Category Archives: Covid-19

Cashflow in a time of Coronavirus

As a follow up on my CBILS advice I want to share the cashflow checklist that I produced for my clients (and for myself!)

A cashflow forecast is the best way to see how much help you need at the moment (and you will be asked for one if you intend to apply for help under CBILS) – surviving 2020 is going to be all about your ability to pay essential bills rather than your profitability.

So I’ve attached the checklist here. Key things that I’d highlight are:

1. Extend your timeline well into your business’ recovery – it’s often restocking/ re-growth that leads to cashflow problems
2. CBILS loans are the last resort: make sure you’ve looked at every option available in order to minimise the borrowing that you’ll need
3. Think about how you’re going to repay any loan (including VAT/ tax deferrals). Repayments will use up vital cashflow when your business starts to recover
4. Stop and think about what the forecast is telling you. Is planning a return to the old normal the right thing for your business? If sales are down to a minimum at the moment then what sales do you want to regain? This is a good time to take stock and re-focus.

It’s always difficult knowing where to start with this, but the checklist has a structure that you can follow and the sooner you get started the sooner you’ll finish. If you get into difficulties give me a call, I’d be happy to help!

Help with accessing support for small businesses

In the news recently there have been horror stories about how difficult it’s proving for small businesses to access the government’s CBILS business support scheme. Here we look at how to get the best result in any funding application, and particularly the Covid-19 support.

We are currently supporting a number of businesses with their loan applications so here are our tips on what to include in your application:

1. What support do you need?

The CBILS scheme is actually just government backing for standard bank overdrafts and loan so think carefully about ways to reduce your business spending in order to reduce the potential loan you will need. There is a raft of new measures to consider: furloughing staff, deferring VAT and requesting payment holidays, amongst others.

2. Make your case

The days of bank managers who keep in regular contact with your business are long gone so be prepared to give the bank an introduction to your business; include your last set of accounts, your most recent management accounts and a summary of your recent successes and future plans. Think of this as a sales pitch; make the bank manager want to back you.

3. Outline the effects of the disruption on your business

The bank will want to see the effect on both your profitability and your cashflow, over the next 3-6 months. A cashflow forecast is essential for this – now, more than ever, cash is king. As well as the numbers make sure you explain what changes you expect in words. Every business will feel the effects differently so you can’t expect the bank manager to know this already.

4. What will your business look like after this is over?

Do you expect some of your customers to disappear? Can you capitalise on the changes you’ve been forced to make? Are new markets suddenly open to you? Most importantly you need to extend that cashflow forecast to (ideally) show the bank that you expect your recovery to allow you to repay the loan that you’re applying for.

Finally, remember to state clearly how much money you want to borrow based on the forecasts above.

We have a detailed advice sheet on giving that application your best shot: Government support.
You can find other information and help concerning the government’s support for businesses at this time on our Covid-19 support page