SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy. They stimulate economic activity, create jobs, drive innovation, increase competition and contribute largely to the overall progress of the country. Yet, in order to survive and thrive, business owners need accurate, reliable and timely financial information, whether that be profit or cash focused, or both, to accurately and effectively manage the company’s finances, weather challenges and drive growth.
As we slowly emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic, being able to understand and evaluate your business through real-time information based on actual performance is critical in realigning your focus, adjusting priorities and projections, controlling costs, and planning for the future. It could mean the difference between survival and business failure.
Planning ahead requires change, commitment, innovation, leadership and numerous other requirements to align your business in a way that facilitates the execution of your adjusted plan as you prepare for the months and years ahead.
Here are a number of critical actions that SMEs should consider taking now, in order to survive and thrive post COVID-19:
Adapt and clarify your vision – Develop a summary of that vision and communicate it consistently to all stakeholders.
Set specific and measurable short and long-term goals – These will direct actions, give you and your team members direction, and they will act as an important yardstick against which to measure your business’ success.
Align systems and people – This is essential in attaining your vision and emerging stronger from the pandemic. Let people understand what they need to do and how their role affects successful execution of the strategy; and help them prioritise. Also ensure you have the right systems in place to achieve the required outcomes.
Review your objectives – Revisit your goals. Are you on track? Has your focus changed? If so, don’t be afraid to adjust your goals. Flexibility is key, but so is commitment and determination.
Review your finances – Profit and loss accounts will help you understand how your business is progressing, as well as alert you to any potential issues which might arise. This will give you ample warning to rectify any problems and make the necessary adjustments to keep your business on track and successful.
Plan now for the future – Succession planning should be part of an SME business owner’s long-term agenda. And that planning should start now.
Partner with expert advisers – In this rapidly changing social and economic landscape, it is essential that SMEs partner with business advisers who understand the challenges faced by SMEs and the environment you operate in, working with you to navigate any pitfalls and implement the appropriate structures and strategies required to remain successful and increase your net worth.
There has never been a more critical time than now for businesses to an iron grip on cashflow. Control your costs. Review your supply base. Plan for the future. And generate robust KPIs and financials.
Having a good grasp of the numbers will give you the information to make the right strategic decisions; and it will give you the time to figure out a plan B, if it looks like you might encounter any problems.
At Beavis Morgan, our specialists to SMEs are available to provide comprehensive business advice and to structure your business for tax. We can also assist with business plans and strategy execution, long and short-term forecasts, budgets, sensitivity analysis, and calculating and checking compliance with covenants.
Through our partner businesses, BM Structured Finance and BM Advisory, we are also able to help with sourcing and restructuring debt finance for SME businesses, as well as assisting with resolving issues which can impact on business performance and success, and finding innovative solutions for businesses and individuals in distress.