Funding Bay Blog

Financial strategies for small businesses in 2021

2020 was a year of uncertainty, confusion, and change; changes to our way of life, changes to how we live and changes in how we run our businesses. SMEs are the backbone of any healthy economy; they drive growth, provide employment opportunities, and open new markets. In the UK they account for three-fifths of the employment and around half of the turnover in the UK private sector.

There is no doubt that Covid-19 has been a deeply worrying time for SMEs. One in five (20%) business owners said they have considered closing because of the pandemic and nearly two-thirds (63%) have seen a decline in revenue, with 19% making no profit at all during the lockdown. Find out more about how SMEs have been struggling, and recovering from the effects of lockdown, here.

However, 2021 is here to offer hope. There is light at the end of the Covid tunnel and SMEs should make all efforts they can to beat the odds. Here we offer some business strategies for your business to not only survive but to thrive.

Plan for new strategies

An essential business strategy which is crucial to the running of a business is planning.  It is essential SMEs plan for both the short-, and long-term future, and to keep the eye on the ball at all the surprises 2021 may have in store. With no end-date to our 3rd national lockdown, and the uncertainties of Brexit and the vaccine rollout showing risks, businesses need to be particularly strategical. Setting out plans for the next 6 weeks, 3 months and 12 months is a great place to start, especially if you want to set out objectives you plan to accomplish within a set time limit. So, now is the time to find things you can plan. For example, marketing campaigns are a great way to reach new and existing customers – so perhaps now is the time to freshen up on your marketing skills? Investing in digital marketing or even digitalising your business in order to reach customers in an online fashion, would be a proactive method.

The best way to keep your head above the water as a business is obviously to keep a stream of income going. If restrictions are already in place in your area, your business could once again be forced to shut its doors, so it is important to be reactive. Look to move to selling products and services online, setting up a streaming service, or provide home delivery where possible to not only keep your customers happy and involved but your income going.

As we have said, uncertainty is not the most ideal climate to be in as an SME, however, you could use it to your advantage. There are many funding opportunities available to you which you may want to investigate now, to get ahead of the game.

Cash flow management and CBILS

In order to manage cash flow effectively, money needs to be coming in – but, sadly, without a steady and reliable income, money does not make itself – which is where loans come in. SMEs have needed immense amounts of support, which has led to new funding opportunities being presented to them – so make the most of them! The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has helped more than 70,000 businesses achieve business growth and stability. With this loan scheme, you can borrow between £50,000 and £5 million, and the first year is free. No personal guarantee is necessary, and you can apply for multiple CBILS loans. This opportunity to borrow is unique and is for many the only viable lifeline out of endless lockdowns and tier systems. The deadline for CBILS applications has recently been reextended to March 31st. Now is the time to apply and begin rebuilding your cash flow.

Brexit:

Brexit will have far reaching impacts, and it is likely that it will affect your business financially. To find out more about how to prepare your business financially for Brexit, take a look at our blog ‘Preparing for Brexit: 4 financial tips’.

Funding Bay will simplify the process and put your application directly through to the lenders who we work closely with and ensure your application is given a fore fronted position. We work with a team of accredited lenders, such as Funding Circle and Ultimate Finance and want to ensure you can access your finance in the most straightforward manner.

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Further Reading