to deliver the service) so there is less pressure to maintain current sales revenue levels.
If your sales drop but you also successfully reduce your overheads you will still be able to make a profit and have positive cash flow.
Businesses at this time would fall into two categories:
1 - Critically affected by Covid-19 e.g restaurant, gym
2 - Negatively affected by Covid-19 e.g marketing agency
I understand that if you are in category 1 then this exercise will not remove the need to get additional funding, however we can ask for less (as we need less) and we are much more likely to get it as we can put forward a business case that shows the lender we have tried our best to lean our the business.
For category 2 there is a real chance you could get through this with innovation and become lean and agile.
Remote working has been imposed on us across the globe, so it isn't a choice anymore. For those that didn't work remotely before it's important to set up so there is no loss of productivity
Have an effective setup:
We could be at home for 6 months so it's critical that you have appropriate desk height, a proper chair, ideally two screens and an option to stand. If you have to buy equipment to make this happen I would do it. It's an investment in making this time as effective as it can be and when you return to the office you already have a home setup you can use where possible to spend more time with family or just have some more time to yourself without commuting.
Equip your team with the best tools:
Use Slack for communication, use Loom to record short videos for your team, use Asana to keep track of projects, use online accounting to keep things up to date (for a full list send me an email!)
Make your setup somewhere that is free from distraction:
This is hard sometimes, I have an office but the kids constantly come and give me updates on their home schooling, it can be seen from the front door so the Amazon delivery driver will be knocking on the door when I'm on a conference call but it's at least a seperate room where mentally I feel 'in the work zone'. I can put on my headphones, put a sign on the door for the kids, and shut my blinds so the driver can't see me :)
Have a clear plan for the day mapped out:
It's easier to lose track when you are on your own at home. Map out the top 3/5 things to achieve that day in priority order and allocate time to them in your day. Make sure to plan breaks, exercise and mindfulness.
Start laying out process documents and checklists:
Everything you do remotely needs to be consistent so if you have a team and are going to do the set task more than once, document it at the time you do it. This will make it easier to delegate as you can't sit with someone anymore and have them pop back for questions (although you can do this virtually it's not going to contribute to you being effective)
This is an important time to ensure you have the visibility you need to make key strategic decisions.
The importance of a financial plan:
In my opinion a businesses strategy and tactics should be driven by the financial map (planned route to destination) and actual performance review. For example if you have a financial plan that says you would like to maintain sales revenue levels over the Coronavirus period, you can then put numbers against the likely lost revenue to get a target for newly acquired customers.
Next to this target you can note what the strategy is to achieve it, and what tactical actions each day, week, month will be completed.
Then you can track each day, week, month, your actual progress towards that goal and with real clarity and adjust the tactics to settle on something that works.
Success in business isn't about doing the same thing over and over again, it's about trying new things constantly until you find what works. You won't know what works unless you are measuring progress.
You must have the right financial systems to achieve this:
It's going to be much harder and more time consuming to achieve this with an offline accounting system (but not impossible). If you have online accounting you can construct a financial plan, add on a reporting tool and setup automatic reports to track progress. You can also link up an online cash flow forecasting tool to see with ultimate clarity what the likely in and out flows of cash are over the coming days, weeks and months.
If you have this system you are unlikely to fail due to lack of cash, we can spot the gaps ahead of time, apply for funding with the right information already to hand to provide to lenders and know exactly how much we need, for how long and for what purpose.
Receipt Bank for receipts
Reporting tool like Fathom
Cash flow forecasting tool like Float
Mapping out your likely cash flow is critical both for access to funding and understand the impact of COVID-19
In order to setup an online cash flow forecast you need to follow these steps:
*Just like all good Apple adverts we have shortened the process and setting this up quickly is a learned skill. If you need help with this then send me an email
Improve cash flow by reviewing the forecast:
There are reliefs available and the UK government package is significant - apply right now to see if you qualify for it
Businesses can access funding in a number of different ways:
CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME (CBILS) - What you need to know!
We do not know the mechanism for this rebate yet - we will have the guidance uploaded to our Coronavirus Information Hub as soon as it is released (in plain english!) - link at the end of the book
Will be applied automatically so you don't have to pay rates currently
Grants for those that already get rates relief
This will be applied automatially, local authorities will contact those that qualify.
Time to pay for taxes:
No VAT until June, don't have to notify HMRC, but payable by end of year
We would advise not paying any other taxes if you can't afford to and notify HMRC
Leadership is vital during this worrying time for your team. Your role is to lean into your potential as a leader.
Give your team a clear plan:
Work on this as a leadership team (or just yourself) and brainstorm your key strategy and tactics for the next 90 days. Write this up by understanding you goals, and what you can do to achieve them (for a template send me an email)
Share your plan with the rest of the team and get their ideas and input:
You'll be amazed as the creative solutions your team can provide if you give them the chance. The idea is to develop new products or services that will help others and also generate sales revenue for your business.
Get together daily when working remotely:
We always have a 15 minute all team huddle meeting on zoom every morning. It's invaluable and brings us together as a team.
Make sure your team feel secure and valued:
You need everyone to understand that their jobs are secure and you need them at this time more than ever. Talk to them to explain this. Now is the time for openness and authenticity.
Finalise your plan and discuss this daily with your team and how they can help:
If someone now has a role that they aren't able to compete e.g a visiting salesperson then have them help you in a different capacity. With the loan support and 80% rebates you should not really have to lay anyone off during this time.
Connect 121 with each team member:
See if they need any further support, whether that is business, emotional or mental wellbeing.
On top of your daily huddle, have a weekly meeting, and monthly strategy day. All can be done on zoom - for agendas email me.