To come out of lockdown safely and effectively over the coming months, your business needs a plan.
Here at FSB, we’ve created an easy to follow plan to support your business in operating safely whilst maximising cashflow.
Creating your post-lockdown business plan
Putting a solid plan in place for exiting lockdown and how you’ll operate in the months to come is essential. Here are some of the steps you should follow when thinking about how you’ll be trading.
Meet your customers’ needs
Having alternative means of selling and reaching customers can help your business maximise sales, such as phone orders, online orders and deliveries. Explore how you could make changes to your offers or operations to support your business moving forwards.
If you’ve recently made the transition to the digital world, our simple guide to ecommerce takes you through the basics.
Workplaces are expected to follow guidance on becoming “COVID secure” by carrying out risk assessments and following health and safety guidelines.
You should be aware of which safety measures can be put in place to protect customers and staff, such as clear signage, floor markings and contactless payments.
For the most up to date advice, visit the government’s website.
Add up the numbers
It’s important to consider the levels of sales you are forecasting, as it might take some time for demand to pick up. Your sales could be limited by the reduced volume of people due to social distancing.
Look at ways you can encourage sales, such as discounts or incentives. If you’re a retail business, you will likely want to drive sales by encouraging people back in store, perhaps by boosting your online presence. If you’re in the holiday sector, you could be looking to put your efforts into promoting and selling UK-based breaks later in the summer.
Make the most of technology
Putting technology and integrated payments at the heart of your business could deliver a better customer experience, reduce errors and improve inventory management.
- Does your business have a point of sale (POS) system?
- Are you doing manual reconciliations or rekeying of amounts into your PED?
- Are you making the most of payments data?
Deliver compelling customer service
Keep your customers informed via social media, and shift your marketing focus to provide reassurance along with online and in-store offers.
You could also upload videos of your products and services online, allowing the customer to browse without the need to be in the store.
Improve your payment options
Keeping the cash flowing is crucial for businesses as we emerge from lockdown. Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of your broader reopening plan, you’ll want to find the payments solutions that could help get you cash flowing as quickly as possible.
Contactless card payments provide a secure and fast way for customers to pay when they visit your store. This facility has become even more crucial since pandemic control measures were put in place, as touch-free ways of paying could reduce the risk of transmission.
These days everyone expects to be able to pay online. With home-bound consumers now relying on the internet to do their day-to-day shopping, taking payments on your website is one of the best ways to help you find new customers and keep the cash flowing.
Ideal for: Any small or medium-sized business looking to sell products online
Pay by Link
Use Pay by Link to create unique payment links sent directly to your customers via email.
You can include links on emailed quotes, invoices and booking confirmations to encourage your customers to pay straight away and to help improve cash flow. You can also take bookings or orders and let your customer pay in a way that suits them.
Ideal for: Smaller businesses with a loyal customer base, particularly tradesmen, builders, household or personal service providers.
If you’re managing a website, taking orders from your home office or want to keep customers away from physical terminals to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, you could accept payments over the phone.
It’s quick, easy-to-use and secure. If you have a secure internet connection and a web browser, you’re all set.
Ideal for: Cafes, restaurants and take-aways, as well as businesses like florists, bookstores and any other business taking orders over the phone.
Integrated payments allow you to connect your payment processing function with other vital business software systems, such as accounting, payroll and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
Payments can be made without manual activation or confirmation of a cashier, allowing you to provide a smoother customer experience, lower error rates and spend less time reconciling receipts.
Ideal for: Businesses in all sectors looking to increase productivity and provide a better customer experience.
Toward safe business recovery
As we enter the next stage of our collective response to COVID-19, it’s vital that we work together to find new ways of doing business that reduce the risk of transmission, while still maintaining cash flow.