Getting your small business back on its feet post-pandemic

It’s been just under two years since Covid-19 hit the UK and wreaked havoc for small and big businesses alike – and it’s been tough.

In 2020, the government recorded its worst economic performance in over 300 years, experiencing a greater slump than the one that followed WW1. 

Business owners have faced considerable challenges over this period, and to still be standing at this point is an accomplishment in itself. Now, as we start to move out of the pandemic, this time will prove crucial in continued success and business longevity. Luckily, there’s lots of room for growth. As the saying goes, out of uncertainty comes opportunity. 

So, how can you help your business bounce back? Here are some tips for the second half of 2021. 

Take advantage of the remaining schemes available

As mentioned, the past couple of years have been incredibly tough for business owners. The pandemic turned everything we knew upside down, and forced businesses to change their ways of working in order to survive. 

Don’t feel disheartened if your business has taken a hit. Though many of the government’s financial support schemes have come to an end, a few still remain. If you haven’t done so already, find out what your venture can benefit from:

  • Recovery Loan Scheme: After being extended until 31st December 2021, businesses in the UK can access loans and overdrafts from 25,000. The government is providing lenders with an 80% guarantee to help small businesses recover from Covid-19’s economic impacts. 
  • Additional Restrictions Grant: Businesses that have been impacted by the UK’s lockdown restrictions can apply for grants through their local councils. There are three subsidy allowances available under this scheme. 

In the event your business is unable to access government funding, alternative small business loan solutions can be beneficial. Previously, loan products with their sky-high interest rates and lengthy repayment terms were to be steered clear of.

However, in recent years the rise of fintech solutions have seen new players enter the market, offering affordable alternatives and access for businesses that need it most. 

Reevaluate your business’s financial position

On the subject of finance, now is a good time to sit down and take the time to review your business’s financial situation. In order to improve, you have to be honest about the current financial health of your firm. For the third and fourth quarter of the year, make sure you create detailed business budgets alongside monthly cash flow forecasts. 

If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s the importance of keeping a financial cushion to fall back on. If you haven’t done so already, set aside funds with the intention of building up a cash reserve that can be used to cover emergency situations. 

Strengthen your online presence 

There’s never been a better time to focus on your business’s digital transformation. The pandemic forced us to move online and use technology to get business done. More than ever, customers are now using the internet to engage with their favourite brands.

With the rise in e-commerce, if you don’t make online selling a focus, your business simply won’t be able to compete effectively. So, whatever you do, make sure that your company’s online presence is optimised, and keep working at promoting your products or services with customer reviews.

It’s also essential that you understand how SEO works, and are actively using it on your website.

Think carefully about lessons learnt 

Learning is critical for entrepreneurs, so no matter how far you’ve come, it’s important to keep finding ways to improve your product or service offering. Use this time to reflect on what your business has learnt from the pandemic. If you’ve encountered problems, think about how you can prevent the same mistakes from happening in the future. 

Remain flexible and agile

The most important piece of advice for business owners is not to be too eager to return to old ways of doing things. Over the course of the pandemic, employees proved that remote working can be successful. The forced shift to home-based working has made people realise that contrary to what was previously believed, productivity is possible. 

Think about what your workforce values, and be accommodating to those things. Now that employees have gained greater autonomy over their work schedules, businesses that don’t embrace new ways of working may encounter difficulties in retaining staff in the long run. 

The bottom line is that flexibility will be important moving forward, so keep an open mind and be ready to adapt. 

This is an exciting time, but planning is key

This is an exciting time for business owners. There is huge potential for companies to bounce back and benefit from new opportunities that have arisen as a result of the pandemic. Organisation and planning is key, so make sure you stay one step ahead of the game to ensure long-term success.

Capalona offer small business loan solutions.