We all know the feelings of panic that have come from the coronavirus crisis, everyone around the world will be feeling the impact in some way. The lockdown and widespread panic has hit businesses, and particularly small ones, very hard.

But it’s important to try and move forward during this time, as being proactive can go a long way.

To help with this, here at JDA we have developed our Pandemic Protection Plan. In this first part, Jon is focusing on how great leadership can go a long way in ensuring your staff and customers remain happy.

You can watch the video, or read about it below.

Who would have thought that, only a few weeks ago, the prospect of coronavirus seemed like a minor inconvenience?

Sure, perhaps a few imports from China would be slowed down and a few people would get the flu, but we’ve got Brexit to worry about, so what does it matter?

But here we are now with the country in lockdown. We’re worried about the health of our friends, family and ourselves, and worried about the health of our businesses.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses are already shut due to the lockdown and there’s a real prospect that many will never reopen. There’s talk of a million businesses going bust and millions of jobs being lost. As a small business owner, it’s a really frightening time. For many of us, our income has stopped, but the costs carry on. And what do we, as the owners live on? Can we make it through?

Well, we can sit at home on the lockdown thinking “it’s the end”, or we can do something about it. And this Pandemic Protection Plan is designed to help you do that – do something about it.

My name is Jon Davies and I’m going to help you make it through. I have an accountancy practice in Liverpool and I’m going to share with you some practical steps to make sure your business survives this and comes out strongly on the other side.

We can’t control what happens with coronavirus – we need all the great people in the NHS and doctors around the world to help with that.

But there are bits of our business we can control to make sure that we:

  • survive the crisis
  • stabilise
  • put plans in place to strengthen on the other side

Because, after any crisis or any recession, there’s also a bounce back, and we need our businesses to be ready for that bounce.

So, rather than be despondent and think it’s the end of our business, let’s do something about it and put ourselves in a position where we can come out of this as strongly as possible with healthy businesses to protecting our employees, our families. and ourselves.

So, over the next few days, I’m going to lead you through a series of videos and practical steps that you can take for you and your business.

We’ll look at surviving – cutting your costs, putting together a cashflow, and accessing Government Support.

We’ll look at stabilising – making sure you and your team are able to work efficiently and that you take the time to review and improve your marketing, your systems and your software.

And we’ll look at strengthening – training and development for you and your team, and marketing to secure future income when this is over.

But let’s start with survival. And let’s start with a common theme throughout this – Leadership.

Lead from the front

All of the steps in this guide need you to take control and be a leader of your business. Your team, your customers and your suppliers need to know you’re in charge!

You need to be positive – they’ll all be looking to you for leadership in a new world. Your team might never have worked remotely before and are worrying about their jobs. Your customers are worrying about whether you can still deliver. And your suppliers will be hoping you still pay them.

In this section, let’s start with the team.

Transparency

During this crisis, just like you and your customers, your team are going to be worried. Even the most dedicated and trustworthy employees may struggle at times, whether it be with family or simply when they have watched too much news!

So, be honest. Tell them the truth about what the business is going to go through in the next few months and then ask for their help. A great leader during this time will know that they need support…and who better to provide it than the team closest to you? Having them involved in the process of getting the business through this period will be one of the best things you can do.

Keep in touch!

It is a good idea to keep on top of business and coronavirus updates daily – staying positive will help but ignoring it entirely will cause more problems than good.

Share it with your team but think about what you do share. Many news organisations will focus on what’s new, rather than the big picture that is needed to separate facts from speculation. It’s a natural reaction to overreact to emerging issues but, as a leader, it would be best for you, your team and the business to keep to facts and, specifically, facts that do impact you and your business.

As the situation continues to develop, then it’s likely your policies will as well. Instead of sending 5 emails, a WhatsApp message and receiving calls from each staff member when the inevitable questions come, you could set up an information hub or have a daily briefing.

At JDA, we have a brief team meeting at 9am every day anyway, but it’s even more important right now. It gives everyone a chance to catch up, but it also lets me update them on what’s going on in the business and what I’m doing to ensure the safety of the business….and their jobs.

It gives me a chance to show I’m leading.

I hope you found that useful – in the next step, we’ll get on to one of my favourite areas as an accountant – cashflow.

See you then.

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Any questions?

If you’d like a meeting or a Skype call to discuss this, please get in touch with your favourite Liverpool accountant