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My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus
By Angela Ashworth, co-founder of tech-led accountancy firm Purple Lime. The company provides an outsourced finance department for SME business owners using cloud technology enabling them to have real time financial data when making important strategic decisions. Purple Lime are a silver champion partner with the accountancy technology brand Xero.
When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business?
When the virus was spreading outside of China it was apparent this was going to be worldwide. I immediately remembered watching the film Contagion when it was released - and how nervous I felt afterwards.
What has been your plan to continue?
We were fortunate to immediately be able to work from home as we have a platform of technology that enables us to do so.
We are a service industry with clients in various sectors , we know some have already taken very difficult decisions to protect their business, which could in turn affect us. It's the 'domino' effect.
We are in un-chartered waters but being a small business we can respond to events quickly having considered all the implications.
Cash is king as they say so we will be using some apps available to us to monitor cash-flow, credit control, forecasting to help manage our business. We will also make use any government support if applicable to protect the business as much as possible.
What advice would you give to others in business?
As far as is possible :
- Look after your existing clients.
- Look after your team.
- Keep marketing, do not stop, you may change the marketing plan - for example no longer be networking but you can use social media.
- Look for opportunities no matter what cycle your business is going through.
- Can you sell to customers who are currently very busy? Which sector are they in? can you offer a new product or service or become part of a new supply chain?
- Plan, review, update your operations, continue that cycle, delegate to people if possible as one person has a difficult task trying to do everything.
- If you need specialist help, there are options - outsource it e.g. HR advice, search for it on social media, on the web, via your contacts.
- Forecast your financials so you know the trigger points at which time you will need to make potentially very difficult decisions, on cutting back, staffing, extending credit, require funding.
- Sign up to the government updates for the latest CORRECT regulations and advice.
What can we do to help each other?
We should all be following the latest government advice personally, professionally, which is based on scientific research and advice.
We can try & help each other in business, in the community, in our families as best we can.
The use of social media will help immensely with this.
The older generation do not all have the use of this new technology. Most do have a telephone which may well be their lifeline.
What can be learned from this situation?
If a business has not kept up with the rapid changes in technology, trends in consumer buying habits, trained and engaged their staff well, they will struggle much more than others.
This is a cycle - it will pass eventually.
Your parting thought?
Communicating with as much clarity as possible on a daily basis (where relevant to the audience) with staff, clients, suppliers & other contacts is key. Do not brush things under the carpet as they say!
- Try to eat, sleep and exercise as well as you can.
- This is a cycle - it will pass eventually.
- Ultimately our health is our wealth.
For more information visit https://www.purplelime.uk.com