While COVID-19 will impact business operations at some stage, a combination of prudent business measures, targeted investment in technology, and flexible working arrangements can help your business increase efficiency while keeping staff safe and motivated.
We have talked to our global colleagues and partners and compiled some helpful advice.
Tips for businesses:
- Leaders should always stay positive.
- Consider ring-fencing your business: Companies facing short-term yet acute liquidity crunch may consider ring-fencing their businesses to allow survival and future restructuring to restore financial viability. Business may make use of the moratorium offered by administration or provisional liquidation. How this could be done varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so seek professional advice first.
- Enhance working capital management – review cash flow forecasts and stress-test assumptions, identify and implement mitigating actions, implement monitoring mechanism and stay vigilant for signs of distress. Improve cash flow by delaying non-urgent payments / investments, strengthening cash collections and disposing any non-core assets.
- Regularly communicate with lenders to maintain confidence and support.
- Show concern to your staff. Allow flexible working arrangement as far as practicable so that your staff can stay fit and healthy during the crisis.
- Obtain a temporary credit line. Seek a temporary credit line from banks as early as possible to address potential short-term cash flow issues. To ensure that the application process is smooth and timely, we suggest maintaining a healthy rapport with lenders, including demonstrating a strong and credible debtors balance.
- Increase cybersecurity protection. With more staff working from computers outside of their network, increase investment in cybersecurity protection.
- Expand your insurance coverage. Expand your insurance scheme to cover work from-home arrangements.
- Restructure main business services. Is there a surge in demand for a non core service in your business. Or is there a service that your business can offer that is may be in demand. Restructure your business and meet demand.
- Upskilling staff. As a result of shifting the focus on service offerings invest in upskilling staff to help them perform in different roles and capacities.
- Chase debtors now irrespective of whether the credit terms had expired – No longer allow debts to be outstanding. As a result, cash flow should improve significantly.
- Prepare for the new norm of working from home, for example coming up with a staff rotation system and expanding insurance coverage.
- Think about outsourcing back office functions. Cut cost by hiring more part-time staff or outsourcing to reliable partners.
- Set up internal communication tools. Staff are continuing to use the company’s internal communication system to host meetings and to share information while working remotely.
- Treat your clients and suppliers as more than just business associates.
- Grow your professional networks to help grow your business.
- Seek to reduce your rental space by making better use of work-from-home arrangements.
- Provide incentive to staff to seek new business. Inherently there will be an increase in existing clients asking for discounts or reducing work with the firm. To counter that impact provide incentives to staff to seek out new business.
- Deferring rental payment. It is important to focus on cutting operating expenses such as rent. As a result, he successfully negotiated with the firm’s landlord to defer part of their rent.
- Is there need to reduce office space? Can the office space could be repurposed for different functions such as converting to leisure areas for staff, creating more co-working spaces and multi-function rooms.
- Collaborating with the IT department. It is imperative to work closely with the IT department to ensure that virtual access channels are open to staff working remotely.
- Set smaller tasks on a milestone basis to ensure that staff performance so that staff performance can be monitored remotely.
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