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My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus
By Azeem Khan, Business Development Director, Gemini Commercial Cleaning based in Blackburn.
When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business?
We found out as it when it happened and we were not prepared at all, to be honest.
What has been your plan to continue?
Around 40% of clients have put cleaning services on hold however we are still providing cleaning services and security services to the rest of our clients which is keeping us going.
How have you changed your business as the weeks have passed?
As well as cleaning and security we are now providing full bio mist cleans/sanitisation cleaning services for when businesses reopen. We are also now supplying masks and sanitizers to help keep our business running and to help other businesses to operate safely.
Have you been able to access any Government support?
We qualified for the rates fund and received £10k last week. No other support just yet.
What have you seen about business which has been positive?
It has been good to see manufacturing and health sites are still running and we are continuing providing our services. The government helping with 80% of salaries for furloughed staff is great so we can keep the staff in the short term. Premises that are now empty will need protecting and securing so some businesses will be doing well from the situation. We are being optimisitic and are hoping all businesses will look at cleaning in more detail and require our services more after lockdown.
Have you seen any negative behaviours in business?
Some clients took advantage of the situation and did not pay their full invoices and asked for large reductions as they are new businesses. We have had to agree to take payments to avoid cash flow issues etc. Many PPE suppliers have put their prices up and are taking advantage of the situation.
What advice would you give to others in business?
Look after your staff and manage your cashflow the best you can. Try providing different products and services, look at planning now for an exist strategy for post-Covid19 to stand out in the market as there will be new opportunities for us all.
What can we do to help each other?
Help and support other local businesses, set up business groups just to talk and find out what is going on and how you can help each other, it will be a lonely place for some so reaching out to community is a good thing.
Your parting thought?
Keep strong, stay safe, and together we will all come out the other side.
Find out more by visiting their website, wwww.gemini-grp.co.uk