While speculation continues and the Government determines how to best tackle rising coronavirus figures in the UK, here’s what you can do to protect your business.
Implement forward financial planning
It’s essential that during these turbulent times, you plan for how your business will be affected should you face another lockdown and your revenue is hit and what changes you can make to stay afloat in the meantime. At the moment, it’s unclear as to what would happen with the furlough scheme in the event of another nationwide lockdown, and what further support will be available, so it’s worth regularly monitoring updates on the news and GOV.UK to stay in the loop.
Plan for the future with scenario modelling
While no-one can predict what the future will bring at this time, by modelling as many scenarios that could affect your business as possible, you can make a plan in advance to buffer the financial impact and put provisions in place now to mitigate the risks you face. For example, if you have a chain of six restaurants across the country, what would the impact be if one had to close for a month due to a local lockdown? Now consider what the impact would be if 2 or 3 had to close, what changes would you need to make to keep your business up and running in the meantime?
Review remote working policies
During lockdown, remote working became a significant part of employees’ ‘new normal’ and for employers, there were plenty of lessons learnt along the way. While many have returned and others have begun to facilitate a phased return to the workplace under Government advice, there could be periods in the future where homeworking is a requirement once again. In order to ensure this goes as smoothly as possible, take what you’ve learnt from the previous nationwide lockdown and make steps now to mitigate any issues you experience then. How was employee morale over this time? Is there more you could do to keep this up? Was your security up to scratch? Could you be clearer on what you expect from staff?
Don’t rely on one person
While many businesses have been able to take a lot of their work online and facilitate home working, others rely on people being present. Yet, during these times, even your most reliable employee could need to self-isolate at the drop of a hat. If you’re relying on select employees to make it into work, you may find yourself unable to open if this happens. That’s why it’s a good idea to structure your workforce and schedule so you have other options available; this also applies for business-critical tasks. If only one member of staff knows how to do something, when they’re gone – it won’t get done. However, if this knowledge is shared across other staff members in advance, they will be able to pick up the work while the person is away.
Be strict about your policies
As the nationwide lockdown eased, businesses were required to put a range of strict measures in place to ensure the safety of their staff and the public. As time has passed and things slowly started to resemble more normality, it’s natural that many businesses will have let some aspects of these policies slip. However, now’s the time to tighten up your policies once again, particularly in areas such as collecting Test and Trace details which is now a legal requirement, and ensuring that staff continue to wear and encourage the wearing of facemasks.
Speak to your broker
From an insurance perspective, if you have any questions about your policy and what it covers you for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Steve. We’re here when you need us to offer support and advice on the ongoing pandemic.
We can also advise you on any additional cover you may need, should you be required to make changes off the back of the latest Government advice. For example, if you’re concerned about the cyber risks involved with remote working, we will talk you through the benefits of Cyber Insurance and how it could help protect your business in the event of an attack.