What does Lockdown 3.0 mean to you?
With the dawn of another national lockdown, many businesses are shutting up shop until the storm blows over. Not all – but this is a decision and conversation that’s individual and circumstance related. Nobody wants to be prevented from working, especially the self-employed, and this is going to be a stressful time for many.
Lockdown is a nuisance at best, and a hammer blow at worst for many, but for those who are hanging up their hoses for, what we hope, is a few weeks, how can you make the most of this time?
Some people relish in book-keeping and paperwork, some put it off as long as possible. Use this time to get accounts in order, and look at software which may make your life easier. If you’re running basic accounting, switching to programs such as Xero or Quickbooks that have several features to make your day-to-day paperwork a breeze. Got a receipt? Don’t worry about losing it by snapping a photo in the app so you have a digital record logged away and filed ready for submission. The more efficient you are the less time you have to spend worrying about missing paperwork.
Don’t go quiet. Use the time to schedule posts and interact with your audience – they’re likely looking for way to interact with people, and planting a seed now could pre-book you, allowing you to come out of lockdown at full steam. Promote your best work, write up blogs (ahem) for social media and website (search engines LOVE regular and updated content) and show people what you can achieve for them when you’re able to get back to work.
Mobile? Time to refit the van ready for spring.
From a simple re-organisation through to a total overhaul, if you’re mobile, your van is a reflection on you and your company, it is also where you spend most of your day. Perhaps it’s time to fit those shelve units, tidy and update those decals, or clear out and decant all the chemicals. Check tyres, fluids, and stick the battery on trickle charge for a fresh start to the year and move any chemicals which don’t deal with the cold into a warm dry area. Again. If you want some ideas on overhauling, check out the latest PRO Detailer magazine, which has a full feature on van builds!
This should possibly be top of the list, but we didn’t want to start off on a downer. If you’re worried about the effect this is going to have on your business, take a breath and have a look to see what help is available. Winter is usually a relatively quiet time for valeters and detailers so you’re unlikely to be missing out on work altogether – rather than, it’s being put on hold.
There will be many out there who have just come off a Christmas break and needed to get back to work and earning. If you’re struggling, there is raft of support measures – though not universally useful – with more details at gov.uk/coronavirus
These range from furlough if you have any aspect of PAYE in your salary, universal credit, two types of Local Restriction Support Grants (LRSG) depending on if you’re completely shut or just impacted, plus a potential grant for small business rate relief users. What you can claim would depend on individual circumstances, but we would urge anyone to take the help on offer if possible.speak to your landlord if you think you are going to struggle, your creditors if you need time and your bank if you think a bounce back loan may be appropriate to bridge the gap.
There are inevitably some who will fall through the cracks of any such scheme. To those, we would say; seek assistance through citizens advice, and through business advice groups such as FSB and the CBI, as they know the ins and outs and should be able to find you some help. Remember, winter is always a bit rubbish in this industry, but spring isn’t far off and it’s looking brighter on the horizon.
We wish all businesses the best of luck over the coming months. And to all our alumni, we are on the end of email should you have any issue you think we can help or advise on.