With a steep increase in the COVID-19 cases, and the UK potentially headed towards total lockdown, how can you ensure that your business continues to operate in these rare and unpredictable times?


First of all, and perhaps most importantly, you need to accept that your working practices are going to be very different for quite some time. With vast numbers of people now working from home, ensuring that you have ground rules in place to minimise disruption to clients and your business is key. As schools in England teeter on the brink of closure, the presence of children in a previously adult-only space looks to be a certainty. Accept that children may cause some disruption to your employees’ working day but equally, make sure your expectations, such as any client calls to be conducted with children out of earshot, are understood and respected. It is important to also accept that your employees’ working day may look quite different to the normal office 9-5, but laying down some ground rules here, such as timings for lunch and key hours during the day when you can contact them, will help your business continue to operate as smoothly as possible.


For those companies that haven’t previously offered remote working, now is a great time to look into the different apps and web services for video conferencing. Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts are the three major players, and Microsoft Teams is a newly emerging remote working tool. Take some time to investigate which one suits your business’s needs best and if you are careful with your time limits on meetings, many of the above can be trialled for free. With Making Tax Digital in place for VAT registered businesses, submitting your business’s information should work as it did before, and if you have been thinking about Cloud Accounting, now is a good time to speak to an experienced accountancy firm (such as ourselves!) for advice on moving your accounts online.


For many small businesses out there, the upcoming COVID-19 ride is going to be very bumpy indeed. Our new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a raft of measures in the recent Budget and these were followed up this week with more extreme measures. We expect there are more to come, and if you need help navigating the grants, loans and exceptions, please get in touch to see how we can help your business. Our email is email@smithbutler.co.uk.