If you are a founder that has managed to raise enough cash to see your way through COVID-19, or you have completed some consultancy work, which has set you up for the coming months, then well done. Unfortunately, not all tech start-up founders are in this situation, especially if you are an early-stage start-up. While continuing to bootstrap your company may be the only option right now, here are three steps to help your business stay alive.
1. Work out what it costs per month to survive
- Right now you can’t go anywhere so strip out any planned travel costs, but also make sure you’re not paying for any online meeting platforms either, there are plenty of free versions for you to choose from.
- Are you paying for any co-working spaces that you can cancel for the immediate future, or can you get the membership frozen over the COVID-19 period? Good organisations are doing this already to help, if you are with a co-working space who isn’t freezing their fees, then give them a nudge and ask.
- You are going to be using your mobile phone more than usual working from home, are you on the most cost-effective plan? Data usage is going to increase, so make sure that you are always connected to your Wi-Fi network to reduce costs. Review your plan so that you don’t get any nasty shocks from your mobile phone provider.
- Examining all other costs in the same fashion as above, by looking at your bank statement over the last three months, will easily get you to a position where you know what you must spend and what you can do without.
- Estimate how much your sales are going to decrease over the COVID-19 period. This will happen, as customers do exactly what you have done in reviewing their expenses.
- Last but by no means, the least, work out what you need for yourself and add that to your monthly business survival number.
- The value in doing this is you can plot out what cash you require over the next three to six months. You can act immediately by cancelling expenditure you just don’t need. You are mentally preparing yourself for the decrease in sales, enabling you to prepare to increase sales when COVID-19 is over! So sought out your cash and then plan for the future.
2. Contact your Accountant and ask for assistance with a cashflow forecasting
If your accountant hasn’t already contacted you to see if you are okay, then contact them anyway, it’s good to talk at this current time and not keep any issues bottled up.
This will do three things: -
- Give you confidence that you have stripped out all unnecessary costs out of your monthly spending.
- You can create cashflow scenarios that will highlight if you need any help in funding over the COVID-19 period. The last thing you want to do is not apply for enough funding if you must go down this route.
- Accountants will also highlight statutory payments you need to make as a business owner and whether any relief is currently given by the government. It’s important to use Accountants as the government guidance has already changed and no doubt will continue to change following the initial announcement by the Chancellor.
If you are a business with employees the discussion with your accountant may go along the lines of furloughing your employees if cash deficiencies are revealed in the short term. Complete the due diligence of analysing the company costs, leaving no stone unturned, before you contemplate this route.
Furloughing in our opinion, should not be used to reduce employee costs by 20% to shift the other 80% to the government, just because you can in the current climate, as this claim for assistance will have to be completely justified, so think carefully before you affect someone’s life.
3. What happens if I don’t have an Accountant?
SimpleInsight Ltd is offering a free service where, we’ll do just as the above cut down your costs, establish what you need over the next three to six months and help you get some funding where the government allows.
The way we work is by using cloud platforms to gather data and compile a forecast quickly. If you are a Xero or QuickBooks customer we can use that data as a starting point, if not we can work with you using other cloud platforms to help.
We are advocates of getting companies to use cloud and digital technology for their business to become more efficient. Time is of the essence, so why don’t you get in touch as we are here to help you get through this together.
Get in contact with us by: -
Mobile 07966049955 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org