How Businesses Can Recover More Quickly Post-Pandemic
Positive steps for future success
The COVID-19 pandemic has struck right at the heart of the global economy. Although the prospect of mass vaccination has made 2021 look somewhat brighter, the financial fallout from coronavirus will remain brutal for some time.
How intense the impact of the pandemic has been depends on the industry in which each business operates. For example, older style bricks and mortar businesses will likely have found it harder to adapt than internet-based ones.
But there’s one thing every firm has in common; the need to rebuild and come back stronger now the end is in sight. Here we’ve put together some tips.
Evaluate financial losses
The first thing to do is to assess the damage, and then to work on a recovery plan. After all, it’s difficult to know how to recover if you don’t understand the exact impact of COVID-19 on your business.
A good place to start is to inspect the most important accounts, like sales, profits, and cash flow. Compare the latest ones with those of last year and, where possible, the year before. This will show you where the vulnerable areas of the business lie, allowing you can plan accordingly.
Create a robust strategy for future challenges
Okay so it’s impossible to predict what the future will bring - just twelve months ago a global killer virus was the stuff of sci-fi. But building a robust business strategy that takes into account how cash challenges will be met in future is always a good idea.
Such a strategy should identify and focus on potential problems you can solve using the resources already at your disposal. Also consider what supply chain or cash flow problems you’ve had during the pandemic and see where they could be avoided in future.
Although COVID-19 is new, business disruption certainly isn’t. Natural disasters, strikes, adverse weather and financial crashes can all arise when we least expect them. But only the most well prepared businesses will stand a fighting chance of survival. Such businesses will either have innovated in some way, pivoted quickly, or found new ways to deliver what their customers require despite the challenges.
Embrace the shift to homeworking
Working from home brings with it a range of benefits and business leaders should factor this trend in to their recovery strategy. Indeed, it’s expected that homeworking will be something many companies switch to permanently.
The benefits of homeworking are many and varied for staff, but there are significant cost savings to be enjoyed by employers too. These include the chance to downsize office space, reducing rent and other overheads. Many businesses will even have channel shifted entirely online.
Organisations should consider their IT infrastructures and operating models so that safe, effective homeworking can continue. Security, connectivity and how teams will collaborate going forward should be thoroughly addressed.
Take advantage of public and private funding support
Businesses that are struggling to stay afloat may be able to release extra cash for paying off debts or bolstering working capital. During the coronavirus pandemic this has often been in the form of COVID-19 government support for businesses with smaller businesses benefitting from things like Bounce Bank Loans and deferred tax payments.
Coronavirus aside, there’s a broad range of traditional funding streams businesses should also be aware of. These include:
- Business credit cards
- Bank loans
- Credit union loans
- Business lines of credit
- Capital financing
- Inventory financing
- Purchase order financing
- Tax reliefs - including R&D Tax Credits and R&D Capital Allowances plus R&D Grants
Clearly, the type and level or loans, grants or tax relief a business will qualify for is dependent on a large number of factors. However, a good place to start is the Finance and Support section of the Gov.uk website.
Invest in growth
The pandemic will have affected how every business views and invests in growth. It’s an essential part of business survival and the evaluation processes should continue into the future.
While large numbers of firms have simply been trying to survive, many others will have seen the pandemic as a chance to double down on growth. For instance, some businesses will have actually done very well during COVID-19 restrictions; Internet-enabled communications, collaboration tools, supermarket supply chains and home office equipment suppliers for example.
Growth is facilitated by research and development (R&D). It’s not just a ‘nice to have’ but is actually vital for a company’s continued operation. Without a sustained effort to grow and innovate, things can quickly stagnate. Competitors are likely to come up with better products that are cheaper to manufacture, which in turn can damage a firm’s reputation. Furthermore, the quality of products being created will decrease over time, leading to poor profits, poor employee morale, and ultimately to the company’s demise.
But the benefits of growth don’t end there. It allows businesses to:
- Identify new sales opportunities
- Potentially benefit from economies of scale
- Expand the range of products and services
- Attract new customers
- Broaden their supply base
- Boost the credibility of the business in the market.
These are compelling reasons why growth should always be high a firm’s priority list - especially in a competitive post-COVID world.
Why use the Tax Cloud portal?
R&D Tax Credits represent an incredibly generous UK tax incentive administered by HMRC. The purpose of the scheme is to help UK companies meet the costs of growth via either a reduction in their Corporation Tax or as a cash lump sum.
But claiming can be costly, time-consuming and complex - which is where the Tax Cloud portal comes in.
Using the Tax Cloud means simply following a step-by-step process to put your R&D Tax Credits claim together. You’ll begin by signing up (it’s free) and entering the details of your company and your R&D project. At each stage of your application process, one of our team will assess your progress and provide feedback. We’re also on hand if you have any questions along the way. Furthermore, we’ll help you create your technical report, and will maximise you claim so you receive every penny you’re entitled to.
Cloud-based and accessible remotely from any internet connected device, the Tax Cloud portal is hassle-free and outstanding value for money compared to a full service claim too.
Try the Tax Cloud portal today
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