We’re not just suffering from a cost of living crisis, there’s a cost of doing business crisis too. But Dave Edwards, director of Q Financial Services, says there are things every business can do to ride out the storm
You don’t need me to tell you that things are tough out there for business at the moment.
It seems as if a perfect financial storm has hit us and is here to stay for some time yet.
Energy bills have gone through the roof, the price of raw materials continues to soar, inflation is heading towards double digits and interest rates are nudging up putting pressure on borrowing.
Simple things – such as the new restrictions on the use of red diesel which came into force on April 1 and the increasing cost of recruitment in the post-Covid world – have deepened the crisis and left businesses of all sizes struggling to cope.
Add in supply chain problems caused by the war in Ukraine, disruptions to imports and exports at our ports and a seemingly relentless squeeze on margins, and you get an idea about the scale of the crisis.
There is little any of us can do to control the global forces which lie behind the current situation, but we can control how well our businesses are set up and organised so that we all stand the best chance of coming through the crisis.
Now is the perfect time to get your business finances well and truly in order – and ensure you build in a degree of future-proofing that will stand you in good stead.
That means taking a fresh look at your full financial situation and carrying out a thorough assessment of where you need to take action. It may be that you have loans which can be restructured or renegotiated to offer you more favourable terms.
The Government’s Covid Recovery Loans Scheme comes to an end on June 30 – and is well worth investigating if you haven’t done so yet. The scheme is currently open to small and medium sized businesses with a turnover of less than £45 million with a maximum loan of £2million, with a government guarantee of 70 per cent.
If you are looking to expand your organisation – and there are still opportunities even in the middle of the current crisis – there is a range of potential finance options that go beyond traditional business loans, including specific funding for start-ups.
And there’s other funding available too. One way of cutting costs is to be more efficient and help from programmes such as the Business Energy Efficiency Programme can not only drive down your fuel and power costs, but also help cut your carbon footprint.
Of course, none of us know what is around the corner, and intelligent business protection is vital in such uncertain times. If you don’t have adequate levels of cover it really is time to reconsider and see what products are available to help.
To borrow from the late Donald Rumsfeld, none of us know what we don’t know. That’s why expert, professional help is so important at times like these. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s never been more important.