As you might expect we are receiving numerous calls from people worried about their financial position as a result of the Corona virus and their customers suddenly evaporating or the doors of their business are now having to be closed. Life, as we knew it, is on hold. When a new normal will emerge is far from certain.
Most of the BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency team are now working from home and, whilst we will avoid face-to-face meetings with prospects, we remain on hand, at the end of a telephone, skype, google hangouts, or conference call, as necessary, to do what we can to help.
With Government assistance being offered there are new sources of help available and anything we now commit to writing will doubtless quickly be quickly out of date and, possibly, wrong.
The basics remain though:-
- Try to keep calm and carry on – we live in uncertain times and the goalposts are moving all over the place. In time we will get back to normal and people are likely to still need the services or products you provide.
- Put your people first – monitor and, so far as possible, act on the Public Health England recommended precautions to help prevent the spread of disease. Know which of your people perform which critical task and consider what might happen if they are unable to work for a while consider how best to mitigate the consequences of their absence.
- Cash is reality – update your cash flow forecasts in light of Coronavirus. When will the cash run out on current forecasts, what can be done to mitigate this?
- Costs – spend only on what is necessary. Put “nice to have” on hold, only fund “need to have”.
- Be flexible friends – how can you work more flexibly, reduce capacity, change your offer etc?
- Contemporaneous notes – in fast moving times things are changing all the time, a wise decision today may look unwise tomorrow – most folk will have 20:20 vision with the benefit of hindsight. Keep notes as to why what you are doing is business critical, why they are in the best interests of creditors.
- Identify key suppliers – what happens if they fail? Identify alternatives.
- Identify key customers – what happens if they fail? How can you best support customers without putting yourself in danger.
- Get advice – trading in the twilight zone is notoriously tricky but the current climate makes it even more so. Personal liability can occur as a result of Directors allowing their company to:-
- Trade while insolvent (wrongful trading in particular)
- Enter into transactions at an undervalue
- Prefer one creditor or creditors to others.
- BRI are here to help. We are specialists in advising on how best to cope in a financial crisis. Clearly we are living in more than usually interesting times - with the added concern that there is no exit/end date in sight. We remain happy to have conversations with people about their specific circumstances without initial cost or commitment.
As always, BRI will look for the best outcome for those we are helping without regard to the fee outcome for ourselves. Talking with people and being as honest and straightforward as possible remains the way to go. Looking for a win:win outcome is generally the best way forward and will ensure you keep your relationships for the future when whatever the “new normal” will be when it finally emerges.
We will keep our E Mails open, our website will be updated as to how we can be reached and our ‘phones will include messages as to how we may be reached or else will divert to mobiles.
We wish all who may be reading this all the very best for the future.
Coronavirus Information Resource List
Government Guide to employers and businesses
The government site https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses is a good source, much referenced by others on what is currently available.
Government Guide for employees
Another helpful Government link is https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees
The Citizens Advice Bureau have issued advice to individuals unable to pay their bills
ACAS advice for employers and employees
Government business support