So now we know our way out of this. Roll on Midsummer’s day. I’m planning the barbeque already.

A year ago, the thought of four months of restrictions would have sounded overwhelming. But we’ve already endured 12 months of this so four more months doesn’t sound too bad.

But of course, the challenges of the past year have not been spread evenly. For many businesses, the biggest difficulty has been coping with logistical issues associated with social distancing and a few small increases in costs.

For many individuals, who still have their jobs, they may well be much better off as a result of less travel costs and other reductions although I suspect that some of them may well have preferred the morning and evening commute to trying to juggle work with teaching a 9-year-old algebra.

I regularly hear TV and radio presenters saying something like “in this time when everyone is struggling financially”.

No, they’re not. They’re really not.

In fact, according to the Bank of England there is £125billion of savings that have built up over the past 12 months. £125billion! And that doesn’t include credit card debt and other loans paid down.

That’s a lot of spending about to be unleashed on 21st June. A Midsummer night’s dream you might say. Boom boom!

No? Please yourself.

But 21st June is good news for those business owners who have been hammered by The Pandemic. The owners of small limited companies with little trade who take their money as dividends. The owners of businesses in travel and hospitality who have had to meet Employers NIC and pension contributions for furloughed staff even though they have no income coming in.

They’ve had to show resilience in bucketloads which is the subject of this week’s latest mind-setting video with Steve Backley and Roger Black.

But it’s not as if everything will automatically be fine after 21st June. Even as all the so-called “pent up demand” is released, those businesses will only have so much capacity to make up for what they’ve lost. There are only so many kitchens one team can fit in a month, only so many tourists you can get onto a coach and only so many people you can legally cram into a nightclub. And I’m sure there will still be some covid related restrictions to cope with as well.

Resilience is a habit though that can define a career and even a life.

I have this theory that part of the reason why the country turned Captain Tom Moore into a national hero was because he represented the last of a generation that showed incredible resilience. And he was perhaps our last chance to appreciate and thank that generation.

My grandfather was part of that generation. Born the year before Captain Tom, he spent the war years in Europe before returning to civilian life as first a pallbearer for the family undertaking firm (no longer in existence I hasten to add) and then as a plumber who didn’t charge enough for his services (according to my Dad anyway) and therefore always had a full week’s work for grateful customers.

In retirement, all those years spent with his head under a sink took its toll. Two replacement hips, arthritis in his knees and elbows and a stroke caused by the painkillers he had to take thinning the lining of his stomach. But he never complained. He watched the cricket on the telly, listened to old records and would always brush off any questions about how he was.

Probably no different to most other men and women of his generation I suspect. The British stiff upper lip in action, before it became unfashionable.

Resilience is going to be required by many of our clients and not just for the next four months but probably for the next couple of years and even beyond, as those CBILs and Bounce Back loans need repaying and all that deferred VAT and tax becomes due.

But as Steve and Roger explain, resilience is not just about digging your heels in. In fact, it can be just the opposite. “Try, try and try again” is not a good strategy if it’s not working and its never going to work.

Resilience is about finding a way. Being adaptable, agile and nimble and accepting inevitable change or looking for necessary change.

With that in mind, one of the things we have worked on during The Pandemic is the Breakthrough Recovery Programme to help struggling businesses. There are a few stages to it, but the key elements are:

  • Initial assessment and 30-day cash flow forecast to make sure that you’re not past the point of no return (there are options even if you are) and a break-even analysis to identify what you will need to achieve on a weekly basis
  • One to one troubleshooter session where we run through the most common causes of small business failure and identify what you need to do to avoid them!
  • Financial controls and planning including putting in place the tools you will need on a day-to-day basis to manage the business and keep control as it starts to flourish again
  • Regular weekly and monthly reporting
  • Profit improvement advice
  • Ongoing mentoring, coaching and support

We believe this is the ideal programme if you need help boosting your levels of resilience.

In the meantime, I’ll leave the last word to Captain Tom for all those who are struggling: “Remember, tomorrow will be a better day”.

Or failing that, 21st June will be.

Have a good weekend.

Contact me today!

Malcolm Palmer

FCA

Managing Partner

01474 853856

Send me a message

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