Business sustainability in uncertain times

“Focus on becoming sustainable through a period of uncertain weakness, and building flexibility to respond quickly when your particular sustained upturn comes along.” – Tony Alexander, Economist.

For business owners, it is hard to predict the marketplace swings and roundabouts at the best of times. But these are times of huge personal and professional uncertainty and the anxiety caused is very real. Businesses that can adapt, businesses with strong team culture and strong customer focus can be flexible in response to changing conditions.

This flexibility might be critical as we continue to adapt to a succession of new normals. Businesses functioning well with cloud software have been able to respond to repeated transitions between working remotely and back in the office.

What could your business look like from here?

Even as a stand-alone business, you’re already part of a network of suppliers, customers, business advisors and regulators who increasingly operate online. Can you streamline your setup for smoother, secure online interaction with them?

Can you streamline?

For example, is your paperwork still largely that? Paper? Do you lose time to manual coding, data entry and filing? Has your annual accounts cycle started each year with dropping into us with the proverbial shoebox full of statements, invoices and receipts? Moving them to electronic format may save time and money.

Products such as Receipt Bank and Hubdoc can help. They extract the key information and present it in a manageable format for downloading or processing with a connected accounting software platform.

Places to start:

  • if your suppliers send you hard copy invoices and receipts, ask them to email them
  • add a scanner to your office setup
  • take photos of receipts on your phone or digital camera and save the files.

Click and collect?

Not all businesses are suited to online trading, but many have surprised themselves with how they adapted to this model. Even businesses which traditionally only worked face-to-face saw opportunities to shift essential products to click and collect or delivery models.

Our Recommendation

After so many years as a business owner trying to get your head out of the clouds, maybe this is a perfect time to put it back there.

As with all business decisions, consider the risks and talk to us about how it will work for you. We are here to help you assess the easiest but also the most secure options for your business.