Sarah Burns, GPRS Recruitment

Establishing a robust action plan is the key to survival for every business and self-employed person in the UK 

We are all fortunate to work in an industry which already facilitates remote working, so I’m pretty confident that pretty much everyone has already formulated a short-term tactical plan to support the UK government's objective to minimise and slow down the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

So whilst we wait for the next official Government announcement we need to be considering how this situation is going to impact us financially.

Regardless of whether you are a business owner or an employee, you will be affected and we need to accept that the threat of lockdown, is real – Sky News has just announced certain US cities and Government Buildings have been put into lockdown and we are really never far behind.

Financial Impact

Effective cash flow management will be the key to survival for every business and self-employed person in the UK, and this won’t happen without a robust action plan.

Firstly you need to identify the significant risks. Consider the impact of the following, maybe rank the items below on a scale of 1-5 in terms of how likely it is to happen:

  • Customers paying more slowly
  • Bad debts
  • Fewer new customers
  • Risk of clients moving to lower-priced competitors
  • Customers asking for lower prices because profits are hit

Include your own industry-specific situations which will limit your cash flow, not forgetting that your learners’ employers may be forced to make redundancies, so there could be a knock-on effect on your learner numbers/completions.

Next, with the help of your accountant or finance team, consider the following:

  • Look at payment terms/offer customers time to pay
  • Expenditure – cut non-essential
  • Delay capital purchases
  • Finance all capital purchases
  • Avoid discretionary costs
  • Contact your bank – if you have an overdraft can it be converted to a loan?
  • Loan holidays
  • Alternative funding for the business

HMRC – Time to Pay agreements

HMRC are working on a variety of plans to assist all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress resulting from Coronavirus (COVID-19) with outstanding tax liabilities, and are offering support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay Service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. These businesses can contact HMRC’s new dedicated COVID-19 helpline for advice and support.

To ensure ongoing support, HMRC have made a further 2,000 experienced call handlers available to support firms and individuals when needed. So if you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due give them a call.

HMRC Coronavirus Helpline Telephone: 0800 015 9559

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm / Saturday, 8am to 4pm

As a small business owner, keeping my Staff in employment is my biggest priority, so utilising the HMRC Time to Pay Helpline is already on speed dial, just in case.

Now go wash your hands!

Sarah Burns, GPRS Recruitment

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