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Second COVID-19 lockdown? How to protect your business

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It seems like only yesterday that we were sighing with relief that businesses were coming out of lockdown and life could start getting back to normal. Unfortunately, it was short-lived as the possibility of a second wave of Coronavirus in the UK is now warned to be a ‘real risk’.

second covid-19 lockdown

During lockdown number one, the government helped to protect businesses with various grants and the furlough scheme. Whilst the government has announced a number of protections for businesses during this second wave, whether it will be at the same level this time around is not clear. So, how can you protect your business the best you can in the event of a second lockdown?

Remote working

Most businesses experienced remote working in some capacity during the first lockdown, and this is expected to continue with the latest government advice stating to ‘work from home if you can’. With that in mind, ensure that you have sufficient support networks in place for any employees who will be working from home. Even though remote working may not be anything new at this point, mental health risks are still present. Just when many employees thought their office-based working lives were continuing to normal, this may have been taken away again.

Your business is bound to run more smoothly when you have happy and comfortable employees, so never underestimate the importance of prioritising their wellbeing. This could involve ensuring that all IT equipment and systems available to your team are as efficient as possible to make remote working easier, providing extra support and understanding to those who aren’t able to obtain childcare whilst working from home, or simply putting processes in place to keep everyone as connected as possible.

If you do need to keep employees in the office, it is your responsibility to implement all the necessary health and safety procedures to keep them as protected as possible whilst at work. You can find lots of resources on exactly how to do this online, and particularly on the Gov UK website. Be aware, however, that you can take all safety precautions in your office, but under section 44 of the 1996 Employment Rights Act, employees do have the right not to attend work if they reasonably believe that doing so would pose a ‘serious and imminent’ risk to their health and safety.

Be frugal now

If your business struggled during the first lockdown, you need to be thinking about how to maximise profit margins and how to best control your spending. Put the work in now to ensure you’re in the best financial position possible, given the circumstances.

Squirrel away any extra cash and seek deferrals from landlords, banks, and suppliers where possible. Research and make use of any extra funding that might be available to you, or any temporary loans that you can apply for. Now is the time to cut back where possible and give yourself some breathing space if a second wave begins to have a negative impact on your business.

Plan for every eventuality

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we just don’t know what is around the corner. To best protect your business’s future, plan for anything and everything. Be aware of your financial position and what effect a second wave could have on this. Model as many scenarios that could affect your business as possible and try and make a plan in advance to buffer the financial impact. When thinking up these scenarios, don’t forget to factor in any third parties that you rely on to keep your business running and providing a service to your customers.

For example, if you rely on a third-party software provider, what would happen if they went into administration? You might be feeling fairly confident about your business’s chances of making it through the second wave, but businesses that you work with and rely on might not be so lucky. It’s something that you can easily miss when simply focusing on your business’s financial health.

With SaaS Escrow, you can be protected against any possible financial fallout should your software provider go into administration. AccessAssure independently monitors your software provider’s financial position, triggering a series of events should anomalies arise to protect and maintain your software’s accessibility for at least three months. If you’d like to know more, give us a call today on 0800 456 1115.

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