Since the UK went into lockdown earlier this year, the way all of us do business on a daily basis has changed. Whether that’s working from home, to practicing social distancing measures, or having to temporarily close down operations altogether - everyone has been impacted by the restrictions.
The UK government has now set out their strategy of how the easing of lockdown will happen - although we should stress that the advice differs for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As the initial peak of the virus seems to pass (touch wood), the government is setting plans in motion to exit lockdown - but what does this mean for your business? Keep reading to find out.
The first step for any business is to check out the government advice specific to your type of work and your location. As we’ve already mentioned, the advice varies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so check out the advice specific to your area.
They have outlined different responses based on how your business operates, factoring in how you interact with customers, with colleagues and what is required for your business to run smoothly. Initially, all businesses should complete a risk assessment along the HSE guidelines to ensure the healthy and safety of all staff and customers.
A few months ago, most of us had never heard of “social distancing”, but now it’s an all-too-familiar phrase! On current UK Government guidance, social distancing means staying 2 meters apart from people outside your household.
If your business is one that will soon be welcoming staff back onto the premises, you should make sure that measures are put in place to support social distancing. This could mean adjusting colleagues’ schedules or shift patterns so that staff are staggered, moving workspaces so that they are further apart, or reducing face-to-face contact, opting for a safer side-by-side layout instead.
It’s also recommended that colleagues are split into small teams to limit the number of people that are in contact with each other. Government advice still suggests that those who can work effectively from home should, so more business meetings in your pyjamas - there’s a silver lining for you!
The other key area for all of us is staying clean to help minimise the potential spread of the virus. If you’re opening physical premises of any kind, you’ll need to factor in regular cleaning - evidence suggests that the virus can exist for up to 72 hours on some surfaces, so better to be safe than sorry. Communal surfaces are the most important areas, including things like door handles, lift buttons, bathrooms and kitchens.
Not to mention, it’s also important to remind your employees how important it is to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their face.
Keeping on top of your cash flow is key to your business exiting lockdown in a good position - you probably don’t need us to tell you that! Make sure to keep a close eye on your income, as well as comparing your position pre-lockdown to now to give yourself an idea of what you can expect going forward. Once you understand your current position, you can begin to forecast scenarios of what the future of your company might look like and create plans for any adjustments you might need to make to your business.
If you need financial support, make sure you’ve checked out the government support options. If you’re self-employed you might be able to claim a grant through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme which you can read more about on our SEISS blog. There are also options for business loans and wage support depending on your circumstances.
When you submit your next tax return make sure you’re also taking full advantage of any tax relief available to you and making the most of your money. If you’d like help with your business accounts, Mazuma is here to help. Get in touch today to find out more about our service and let us take a weight off your shoulder.
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