ADAPTING TO REFLECT CHALLENGING TIMES

By Kevin WardConatus Financing Solutions 
COVID-19 has presented us with exceptional situations in both our businesses and personal lives. Few have been unaffected, although for some, the impact is not necessarily negative. We are all, however having to adapt to a changing environment. 

Published in Norfolk and Suffolk Director Magazines Summer/Autumn 2020

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Business turnaround 

For us it has been a challenging time too. Bookkeeping services continue and we have worked hard to support clients through this period. We always had the flexibility to work in different locations. So, when lockdown hit, we were fit and ready to facilitate remote working. 

Yet, clients being hit has impacted our revenue and where some are business as usual, there are others who temporarily closed. We have a large exposure to the hospitality and leisure sector, so we rapidly learnt about the different sources of help available. As well as assisting in obtaining grants and gaining an understanding of furloughing options and the processes involved, we have worked with clients to discuss what happens next. 

Take time to plan June 2020

Presenting an opportunity

For some, this has presented an opportunity to use the situation to start over with a blank canvas and change, adapt and adjust the existing business to hopefully improve it for the future. 

The hiatus in business for some has presented the chance to make some changes and the

Bounce Back loans have been an excellent way to facilitate that. We have taken one ourselves and have put it to one side as contingency money. We will use a bit for some proactive plans that we are working on and which we can accelerate by using some of the cash, but we won’t be using it for general working capital unless we’re in dire need. 

Given that funding is probably going to be difficult to obtain going forward and these loans are on very favourable terms, we are also helping clients consider their future strategy, and if their business ambitions can be achieved by taking and using some or all this money, it is worth doing. However, even though it is a good and positive action to take in these challenging times, we do look ahead to ensure the company should be able to afford the repayments. 

Adapting to a change in workload

With banks not really entertaining switchers for another few months and the likely challenges in obtaining lending for certain sectors – thanks to the Bounce Back loans loading the banks’ balance sheets with sector lending above their caps, we’re not expecting to be as busy as normal in helping people obtain new funding. So, we are firmly addressing the challenge that for some time our profile of work is likely to change. 

It is something many of us should be planning for. We feel it’s a healthy action that hopefully will allow us to find new opportunities to keep us busy and proactive while also spreading our risk. And, with luck, this flexibility will allow us to grow and expand the business over the long term. 

How to be proactive

So, I would recommend thinking about your business and taking the opportunity to work on it rather than in it. Do not be afraid to make changes, possibly big ones. Consider your options carefully and then be brave if you need to. 

ADAPTING TO REFLECT CHALLENGING TIMES 1

Kevin Ward is Director and Co-owner of Conatus Financing Solutions E: kevin@conatusfinancing.solutions or visit conatusfinancing.solutions or conatusbookkeeping.co.uk

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